Initial Prototypes

(316 words, 2 minute read)

My last project was a 2d sidescrolling puzzle-platformer, and for this project I wanted to make something in 3d. I’ve made a few things in 3d before, but haven’t made a full game, and haven’t gone through a whole level design process. In the course of making Light Sucker, I built up a module toolkit for constructing levels and populating them with enemies and challenges. Once I had the initial set of blocks built out, I found that I loved designing levels.

For my initial prototypes, I started to play with figuring out whether the overall concept and approach of the project would even be possible for me. I wasn’t sure whether toggling an item’s physics interactions on and off would be easy or hard, and I wasn’t sure how hard picking up object would be. Both turned out to be surprisingly straightforward.

The first prototype is an awkward mess, but it let me get started on something. It was clear from the first prototype that I needed some additional tooling just to build out basic levels, so that was the next thing I started to tackle. I have a bit of experience with modeling in Blender and with scriping Blender, so I made a primitive workflow for modeling blocks in Blender and importing them into my game.

With that out of the way, my next thing is getting some sort of camera logic working. Right now the player’s input movements are absolute; the control stick on the gamepad is not related to the relative on-screen position, and so it becomes difficult to control the character quickly if the camera is in another position. I’m trying my best not to get bogged down in programming tedium because that’s a common trap for programmers, but I’m at a spot now where I should sit down and slam some code and get my basic systems up and running.