Updated: Jul 5, 2021
So, It’s been a few days since I last posted and that is because of the reasons I listed in my last post. If you haven’t read my last post, don’t worry I can’t blame you, I have been working on my pitch for a different game that I have to make next term with a team of people. The pitch was on Friday and went relatively well so now I can get back to work on this mod.
I began this morning by creating more diverse branch prefabs. I did this by using all the different branch sprites I made during my first day, repositioning and sizing them as needed to create a more interesting pathway. In the end I had 9 different branch prefabs, giving a much more varied level that will always be different every time you play. This made the game a lot more fun since it required more thinking and was more challenging than before.
After making these prefabs, I then moved on to turning the bird into a seed. I began by looking for a decent seed type that I would use. I thought a sycamore seed would probably look best since it is the seed of a tree and falls gracefully to the ground. I did a quick google image search for “cartoon sycamore seed” and found the following image.
Stolen from google, created by McKenzie Nall, https://www.pinterest.es/pin/432627107957067351/
I then removed the background and inserted it into my scene. After replacing the bird sprite with this one, I noticed that it looked upside down. Therefore, I promptly rotated the sprite 180 degrees to make it look more natural. The collider was also the wrong shape now, so I redid the polygon collider, giving me a nice collider around the seed.
When I hit play though, the seed would transform into the bird. I quickly found that this was because it was still playing the previous animations which were of a bird. This meant that I deleted the previous animations and replaced them with new ones.
To make the animations, I went into the animation panel where I made it rotate 60 degrees to the left and then 60 degrees to the right. This worked well but it was moving very quickly. In order to fix this, I spaced out the animation over 8 seconds, This gave the seed an almost harmonic motion that was both interesting and elegant.
Next, I thought I would work on some sound effects, like I discussed at the end of the last blog post. I looked into adding a sound that plays when you received a point but after many hours of searching through scripts and looking at references, I couldn’t find a way to make it work.
I made the score colliders on the branch prefabs separate and have the tag “scoreup” which I then tried to reference in the script but sadly due to my lack of experience with coding, my efforts were futile. In the end I decided that it was probably best to move on and just add music later.
In hindsight I decided that this was probably for the better anyway, since the jarring sound of the point increase would clash with the peacefulness of the forest that was slowly emerging. This was more apparent after I began working on some particles.
Looking at my original plan, I had gusts of wind that would blow the seed to either side which I hoped would be possible with particles. I tried to make a new particle material using a wind sprite I found more issues than what it was worth. I managed to get the sprite animated but the animation wouldn’t play on the particles. Also, the particles would either be invisible or have a square background which was not ideal.
I ended up using the default particle material and changing the emission shape from a cone to a rectangle to spread out the particles. I also made them a lot less frequent, then duplicated it and flipped it 180 degrees before moving it to the other side of the screen. The result was that there were particles coming from either side of the screen making the whole scene a lot more ambient and immersive.
After this I decided that I wanted two tree trunks either side of the screen. This was because it looked quite odd just having branches floating on nothing and the players vision was very uninteresting.
I began by once again turning to google and searching “cartoon tree trunk” in the hope of finding something that would work well for the game. After a little scrolling I found this image that I then downloaded and removed the background of.
Stolen from google, https://www.vhv.rs/viewpic/hmRTxoi_tree-trunk-png-picture-wood-tree-trunk-cartoon/
After inserting this image into Unity and making it a sprite, I scaled it up so the player wouldn’t see the top or bottom of it. I also arranged it so it would not cover too much of the players view but enough to divert the players attention to the centre of the screen. After doing this the game was a lot more interesting to play as it was more visually appealing.
While it seems like a lot has been achieved today, It didn’t go as smoothly as previous days, but this was to be expected. Next, I would like to add some ambient music as well as come up with a title for the game and work on the UI. If i have time I would also like to change the background to fit the woodland theme. While this game is due on Thursday, this blog is due tomorrow as of me writing this so I’m going to carry on working tonight as well as tomorrow morning in order to get this mod to a finished state so that this blog documents the entire development of this game.