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    #7dfps : some initial thoughts

    2012 - 06.04

    So, I’m quite excited about the thought of the 7 Day FPS Challenge. I’ve never actually written a first person shooter – most of the things I do tend to be abstract or in third person. So this gives me an excuse to play around in a new format. In anticipation of the event, I’ve been playing around with some ideas.

    The first one is procedurally generated levels – I’ve investigated a few ways of doing this. The first was using a procedural height map on a unity3d terrain object – and populating the island with different buildings. This was all well and fine. But I feel it has probably been done to death – esp with unity as a platofrm. I loved both Doom and Doom2, so felt maybe I wanted to focus on indoor levels. This lead me to using a tried and true cave generator algorithm with a slight adaption ( as I normally use it for 2d cave gen). After adding a couple of levels ontop of each other, the results were ok. Not very happy with it yet, but still mucking around seeing what I want to do with it 🙂

    3d level generation

    Definitely think I will be going with indoors levels – I may stay with this approach or use a series of prefabs linked together at run time. I want indoor levels because the second major idea I’m having is too make it a slightly scary game. Inspired by some of the feedback I’ve had on Trapped in a Box – I’m going for more box like characters – this is purely an art choice, and nothing to do with my lack of 3d modelling skills 🙂 ( Did I manage to pull that off with a straight face? )

    I put together this quickly in google sketchup ( not the best package for this kind of thing, but suits my prototyping skills nicely ) :


    Now, before you giggle – imagine you are in a dark dungeon environment. You feel so alone, you move from one burning torch to the other, trying to find a way out. Suddenly the torches around you go out, and you see two pin pricks of red light in the distance. They start moving towards you, speeding up, getting bigger and bigger, and then suddenly the torches splurt back to life and OMG IT’S A BOX WITH A SCARY FACE ON!

    Hardly Amnesia alas, but still will be interesting I feel. To confirm my suspension that I had created a monster more scary than the Weeping Angels I had the following conversation with my partner :

    Me : (Shows image) does this look scary or silly to you?
    Me : imagine it dark, glowing eyes
    Her : more scary than silly i think

    I truly have created a monster! The game play idea itself is going to be a pretty simple one. You destroys these, errm, boxes by shattering them apart. They drop certain magical and alchemical elements which you can then craft into making your own scary boxes, or improving yourself. As you explore the location, you find out clues about who you are, why you are here and where you need to go to escape. I’m toying around with the idea of some other cool things, but want to keep the design fairly open for now, as I’m sure 7 days will translate into about 2 about a bit with my current rl work load alas.

    So this is my current thinking 🙂 Let me know what you think 🙂