Local multiplayer Bomberman

I have been working on a test for a job application during last week and it was really fun. I’m posting this because I had to do it from scratch so all the content was added by myself and there aren’t NDA nor confidential content (all the assets are free to use, from cgtraders, mixamo, freesound.org …)

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The test was about create a little local multiplayer game based on the bomberman/dynablaster mechanics. It was my first time with any kind of multiplayer so I don’t know if I will pass the test but at least I have learned something new.

The map can be designed from the Unreal Editor, changing some settings like map size,  tiles distribution or which meshes will be used. You have a random seed in order to “save”  your level design or you can just let it generate randomly every game.

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There are some fun mechanics like every bomberman game: different items (speed, bombs amount, bomb blast size and remote bombs), destructible walls which spawn a random pickup based on probability, bombs can activate other bombs or destroy items, camera with automatic pan and zoom…

Almost everything is coded in C++ but I had to do some blueprints (test requirements) and the UI and animation stuff are made from the Editor.

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I’m involved in other projects but… I would like to make some upgrades for the future like 4 players at time, AI enemies, AI players, different map themes…. who knows!!

Here is a video playing with my wife 😀

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Action Platformer Project

I have been working on a new personal project during my spare time. It’s a 3D platformer, with some action, puzzles and a bit of humor.

I’m doing this totally alone so I had to search (i’m still doing) all the assets and of course, buy some of them. To be honest, I’m spending too much time with the visual part and it’s more fun to me just develop new mechanics and concepts for the game. But.. Ey! the visual are a big important part in a videogame.

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As I said, I have implemented a lot little things like movable platforms with different configuration (to travel, just to stay or falling), spike traps, some kind of buttons, movable boxes, levers…

I have a few enemies as well. Simple enemies because my inspiration comes from Spyro, Banjo or more recent games like Yooka and Laylee or Knack. I have zombies, grannies who throw explosive cats, a fat Elvis, coconut turrets, underground moles… I’m still working on them and thinking about new ones.

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But all of these things by themself are nothing, I need to put all together in a level and I’m not a good level designer. It takes too long for me and I’m never happy with the result. For that reason I have started from the boss level while I look for someone who wants to colaborate with level design.

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About the main character, currently he can jump and double jump, grab and move boxes, enter in targeting mode (change between targets), throw projectiles, dodge, and perform melee attacks (little combo of three slashes because it’s not a combat based game). I think they are enough actions for this kind of game.

Of course there are a lot of small things that are no too much visibles but you have to do like, receive damage effect, footprints, desintegrate dead enemies, take the sword when an enemy is close, etc..

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It’s being very fun doing this game. My intention is make at least three levels and the boss.

Thanks for reading! I will talk about the absurd plot of the game in the next post.

Be Football: VR Soccer Experience for Vive Trackers

We have made content for Virtuix Omni motion platform, we have done some tests with Leap motion and subpack and we are currently waiting for our Hardlight VR Suit unit, so… when HTC launched the Vive Trackers, it was obvious, we had to make something for it.

Something that all people could try, enjoy with their family and something that required hands and feet?? Yeah VR Soccer!

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Our first question was about foot/ball physics… Should be real?? should we fake it to make the experience funnier? After some test we decided to use the more realistic physics that we could, helping it with some tweaks for effects, clamping the force you can apply to the ball, playing with mass, etc… the result was very satisfactory.

We wanted the feeling of being in a real stadium so we had to include a lot of elements: animated audience, flags, confetti, referee… and all with 180 screen percentage and 90 fps. Yes, definitely it was another challenge. A tip: instanced static meshes and vertex animation… awesome!

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Develop the AI for the goalkeeper was very fun and not so trivial as you think: In a traditional soccer game, you know the controller direction and the kick force, the AI just have to decide if the goal keeper goes to the right direction or not, time to do it, etc… but in a VR experience you can’t know where the user will kick the ball neither the force. We made a prediction depending of the kick momentum and obviously its not perfect but the goalkeeper not seems a dumb and performs some beautiful stops. There are too some random behaviours like the real soccer when the goalkeeper does not predict anything, just goes to a side. it works nice.

