Hello all, I wanted to post today to share an exercise I worked on over the past week where I designed a Call of Duty: Cold War game mode.
My goals with this design were fairly simple: A multiplayer game mode that I could realistically see implemented into CoD CW based on 3 major factors:
it’s use of the game’s already present mechanical affordances, therefore simplicity of implementation
it’s uniqueness amongst already established game modes
the ways in which it encourages the purchase of premium content, and opens opportunities for further customization
A Call of Duty: Cold War Multiplayer Game Mode
by Aidan Takami
In each round, for a total of 2 rounds, teams take on the role of either Assassin or Survivor. The game is won by the team who survives the longest amount of time while playing as the Survivors. The Assassin team works together to hunt down the Survivors. The game is played on an extremely dark map. The Assassin team are afforded a better sense of surrounding/ability to traverse in the dark (night-vision goggles, strong flashlight, etc), whereas the Survivors are mostly unaided in their ability to navigate the darkness. Teams consist of 20 players.
Night Ops Game Specifics
Rounds capped at 15 minutes
Tiebreaker comes down to total scoring of teams based upon stats:
Open spaces are few and far between, and small in size
Most of map consists of small, easily missed, “hiding spaces” that fit no more than 2 players
Assassin team: Elite, powerful, fearless but tactical.
Survivor team: Uneasy, hunted, hyperaware.
Further Design Goals
Give more use to the new Melee weapons being added into Black Ops Cold War (my personal favorite mechanic) such as Sledgehammer or Wakizashi.
Lowering the lighting of the scene & the amount of visibility afforded to the Player in a multiplayer FPS is unique (to my knowledge)
Use of night vision fits the time period of Cold War, & could later be used as an additional layer of customization.
Example Game Scenarios
A game mode built for the win condition of most time survived, which allows Assassins to respawn and doesn’t allow Survivors, and also allows Assassins only melee weapons
“Night-vision” full screen camera effect/shader (or equivalent light source asset) for Assassins
Lesser strength light source asset for Survivors
Assets for unique map
Audio specific to the tactical/quiet nature of Night Ops
Audio associated with “night-vision” effect
More concealed versions of existing audio (to give effect of perceived stealth)
A map designed to be played with minimal to no lighting, with spawns together for Assassins & separate for Survivors
A comprehensive & specified scoring system to serve as tiebreaker
Number of rounds & round length
Strength of light given to bothe Assassins and Survivors
Respawn delay of Assassins
Playing with darkness can be tricky to get right. The amount of vision given to the players is a core feature of the Night Ops game mode, but if this isn’t done right it would be extremely frustrating to players. Darkness also may compromise the integrity of playing Night Ops competitively. A solution: by finding the right way to afford both teams vision, independently, the game darkness could become equally disadvantageous to all players on the same team.
Melee weapons are really fun, but Assassins may find it difficult to surprise Survivors/get the upper hand since Survivors have access to all their normal weapons. A solution: Increasing the speed of the Assassin team, or at least including it as a tunable value separate from the speed of the Survivor team, would perhaps lessen the difficulty and aid in the Assassins experience goal.
With minimal repercussions for dying, the Assassin team may abandon any attempts to be subtle/hidden. A solution: add a win state where the Assassin team runs out of a pool of lives, similar to Control, and must then forfeit the game.
Hello all! Happy winter! I wanted to write a post today to document and detail what I have been working on over my winter break from school! As I had briefly mentioned in my October Update, I am currently working on a Vertical Slice of a horror game, which is now confidently titled The Wicker. I have been working on this side project with 1 other developer since October, and we are approaching the final sprint of our development. I have worked as the only Engineer and have worked together with my partner (Alan Karbachinsky) on the design of this game. Additionally, we have been working with a composer, Zoe Morfas, to provide music and SFX for our highly sound centric design.
The Wicker is played on the Mouse and Keyboard, and experiments with using abstract environmental feedback as a means of communicating game state to the player. The experience goal of this game is to make the player feel as though they are attempting to solve a puzzle with a blindfold. A dark and constantly unsettled abstract arena is accompanied by another entity’s looming presence, causing discomfort and fear. Additionally, we hope to instill uneasiness in players through interpretation & understanding of environmental factors. Below, I would like to breakdown some of the nuances and highlights (in my personal opinion) of the design of my WIP game, The Wicker.
Players are spawned into a 3 dimensional environment, surrounded by suspended and spinning cubes (shown above). Players can walk through these suspended cubes, which disappear upon contact, but the player is slown down by this. The environment is dark, and players hear a constant ambiance “drone” (which is being played through a low pass). Players use general WASD movement and First Person mouse input to move and turn. Holding shift allows players to sprint, endlessly, but they are slowed to the same speed upon walking into a cube. Using the mechanics here and below, players are tasked with finding the seer eye, and delivering it to the socket. Both of these objectives are hidden in the game arena, which takes a sprinting player about 45 seconds to traverse along the x axis, and 25 along the y axis.
The Game Loop:
The “30 Second Test” Loop:
Create Tunnel – Left Click: Casts forth a conjured wall from the player, in the facing direction. This wall removes all suspended cubes it comes into majority contact with. This is used by players to create pathways down which they can move, unhindered by the slowing effect of the cubes. This wall moves much quicker than the player. This ability is on a 5 second cooldown.
Cast Light – Right Click: Casts forth a light orb from the player, in the facing direction. This light orb provides some light as it moves through the air, but upon contact with a cube it will turn that cube into a light cube, greatly illuminating the surrounding area. This light orb moves only slightly quicker than the player’s sprint speed, and will expire after 7 seconds uncontacted. This ability is on a 7 second cooldown.
