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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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:

“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:

 

Infinity Damage – Lava Statues

I talked about the statues which heal the boss when he is stunned. I don’t want to upload videos about the boss until is finished but I have one about the statues mechanics.

When you have done enough damage to the boss he goes to stun mode and then the lava begins to fall through the pipes to the statue’s bowl. Then a heal beam is generated from the statue to the boss and it’s time to destroy the statue. If you don’t destroy it the lava stop falling and you have to damage boss again.

But if you do enough damage to the statue it will be destroyed and you go to the next boss stage. It’s a sample of the unreal engine powerful features like destructible meshes.

I hope it likes you!

Downtown: Aventura en el metro

I have been working on a serious game named “Downtown: Aventura en el metro” since the last September. It was my first “commercial” project or I should to say, my first project as professional because the game will be free.

The game is a third person adventure and it has a very clear goal: help Down syndrome children to improve their independence to travel using the subway.

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Usually these children just remember their path to school or wherever they have to go but really they don’t understand why get that transfer line or how to get their destination if a line is closed (by train maintenance for example). The way this game try to help is involve them in a mysterious adventure where they have to catch a famous thief named “Malignus”. To do that, the player has to do some missions before go to the final mission and finish the game.

It’s very important to know these persons have a lot of cognitive problems (many of them can’t read) and their reactions are very slow so this game is maybe too easy for a child without this disaease. However there are four difficulty levels each of them controls how many missions they have to clear before final mission, or number of pieces in some puzzle minigames …

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About the game itself, is a semi-procedural game. There are few missions but the stations and the places are random each game. We wanted short games in order to they play a lot of different missions and they travel around the subway taking different paths.

There are 3 different mission types: mobility, exploration and logic. With these missions we tried to force them to travel between different stations, explore the station to find something (in order to focus them in some task) and push them to resolve simple challenges as memory games, puzzles, or taking photos.

Before start the game you can customize your avatar and choose the face, hair, clothes… and during the game you will win gems. These gems work as coins and you can use them to buy customes in the shop. There are a lot of them and you can combine different parts, also when you have bought the complete set the character has a special in-game effect or idle animation.


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We also wanted to reproduce some events that they can find in the real life like doors broken, subway map lost, travel card doesn’t work, people who distract you from your mission…. and sometimes you will have to ask to subway people to resolve this events.

We were a very small team: 3d Artist, 2D Artist, Game designer/programmer and me, another programmer so I was not in charge on a specific area, I had to do a lot of things like NPC’s behaviour, mechanics for the interactive map, minigames, cutscene editor, graph algorithm to find routes, some events, dialog system…

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The game was made using Unity3D game engine and coded in C#.

Probably the game will be released the next May and I hope it really helps to Down Syndrome children to learn, and of course, to have fun.

Finally I want to thank my work mates Marta, Diego and Rodri who was the idea owner and game designer. And of course to Alvaro, the director of CEIEC department where we develop the game and who gave me the opportunity to work in the project.

Game official website

 

Screenshoot gallery:

Infinity Damage – Game elements

Currently I have four enemy types: Kamikaze, Tank, Shooter and Melee and probably I will do more kinds like Turrets or whatever but I decided to stop the enemies stuff and design the level and the final boss’s place.
Probably I spent more time positioning rocks, floor tiles, lava or columns than coding the game hehehe. Really I’m not (still :P) a good level designer because when I finally decided to stop and finish the level, I looked at it and my impression was a bit… I dont know… that my game is a boring and simple. Because of that I needed a change and I came back to code.

I thought that the level would need a bit of verticality so I made a movable platform in order to reach places where jump is not enough. For this I made a spline based component in order to simulate the chain movement when the platform is moving. It was fun, very useful probably for level design too, (using rocks instead of chains) and I learned to use construction scripts which are really powerful.
About the settings name… “wonder” its a personal joke that only few people can understand 😛

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Here in movement:

 

Another element created was a Fire (or acid, water, whatever you want) Trap. Yes, very simple prop but… what if we put some of them in a row? should be funny. Exposed parameters are few, time to start, working time, time to start again and damage done.
I have not positioned it on the level but it’s possible to do synchronized movements or rolling… like this:

Of course we can rotate it in order to have to be jumped over 😉

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The last element I show in the post is a time based door switch (that exists? sorry for my english :P). It seems a good idea have some doors you can open only from some distance and then run before it closes. Yes it has no history but again I learned new things… this time about materials and shaders because when you shoot the switch,  it disappear using a beautiful disintegration effect by time. When the time is over the switch appears again and the door closes.

 

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Video:

 

And finally and short tour of the level that probably will be deleted… I’m seriously thinking about change the side perspective to third person

 

Next post I will talk about the level boss.

Bye