Character Controller Test - Jetpack

edited in General
Hi guys.

Doing a study on Character Controllers. I have done some controllers that I actually don't use Rigidbodies or Character Controller from Unit.

So I created this trying to teach a buddy of mine Unity. Playing around and Creating a quick generated world. Instead of tiles I just went an done it on a Texture. But making an CharacterController interact per pixel.

May I ask you guys to just test the movements for me. Tell me what you think. The Good and The Bad.

WASD control. Space to Jump
Mouse to aim.

How it looks.

Attached Windows Build to Download. No Web Player sorry.



  • edited
    @dark_seth I just gave it a play. This is an awesome little prototype that reminds of Terraria/Starbound with the way you can dig into the earth with that tool. I'm a fan of the pixel art too. The character controller works well and feels natural. Is it custom? I also like all the particle effects like when you move over the ground and the way rain splashes on the surface.
    Is that cellular automata you're using to gen the level? Also for collision detection are you raycasting or doing a pixel overlap test? :) It's cool. (Edit: I found an article that does something similar)

    Only gripe...When you dig a passage big enough for the player to move through, it can be frustrating when there is a single pixel that prevents the player from moving forward until it is removed. Not sure if there is an easy way to deal with that.

    Your 'Unity - 2d Shader ,edge highlight on objects ,colliders or 2d textures' post could work nicely along with this if you had day/night cycles too...

    Do you have a game in mind yet or are you just testing character movement in general?

    Cheers, K
  • edited

    Thank you for the comments. It is a normal Character Controller from Unity. Slighty modified.
    For level generation I use a good old Perlin Noise scaled to my needs. I did try to use cellular automata but it didn't look like I wanted. After that I grow grass on certain heights and create a chasm at he bottom that I still neet to fill with lava or acid.

    YEAH. That One pixel blocking the player is currently an pain. Must fix that. Thank for confirming that.

    Regarding day night cycle. Been playing with Unity 2019.3 universal render pipeline and man oh man do I like the 2D light system. Had to change some shaders to work with the new render system. But it looks good. Will post some updates on that.

    Regarding my plan with this. I really don't know. This can maybe become an 2d No man Sky type thing where the player jumps from planer to planet. But what would the objective be then.

    I was thinking maybe more in line of an survival resource management type set after humans almost go extinct. Post nuclear maybe. Creating rooms like fallout shelter but taking it one step further. There must be pipes connected to water and air filters. Domes above ground to grow crops. Maybe some under ground structures to discover with resources. Heat pipes flowing close to lava to survive winter etc.

    Any ideas would be welcome!

    Again thanks for the feedback.

    Thanked by 1konman
  • edited

    Here is the system currently. It currently does day night cycle ( Done at fast speed. )

    in the script it also accounts for days ( can be set ) in each season and currently has 2 seasons winter and summer. ( These are just counters for now )


  • @dark_seth Now that is a thing of beauty! Damn, I love it! I do miss those alien monoliths in the parallax background from the previous video, but I'm sure they'll make a reappearance again. Do you also make your own pixel gfx?

    Different planets? I am interested to see how the player would eventually transition to other planets?
    Build a spaceship or maybe discover an ancient alien teleport somewhere on each planet linking it to another?
    Different planets could have interesting hazards (extreme heat/cold in day/night cycle or lightning/gas storms forcing players underground etc. There's a whole lot you can do with that.

    I like the idea of a base building game/crafting game...that would be awesome. That's a hell of a lot of work right there.

    Unity 2019.3 universal render pipeline? I didn't even know it was a thing :)

    Great job so far and I look forward to seeing further progress on this prototype!

    Thanked by 1dark_seth
  • edited
    Hi @dark_seth,

    Tried out your prototype. Thought it was pretty cool.

    One design question I have is what is the function of the recharge time on the jetpack after landing? I understand that you'd want to limit total time in the air, but when I was playing, I felt myself getting a little bit frustrated having to wait to use the jetpack again once I'd touched the ground.

    I suppose depending on the nature of the surrounding context, recharge time would make more/less sense. For example I'd imagine in a horror game, recharges would serve to increase the tension.

    In a vacuum though, I'm generally an advocate of increased mobility. Really love the latest Doom and Amid Evil for those reasons.
    Thanked by 1dark_seth
  • @NickCuthbert
    Thanks for the feedback.Yes it is to limit the player in the air. I like the Idea if resetting it when a player lands. Maybe even cutting the time in half.

  • edited
    Created an Light controller to handle al lights. Turn off an 07:00 and turn on at 18:00. Now looking at the gif I should fade my lights to on or off. Maybe even add a flikker to some like the flashlight when turning on.

    interesting challenge was getting the light of the flashlight shorter when hitting the surface. Loving the Universal Render Pipeline function in Unity. Was waiting for 2d Lights for a long time..

