I’m currently taking the course Big Game Project at Uppsala University – Campus Gotland, where the goal is to have, after 10 weeks, a working vertical slice of a game which might have the potential to become a product worth selling at a later stage.
We’re now three weeks into the production of the game Warpers, a 2D top-down shooter developed in Unreal Engine 4 where up to four players can create their own spacecrafts and venture out and discover what the universe has to offer.
My role in this project is Lead Designer and Programmer and this week I’ll talk about how players go about creating their spaceships.
Spaceships are created in the hangars of space stations scattered throughout the universe and players can, when they aren’t engaged in combat, choose to create a new spaceship or iterate upon the current one by entering one of said hangars.
Currently spaceships are built using different modes which allow for placement of different components. The reason for separating the construction process into multiple modes are that each mode acts as a separate layer where the players can operate independently from other parts of the ship. As such the player don’t have to worry about “overwriting” or deleting other parts of the ship in the same area where they are currently building. Ships are tile-based and the modes can be divided into the following categories.
- The shape category is pretty self-explanatory. This is the first step in designing a new spaceship. Players place basic floor tiles which auto-generate hull around them if they don’t have any neighboring floor tiles. Other ship-features need to be attached to this basic floor
- Walls and doors are used to create rooms (weird right?). Rooms can be used to strategically keep intruders from accessing the on-board systems.
- Things that fall into the Interior category are props which the player can use to decorate their ships. Some examples would be plants, lamps and floors.
- Last but definitely not least are the systems. Systems are anything that the player can interact with. Weapons, consoles, miscellaneous workstations etc.
At a later stage I’d like to implement Multiple floors that the player uses either regular stairs or elevators, or hi-tech transporters to travel between. But for now it’ll have to do with a single floor.
~Lead Designer and Programmer, Per “Gimmic” Johansson