Next Steps

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series Game Development

In my last post I learned my lesson. Now that I’ve got the very basics of making a 2D platformer using Unity’s 2D Game Kit Tutorial it’s time to think about what comes next. I think the best idea will be to choose a game to make, something simple, and go from there. So let’s start brainstorming!

The Game

I guess the first thing I need to do is decide which game idea should come first. So, let’s go with IT Ninja. There really is no more to the idea than the name so I can just build from there with ideas that will teach me new things. So, let’s begin with what I’ve decided so far.

Design

Let’s make a roguelike platformer! Yeah, every level is different, every time you play will be a new experience. Our “hero” the IT Ninja will have different weapons, ranged and melee. He will get gadgets that help him navigate the game. There will be some kind of carry-over from session to session. There will be different kinds of enemies he fights. Just a quick, early overview of the design. A starting point, if you will.

Learning

With those ideas in mind I’ll have to learn a lot of new things. Way beyond what was in that one tutorial. When trying to build something, it’s important to think ahead and get an idea of what you’re going to do. So let’s break down the kinds of topics I’ll need to research. Figure out what I’ll need to learn. Maybe guess at the tutorials and lessons available to teach me.

I guess the first thing will be something like a “home” screen. You know, where you have your Start, Load, Options, that kind of thing. Main Menu, that’s the name I was trying to think of.

Creating a Main Menu


I’ll need to learn how to create dynamic content, procedurally generated levels. As a subset of that, I can already think of one sticking point I’ll have to figure out. How to keep a “key” outside of the “locked” area. You know, you need Gadget X to open Door X, so make sure it’s generated in an area accessible before you go through Door X . . .

Procedural Cave Generation


I’ll have to figure out custom assets, or how to customize existing assets, or both. The IT Ninja needs to look like a ninja. His weapons need to look related. Like a Cat5-O’-9-Tails for melee, thumb drives or CDs as ranged weapons, or something. Maybe a scanner gun?


That leads me into gadgets, non combat equipment. Gotta figure out how to add new, custom gameplay elements, like double jumping, a jetpack, or a shield. Maybe some kind of protection robot “Antivirus” that will occasionally shoot enemies for you?


Therefore I need to think about customizing the UI, adding custom inventory, swappable items, whatever. So again, I’ll either need to figure out how to make my own UI asset or modify the existing one from the tutorial.


Oh, and of course I will need splash screens, some kind of game over screen, scoring, things that come back around to the beginning with the start screen.


And because I want to have some kind of meta-game outside of the main platforming like upgrades that carry over from one game to the next I need to figure out saving progress.


Finding Help

So now that I’ve brainstormed a few ideas of things I’ll need to learn it’s time to scour the Unity site for new tutorials. You’ll see I’ve already added some links to the tutorials I might use above. As time goes on I’ll add more links when I find them. Or maybe I won’t, we’ll see.

I have a feeling trying to make a game from the 2D Game Kit would work, but it might be better to just start from scratch. Especially since my next project will likely require even more crazy stuff. So here’s an older link with more learning that might help.

One thing to keep in mind is that there are resources all over the internet that can help. Don’t feel like Unity’s site is the only resource you can use. I found an interesting course over at Udemy that fits the bill for a price. But a quick search shows there’s a a lot of free courses that can help.

Of course, a list of useful links from Reddit is always handy to have.

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