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  • Making An Among Us-Styled Game In 10 Days: Lessons Learned

    [01.21.21]
    - Bari Silvestre

  • Throw Designs That Don't Work

    I moved from rectangle screens to square rooms and back because seeing what goes in the other room breaks immersion. And adding a cover to both adjacent rooms just sounds worse, design and code-wise.

    I also tried working on a random dungeon map creator but knowing we have limited time, I scrapped it. It works but it will need a lot of tweaks to make the layout fun, easy to navigate and free of bugs.

    Screenshake and Other Auto-Game-Designs

    At day 7 we are already adding what every other game has. Screenshake, hats, color swaps etc.Here's what I used for the color swap. https://gamedevelopment.tutsplus.com/tutorials/how-to-use-a-shader-to-dynamically-swap-a-sprites-colors--cms-25129

    The initial plan for the hats was to make animated frames.

    Instead I coded this crap for the object with SpriteRenderer and just changed the sprite.

    Death will be a major part of the game so we made it impactful with bones and blood particle effects. Mike also made a special death animation and with color swapping shader, he didn't need to make these frames for each color.

    We also need music in addition to the sound effects Doseone provided for the jam. Fortunately I saw getdizzzy's tweet that his team Symmetrical Audio made music for the game jam. The music is one of the best features of the game. Check them out. https://soundcloud.com/symmetrical-audio/sets/disc-jam

    Numbers in Game Design

    Game balance, item costs, running speed, they are all part of game design and I'm bad at them. Good thing I never liked hard coding numbers in my scripts, I always assign them to a variable to be able to tweak them anytime. Because of this, I was able to add customization quickly so I instead let the players balance for me. When in doubt, make the tasks count lower, the player speed faster, the bad stuff's hitboxes smaller and the good stuff's hitboxes bigger.

    Title When?

    We agreed on the title a few days before submission. That's also when Mike worked on the banner for Itch.io which we used as the title screen. I finalized the title screen UI. What I liked about Among Us' version is its simplicity of multiplayer UI.

    There's Create Room or Host if you don't want to join a current random room, or if you want to make a private room with friends. I made a Quick Join button though since I feel everybody just wants to play ASAP.. Some players don't want to see a list of rooms (Counterstrike is to blame) click on one and then inform you it's already full. This Quick Join is similar to multiplayer mobile games. Join with Room Code in Among Us is so intuitive. The room code is revealed to everyone in the room they're in. It's so neat and practical!

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