Week 5 - Powerups, and making things prettier

Look! Gameplay footage! Finally!

I’m going to commit to including a little bit of gameplay footage in each post from now on. I’m not really any closer to solving MRC. I took a little bit of a look this week and I think the issue I’m having is the result of using the VRIF plugin. Since I’m kinda stalled on it and don’t want to spend too many more cycles on it, most of the video is going to be just the game captures from oculus for now.

Ok, on to the post–

This week my main goal was to implement 3 power-ups, and I managed to get that completed! I also had a stretch-goal of starting some of the work that I needed to do to be able to create a set of levels for a campaign mode– initially, I had just statically created the arena in the scene and just made sure that the parameters that I passed to the function to generate the grid of bricks fit within it, and the stretch-goal work that I had identified was the update the arena manager so that it would dynamically create the walls of the arena based on the parameters of the brick field and some other parameters (like playing field length etc).

I started working on the powerups using little cubes as place-holders. When I got to the point where I wanted to randomly spawn them within the arena, I realized that the working that the stretch-goal work that I had planned to refactor my arena manager in anticipation for custom levels should be something that I prioritize before going further with powerups since I’ll want to dynamically get the bounds of the area to spawn powerups as opposed to setting up another static area to fumble around with and that I’d just need to refactor next week, so I got that done before moving on to finishing the powerups.

I don’t really have any experience with 3d modelling, so for now any models that I have to create on my own are going to be pretty basic. I needed some sort of model for powerups– Arkanoid is a major inspiration for this project, so I looked to the designs that it used for powerups, and fortunately they are super simple, just colored capsules with a letter on them. I downloaded blender and was able to create a capsule pretty easily and use it to create a prefab, and then I used a 3D text plugin within unity for the letters so that I can have a single powerup asset that will appear with a different color and letter based on the type assigned to it.

I got most of this done ahead of schedule so I spent the remaining time just playing around with adding some visual elements to make the environment seem more interesting. I used some assets from the unity asset store to add some cars and a little bit of a cityscape, and it really added to the overall polish. It still has a long way to go visually but I’m fairly happy with the progress so far.

My goal for this week is to set up the project for a series of level layout files to string together a bit of a campaign mode. I anticipate this will likely take 2 weeks at minimum, depending on my available time. I may omit making a post next week if I don’t have things in a reasonable place to show anything