    Well here it is at an insane time scale. Some days really feels this fast....
  • edited
    Ah. Some Procedural 2d Lightning working with my Weather System. Have a good weekend all!


    When Lightning Fires. Starting to like this

    Thanked by 2konman NickCuthbert
  • Guys/Girls

    What is a good day Night Cycle length for a game. ?

    1 second = 1 minute in-game
    1 minute = 1 hour in-game
    24 minutes = 24 hours (1 day) in-game

  • I don't think this question is easy to answer in a vacuum.

    I would try to think about how much time I expect the player to spend during a session and how many cycles I want to show them in that time. There is also the question of whether it's purely aesthetic or if it actually carries some meaningful mechanics with it.

    Something like Minecraft has mechanics attached to the night/darkness so it's important that the player is able to predict when it's coming and there is some linear progression towards it. On the other hand, in something like Skyrim it does change the experience for the player but there is no significant gameplay changes(disregarding vampires and such).

    My suggestion would be to pick something you feel is right, and then give it to players and see how they respond to it. I think the ideal you want as a player is not consciously noticing the transition between the two, but still notice the difference when it's ad the ends of the spectrum of the cycle.
    Thanked by 2dark_seth Tuism
  • Yeah there's no point in trying to set some kind of seconds to hours conversion rate without anything else being considered. Make the game. Numbers can be tweaked.
    Thanked by 1dark_seth
  • Tuism said:
    Yeah there's no point in trying to set some kind of seconds to hours conversion rate without anything else being considered. Make the game. Numbers can be tweaked.
    True. Thank both of you for the reply
  • edited
    Hi All.

    Managed to create a Playable Web build.
    It does take a little while to generate the world. Was actually glad it worked. ( Just Click wait if browser says webpage not responding and on edge do not click recover web page just close the popup)

    Update. This link is to host another prototype now. Free github only alows for 1

    ( Play it in Edge or Chrome . for some reason Firefox breaks the resolution :( )

    This build focus is the following and it far from perfect but it gives me an direction.
    Player Running around . Jetpack Controls.
    Day Night Cycle. It is currently set at an Hight speed so the fog fade in and out for rain is fast. Won't be that fast in the future.
    Meteor Controller for Rain Snow ( 5 days in a season ). ( 30 % for rain / snow per day )
    Mine with right Click (@konman , improvements on that 1 pixel problem )
    By accident left the make fire prototype in. Left click to set the grass on fire. oooppssy

    Enjoy guys/girls
    Thanked by 1konman
  • @dark_seth It's looking great. I love the day/night cycle. Your choice to showcase it as a WebGL build is obviously to make it accessible to more players, which makes sense. It does have a negative effect though, where the player can see the mouse cursor outside the game which does not align with your target reticule in the game which is a bit distracting. Another obvious observation, that you probably already know about, is that the fire needs it's own light source, else the flames don't show correctly in darkness unless you shine a torch on it. Is there anyway you can make the digger tool a little bit faster? It feels a tad too slow. :)

    Otherwise, I love the aesthetics and it's good to see your further progress on this prototype :D
    Thanked by 1dark_seth
  • Looks really good, the jetpack seems to behave differently when activated from full battery and when deactivated and activated in mid-air, cursor not being centered is a bit distracting, not sure what else to say.
    Thanked by 1dark_seth
  • edited
    Hi Guys. A video where this is at.. I really like the look. I really don't know what to do with this. I did the things that challenged me. I always seem to create a thing that I was wondering how to.. Got many left including how to finish a proper game.

    And boom No Creative ideas.....

    The prototype I giddily started that petered to stagnation.

    If anybody knows what to do with this or has any ideas for a game. Please post here. I got none.

    In the Video --> 2d Light system. Day Night Cycle, Weather system.A lot of Pixels

    Be Good and thanks!

    Thanked by 2watman konman
  • Ok, so, you have a jetpack and a gun and a torch? (I'm going by the visuals/video because I can't get this to work.)

    * Maybe you're a mercenary and you have to rescue people (although that's a bit Broforce-y).

    * Maybe you're a scientist and you are looking for the pieces of an alien ruin artifact to restore it. (Are there unintended consequences of activating such a thing?)

    * Maybe you're a space adventurer travelling to different planets to collect rock or mineral or plant samples for scientists to research or to put into a space museum. (Except the ethics of plundering foreign lands and blasting (sentient?) wildlife that gets in your way is far too colonialist. Maybe you only blast tunnels in the rocks... although there are even ethics that go along with that if you start thinking too hard.)
    Thanked by 1dark_seth
  • Hey @dark_seth,

    I know I'm late to the party here but just played the early prototype and got strong Noita vibes. Which is a good thing... I think that game is a masterpiece.

