Building an FPS #2: Assets & Mechanics

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In the thick of production

The team has been working really hard building The Range game! We're feeling really good about the quality of the game's assets and mechanics so far. We're also learning a TON about game development workflow and technique that we can't wait to share with the accompanying education.

In the first update we laid out our goals, to build a fully-playable game and release end-to-end training on creating that very game. Read the first update by clicking here.

Now it's time to check in on the character and weapons progress.

CHARACTER UPDATE

Our robot character has progressed a lot. Admittedly, I (Kent) have never done a full-out game character like this before and I've had to battle each step of the way. By that I mean I had so much to learn, in order to match the quality that I see in AAA game titles. But I'm feeling very good about the character and truly cannot wait to turn everything I learned into a thorough course!

Currently, the character model is finished and UV'd with Normal texture maps 90% baked and AO + Cavity maps 75% baked. The model's triangle count is at 20,666 and texture maps are 2K (2048 x 2048). I've only got the diffuse/albedo and spec/metalness maps left to create to call him done. Also I've passed the model over to Wayne Dixon for rigging and animation. Can't wait to see him work his magic!


As much as I've baked texture maps in my career, this game character has proven map baking to be an intricate art form. I have so much respect for AAA game artists now. And again, can't wait to share what I've learned. -Kent


WEAPONS, OORAH!

Jonathan Lampel keeps us impressed with the weapons he's building!

As is often the case, the challenge has been translating Tim's 2D concepts into 3D. An interesting facet has been the emphasis on how each weapon looks from a first-person view. Of course this makes sense for a first-person-shooting game, but as a modeler it's not the usual context.


The hard part (and fun part) of modeling weapons is taking a somewhat abstract concept and figuring out how to make it work both mechanically and aesthetically from a first person view. The form and proportions have to be realistic enough to be believable, but they also have to be exaggerated in just the right ways in order to make blowing stuff up feel as satisfying as possible. - Lampel


ADDING & REFINING GAME MECHANICS

As our sole developer, Jonathan Gonzalez continues to work his sorcery in Unity. Lately he's been refining gameplay elements like enemy AI. This includes enemy detection mechanics that are easily customizable to increase and decrease their range of sight. When it detects an enemy within that range it'll then start attacking.

EnemyDetection

He's also been testing out automated patrolling with random waypoints. The character animations are synced with a navmeshagent so it looks natural. This will be further modified for custom patrol animations.

AnimationNavigation


We're increasing aware of how ambitious this project is. While we're still a ways away from accomplishing a polished version of the game, Lampel and I are in a good place to begin recording the character and weapon creation courses. So we'll roll out those courses in the next couple months as we continue polishing other aspects of the game!

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    moonyeah

    Super excited to see how far this will go!

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    Kent Trammell

    Glad to hear it! We're keen to take it all the way.

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    Brandon Griffin

    Looking good, and like it will be a fun project for us students, too. :)

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    Kent Trammell

    I'm certain it will be. I'm busting at the seams to teach what I've learned while it's fresh.

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    John Hawley

    Looking good! Can't wait to see the lessons you come out with and all the tricks and pitfalls you encountered while working on this!!

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    Matthew Fricker

    Really looking forward to this :) , Ive been holding off learning Unity as Im too busy with Blender at present but this will likely be one for the courses that tempts me into taking the plunge! Keep up the great work guys.

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    Mark Smith

    Indeed this is a good direction for Cookie to go in...
    looking forward to as are others...
    :D

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    wintermute666

    This is so awesome! Can't wait to see your tutorials!

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    Jonathan Gonzalez

    Never too early to start learning Unity, but maybe I'm biased ;) . The Unity courses will be more along the intermediate side so I'd definitely start learning now. I'm learning quite a bit myself. Enemy AI is no easy feat to build but it's slowly coming along. It'll be quite a beefy course, not to mention all the other courses involved.

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    Jonathan Fisher

    This will be awesome. Keep up the good work.

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    razielthecorpse

    I'd love to learn how to model a robot like this!

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    Kent Trammell

    Don't worry, it's coming!

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    rehooja

    Very eager to hear more about this project!

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    pieriko

    huuuuuu... That's gonna be big in my wish list.
    Really looking forward for it :)

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    gothicfox

    Everything is starting to look good. Can not wait to get into this course.

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    Jesse Davis

    I'm very excited to take this course!
    I'm currently developing a video game of my own, and my step in production is creating enemy patrols with cones of vision for detection purposes. Great timing!

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    rester7

    Looks amazing from what I have seen so far Love it Keep up the good work everyone :)

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    Wes Burke

    Thanks so much and will do!

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    Kent Trammell

    Gotta love when the timing works out!

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    Leonel Vazquez

    Amazing! i wish some day i can make something like your character... thanks for your work!

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