During my initial attempt at making the game earlier in the semester I had quite a few things that ended up not working for me. For example, my death animation was not working, did not have a way to restart the game after death, all parts of the game were static, not moving obstacles and much more. On this second attempt I made it my goal to get all these things working and have a much more polished game. After presenting at our Expo, have to say that the game turned out to be much more successful than I thought I would have been.
What I end up doing was just starting a new project and starting from the beginning again, that way I had a “clean canvas” to work with. Everything I did was done step by step and was tested in order to make sure everything was working properly. Using the knowledge that I had acquired from the previous work on the game helped a lot during development of the final game version.
When making a 2D side scrolling game you need to have a sprite sheet which is a sheet of art that is used make all the actors and environment in game, I will include picture of the sprite sheet that I used. After you have acquired your desired sprite sheet, you will import the sheet on to the Unreal Engine and then extract each individual sprite so that you can use them in your game development. With each sprite you can select multiple sprites and then combine them into a flip book, which serves as your animated object. In my example I combined three sprites that each where a different instance in a run and when combined into a flip-book, made my actor look like it was running when I would move left or right. The same thing was done in order to make the jump animation, death animation, sitting animation and the knock back animation.
After the animations were complete, it was on to the event graph for my actor. The event graph is where all the coding and functionality for the actor is done. In the event graph, I had a section that controlled damage, movement, jumping, animation update depending on what the actor was doing, and landing section after a jump or knock back. Each section was then color coded in order to quickly find the area that I need to work on. Also included in the event graph was a widget, which can be used to make a HUD. In my case I used it to make a health bar for the character, that way the person playing can keep track of their health. I will be including pictures of the event graph.
After getting my actor (main character) to where I wanted him to be, it was on to work on the map. The goal for this game was to make something different to your typical 2d side-scrolling game. In most games one has many individual levels with a beginning, run across to the other side to complete it and then move on to the next level. What I wanted to do was to make one huge level, which I called the Master level, in which the actual level changed happened at a branch in the map. At the branch, the player had the option to either proceed up or down, which brought the player to a new part of the map with new challenges and obstacles. The other thing I wanted for the game, was to make it really hard and quickly become much more difficult as the player progressed. I would say I was successful in this aspect since one of my class mates said that I was really cynical in my map designs. Included in this post will be pictures of each different section of my Master Level.
Now as I said earlier, the as the player progress through the game, the game would become increasingly difficult and would pose new obstacles, challenges and traps. For example in the picture with the red tiles, this area was on of the branch options that the player could take but would ultimately lead to the death of the player. As the player keeps going on a lot this path, the tiles become a darker shade of red, used as a form of warning that what is up ahead might not be good for the player, which it is not. This leads the player to go into the killz volume that used in order to kill of the player in case he falls of the map. Another example of one of my traps is in the first image in which the blocks that are to the right and left of the long strip of spikes, which also look different in design, are actually false floors and if the player walks on them, they will fall through to their death. As you can see I was pretty cynical with my level design and I love it haha.
All in all, it was a blast getting to work on this game and learning about the process of making a video game. I learned that it is a lot more difficult than it seems to make a game and actually takes a long time. I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of work that gets put into making the top end games like Halo, Call of Duty, Battlefield and many more.