    Love the subtle touches you've got in there like gently moving the camera towards the cursor and the particle effects on footsteps. With the early prototype two things that jumped out at me as a bit jarring were:
    1. Leaving the default windows mouse pointer visible / unlocked. I think this is an easy fix in Unity.
    2. Activating jetpack from the ground seemed to give an initial upwards boost, but activating it when already airborne didn't. This led to a strange feeling when leaping off a ledge and starting the jetpack ... it didn't give as much lift as my intuition was expecting.

    For game ideas I think @watman has given some cool prompts! Maybe it's worth throwing in some things to collect / capture / kill / chase and seeing what feels most fun to you. You've got a great base to work from and I imagine you can explore these ideas quickly.

    I watched this talk from the Noita team which covered some of ideas they explored on the way to finding the current game. I'm not necessarily suggesting you follow their process but I found it comforting to know that even when an end goal / idea isn't clear at the outset ... you can still find magic through exploration.
    Thanked by 1dark_seth
  • edited
    FYI, for some jetpack recon/inspiration, here is an example of a game that is in development: Jetscout: Mystery Of The Valunians (by Dustin Auxier, who made The Enchanted Cave games). It seems to be similar to some of the ideas I tossed out.

    There's also Captain Tom Galactic Traveler, which is an Android game that is a combination of adventure/exploration and puzzle. I've played this entire game and the puzzles and level design are superb - just enough to keep you intrigued and playing but not frustrated.

    (Edit: I don't know how to embed videos properly.)
    (Edit edit: Nevermind. I think I figured it out.)

    Thanked by 1dark_seth
  • Hi again @dark_seth, as a SOLO game designer you have produced a a great prototype so far with lots of potential, but as you have mentioned, you don't know how to proceed and need feedback.

    As a solo ENGINEER, you have developed a basic core mechanic and have created IMO a great aesthetic and you have learnt a lot of new stuff that you could take into future prototypes... OR you could take this one further and see if it can become a complete game. You are now at a cross-roads as to how to continue. I too find I constantly get to this point (as an engineer making abstract things) and then don't know how to proceed. It's frustrating.

    I think maybe trying to make a complete game as a single person is extremely difficult as it requires so, so many disciplines that a normal single person usually doesn't possess. Game development/design, all aspects there of, is easier in a team I believe, where individuals specialize in those aspects that make great games. You could involve others in the areas you think you might lack in and learn from their expertise.

    Also there is a cheaper option to the time cost of making prototypes. It is Pen and paper. A game design document before you start any coding. But us engineers (me included) we stubbornly focus on what we find to be fun, making some mechanic, a level etc and then it peters to stagnation as you mentioned.

    Game engineering is not game design. Its focus is too narrow to what is required to make a complete game.

    I think the answer is to think about your game in a complete 'Game Design' way.

    The following rough headings regarding game design might be wrong academically, I apologise if so, but could give an idea of how I see it. I had many recent discussion/arguments with an interesting game designer who is not an engineer, especially the sequence of what one should focus on first.

    You can decide for yourself which ones your prototype is strong at and which ones are missing or that you just haven't fleshed out yet. Or dismiss it all :)

    The type of game you're making.
    What the player's greater goal is in the game. The genre of the game: Survival Crafter? Action Platformer? Race-To-The-Finish, Stealth? etc. Define the core mechanic of the game without getting into the details.

    Rules of the game. Decide on your 1 single core mechanic that the player will be performing repeatedly, over and over. Jump, climb, shoot, avoid, gather etc. Once you find a fun one, find a few interesting ways to expand and deviate upon that core mechanic and turn it on its head as the game progresses, keeping the player on their toes.

    The art style, the music, the colour scheme, the sound design, plot etc

    The experience of it all and how the player feels emotionally about the game. Without this the game will just feel empty and abstract. The message of your game and what the player stands to learn / take away from it all.

    Maybe rate your prototype on these basic principles and see what you think needs work next?

    I have so much to learn from game design too and it is comforting for me to see I am not alone in making sense of it all on the road to create a complete game.

    I really admire what you have made so far and sincerely hope you can fill in the gaps and make it into something complete that you are proud of and that others find enjoyable.
    Thanked by 2watman dark_seth
  • This is really neat.
    To be honest, I have no idea how you managed per-pixel collission. Is this a built in system in Unity? Or did you create a custom solution to achieve that? I'd love to know more about how that is done.
  • Hi
    Pierre said:
    This is really neat.
    To be honest, I have no idea how you managed per-pixel collission. Is this a built in system in Unity? Or did you create a custom solution to achieve that? I'd love to know more about how that is done.
    Man. It is an custom solution.
    Thanked by 1Pierre
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