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Of course in Be Football you can be the Player or the Goalkeeper. This role is very fun too and dangerous hehehe. Our goal has the real size… ok don’t worry about that, the AI only will shoot close to you but… VR is very immersive and probably you will want to move and extend you arms to catch the ball, hitting to everybody, to the forniture and breaking the controllers! hahaha yes, i’m overstated but you will play better in a clear space. For this reason we designed a structure for a live show, with harness, artificial grass, advertising billboards, etc…

I think this project is fun, has a lot of branding potential, a lot of live uses and of course, a version for steam is not discarded, with improvements like header mechanics, corner kicks, free kicks, different stadiums (Real Madrid stadium is included, but its a secret for now… hehehehe), players, gloves, boots, career mode, etc…

Screenshoot gallery:

Be Brave: VR Bullfighting Experience

When we developed our “Encierro de San Fermín” VR Simulator  we met a lot of people related with the bulls environment and the possibility of a VR bullfighting experience was very much in demand.

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So we decided to make a prototype and a live performance of a VR bullfighting show for possible investors.

We used Unreal Engine (C++) and HTC Vive for this project.

No violence, no blood, no torture, just bullfighting and the feeling of be very close to the bull. Of course, more risk, more score but the bull can beat you 😉

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Finally is more playable than we thought and it’s totally usable for live shows. Of course with a more time and money the product will be much better: New game mechanics, different squares, bulls, etc…

Promotional video:

Be the Plane: VR Flight Experience

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In our search for nice experiences for people who does not tried VR before we were doing some test with HTC controllers. What about a experience where you have to use your arms like the wings of a plane? Easy, intuitive and fun.

Trace a vector between controllers, project it to a orthogonal plane and get the angle with player’s up vector 🙂

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We made three levels, with different enviroments (tropical, stormy and… weird? o_O) and difficulty but finally we just include the tropical one (client petition).

People enjoyed this flight experience with wonderful views and relaxing music, trying to reach as many circles as they could.

Here is the live performance:

 

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“Encierro de San Fermín” – VR Running Simulator

When Downtown was finished I was looking for new challenges and I started to work in Prisma VR Studio. Our first project was a virtual reality experience about running with the bulls in one of the most popular spanish tradition, “Encierros de San Fermín”.

Probably the worst issue in VR is the motion sickness and this experience requires a lot head movements: You have to run in front of the bulls but looking back in order to locate them and keep the distance. So, the best solution for us was the Virtuix Omni motion platform. Using this device we avoided the motion sickness because is the user who moves the VR avatar using his body not the application and the brain feels it more natural.

 

This simulator was developed for an exhibition about “San Fermín” in Seville and probably we were one of the first companies who used this device for a commercial project because we had to use our Omni developing unit until the commercial one was launched (One month later).

The enviroment was another challenge because we should to recreate Pamplona as similar as possible to reality: The sun is located at the same position, the commercial stores are reals, the building textures, etc… for that reason we choose Unreal instead of Unity3D. The Unreal Engine’s Deferred renderer is not so optimal as the forward renderer but the visual quality is much better “out of the box”.

The exhibition would receive a lot of people so the experience should take no too much time but it has to be gratifying because probably each person only could try it once and the use of the Omni device requires certain training. For that reason we included a short tutorial for get used to the Omni.

We also made a experience for people who does not wanted to run with the Omni. The path is pre defined and you just have to move the controllers like you were running to move forward and look back to avoid be reached by the bulls. It’s not as fun (just my opinion) as the Omni version but it’s nice for old people, kids or for promotional events (You have not to move the Omni from the exhibition 😉 ), For example:

And a TV coverage (early version):

It was my first Unreal Engine’s professional experience and I learned a lot of about the  C++/Blueprint communication, like Native Events, Delegates, Timers, etc… and of course the Virtuix Omni integration.

 

Screenshoot gallery: