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  • Writer's pictureDan

Polygon Planet: Post 1 - Yet another project?...

So why have i gone ahead and started yet another project when all my other game projects are still very much incomplete ?

Well, each project serves as a learning objective. Once I have done enough to realise what the challenges are going to be, what skills are going to be needed to overcome them and roughly had a go at implementing such solutions then I am done - for now. I can circle back in future if any of the game ideas/concepts still has legs or looks like it would be fun!

My goal with UMUNKI is to create games that foster and reward curiosity and humour rather than violence.

My short-term mission for the first 5 years is to get good enough with Blender and Unity to be able to produce a game that I can be really proud of given very limited resources - a team of 1. That means getting a hands on appreciation of what are the time-sapping activities involved with 2D, 2.5D and 3D dev. Rolling up my sleeves with sprite animations, meshes, lighting, procedural terrain generation, procedural character rig animation rather than just using a huge library of baked rig animations and blend curves.

I have always loved 3D immersive First Person perspective games since the earliest in that genre - for me it was the Atari XL version of "Mercenary: Escape From Targ" by Paul Woakes and Novagen.

That game and text adventures is what got me into computer games - Mercenary was totally compelling, and the exact template of what I am trying to do here at Umunki.

So... I now think i have just enough Unity knowhow to make a small tribute to Paul Woakes and that is what PolygonPlanet is for me.

The trick is to not bite off more than i can chew given that I am doing this solo at the moment.

So I am targeting extremely LOW-POLY terrain, envs and npcs which would be a time-sap. This will allow me to concentrate on game-play, story-telling and making the game come to life thru a couple of aspects that I would like to focus on:

  • beauty and realism thru movement rather than static detail.

  • therefore dynamic, real-time procedural animation rather than baked rig animations and blend curves.

  • npc interactions with the environment and with other npcs

  • player interaction with npcs via speech-to-text and text-to-speech APIs rather than button pressing (think "hello Alexa/Siri").

  • slow and thoughtful gameplay rather than "shoot-everything-that-moves". to this end i plan to have a hyper-real feel gameplay to accompany the hyper-non-real cartoon appearance; walking places will be tediously slow, there will be no third person perspective only first person, night time will be a significant period of felt play - deal with it. The screen will not have a UI overlay displaying score, energy etc but will mimic the experience of looking out from a motorbike helmet (space helmet).

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