So we've skipped last week due to the events related to Gezi park in Turkey. I can return to posting weekly development updates smoothly now. Let's see what we have done for the last two weeks.
- New artwork (By courtesy of my teammate Onur Samli)
- Colored specular, normal mapped shader
- Spawn Point, Death
- Adjustable level death limit with freeform custom handles (See screenshots)
- Random level generator with adjustable parameters (WIP)
As the feature list shows, it has been mostly custom editor and inspector programming, which I believe is maybe the most important part of developing in Unity engine. I will continue to develop custom editors, handles and inspectors where needed and where it makes sense. By the end of the development it will pay off by giving us tested and proven tools to reuse in future projects.
Why Random Level Generation?
I also want to turn these status updates into a platform where us and the readers can have some kind of dialog about the choices we make. So let's start off with why we have set our mind on random level generation instead of hand crafting the levels from scratch by maybe using a custom level editor.
First off, it will save us the hard work of being creative about the levels. We still have to be creative to produce fun to play levels but it's really hard to plan and put together a level when all you have is an empty scene. It makes more sense to press a "Generate Level" button a couple of times and then edit some parts here and there to suit it to your liking.
Secondly as it is still me programming the algorithm to generate those levels, we can parametrize the hell out of that process. We will be able to provide the number of track parts to use in generating the level, non-allowed parts, whether multiple turns and crossroads are allowed or not etc. So while we are retaining the "random" aspect, we still pretty much have control over how it behaves.
And lastly, we will be able to use the same algorithm in the game. We are not strictly bound to use it in the Unity engine editor in any way. All I have to do is slap a new front end which will represent it in the game and well, players can produce unlimited random levels to enjoy. Also random multiplayer levels are also an idea further down the progress, we'll see how it will work for us.
So these are the three main reasons for why we have chosen the random level generation path for Physis. It also does not stop us from making a level from scratch by hand in case we have a super cool idea for a level.