Connect with Objective – Mouse Input: To understand where the current objective is located, players must use their mouse to look in a full circle, and proceed in the direction indicated by both an audio stimulus (low pass filter removed from the ambiance drone) and a UI indicator (a music note in the bottom right hand corner). This mechanic is a simple collider on the objective and raycast from the player forward, but I have attempted to utilize the affordances of this schematic to our advantage. The Objective (which has the collider on it) is programmed to manipulate the size of the collider, as well as just outright disable it for brief moments. This dynamicity adds a nice touch of uneasiness in one of our core mechanics. An example of this in action would be if a player is pursuing the direction in which they receive the auditory & visual cures, this is because their raycast is hitting the objective collider. but as they pursue that direction, their raycast may lose contact with the collider, causing their cues to cut out, and forcing them to realign to the movement of the objective collider. This mechanic is something I worked a lot on in the beginning of production, and I feel has turned out very fun. I was BEYOND excited to see an extremely similar (pretty much identical(and much more polished)) mechanic present in Spider Man: Miles Morales, released a few weeks ago (The Sound Sample minigame located throughout the map).
Players are being pursued. The spirit AI is trying to stop the player from bringing the eye to the socket, and although the AI itself is a simple navigation mesh agent, I have tried to create complexity through the affordances of such a style of pursuit. For those unfamiliar, nav-mesh agents are given a destination, and will pursue at a set speed, along specified meshes. In The Wicker, this destination is set every frame to be the player’s current location. However, since the player spends a majority of their time moving, this often leads to the AI approaching the player from behind. This was something we didn’t want, as we thought the player should always be able to witness the spirit…. atleast a little. Instead, I began to view the nav-mesh agent component of the enemy as more of a dynamic timer: in a constant pursuit of the player, at a manipulated speed, but with the mesh renderer disabled entirely, and just counting down until it will trigger an actual enemy encounter. This count down is dynamic because it is affected by the player’s movement. In more plain terms: The nav-mesh agent has no visual representation while it is in pursuit of the player. The enemy is simply an invisible collider in pursuit of the player… however, once this AI reaches the player, this begins what we have dubbed the encounter sequence, which is where the player will actually run the risk of being dragged to their death by the spirit.
Once the invisible nav mesh agent has reached the player’s position, 1 of 2 things can happen.
The first thing: The AI is teleported to 1 of 5 positions in front of the player, and an encounter begins. The encounter is indicated by an audio cue (screams), an environmental cue (change of color of light cubes and directional light), a “juice” cue (camera shake), and then of course the appearance of the enemy. The enemy’s mesh renderer becomes enabled during an encounter sequence, and the enemy is now pursuing the player head on. The teleport locations are relative to the player’s position & rotation, and are at such a distance from the player that the enemy spawning is un-rendered by the player camera. Additionally, there is a slight (purposeful) delay between the enemy appearing and the cues listed above^. This is done to help time-up the player & AI’s encounter with the mood shift of the level, while still indicating to the player that they are in immediate danger. This style of encounter ends when either the player creates enough distance between themselves and the AI, or the AI catches the player. This sequence can also be escaped by placing the eye in the socket, and thus winning the game.
The second thing that can happen is the AI “fakes out” the player. In an effort to create the mood of uneasiness, I added this style of encounter which has the same probability as all other encounters (specifically the AI is either teleported to 1 of the 5 positions above, or sent into this “fake out” sequence). In the fake out sequence, the enemy is first made visible far out in front of of the player. This is where the “encounter” cues are enabled, all the same as the above encounter type, but with the use of a specific audio. The AI’s position is then lerped from there to directly in front of the player. Right before it runs through the player, the enemy vanishes, a low pass filter is applied to the specified audio, and the bot is teleported to it’s spawn location. Then the encounter sequence ends (the AI becomes invisible and all encounter indicators are disabled).
Here I’d like to share the progression of the “fake out” in a few gifs.. Please ignore T-pose, still in development! Top: Experimenting with working a “fake” encounter into my existing system. Middle: Added position lerp and environmental reaction. Bottom: Added a new shader meant to conceal the unrealistic movement of a direct position lerp.
To avoid the simplicity of the generic nav mesh agent pursuit, I created a unique movement scheme meant to give the agent a more frightful approach (in one of the normal encounters). So, just to clarify, while the enemy AI is invisible (and essentially a dynamic timer), this movement scheme is NOT being used. This movement solution is only for when an actual encounter (non fake out) begins. The first thing I did was give the AI 6 children locations (which move relative to the AI’s position) that it could choose to move to. All are in front of the AI (aka the direction it is heading), with 3 to the AI’s left and then 3 mirrored on it’s right. Then, I placed the AI’s movement in a thread where, upon reaching a set time interval, it will teleport itself to one of the nearby child locations, randomly. This worked well, and was very promising with how unsettling the movement felt, but it was still rusty and missing something.
To try and mask the obvious teleporting of position, created a second thread within the initial one mentioned above. This thread will be called once per movement interval, and essentially applies 1 of the 3 shaders we have for our enemy, randomly. Our enemy shader is brilliant, and the only thing in this game we have not produced ourselves. All credit to Inan Evin on the Unity Asset Store. This “glitch” shader proved to be very customizable, and we were easily able to transform them into proper “horror” material. Adding these shaders into the movement quickly made the movement more fear inciting, as well as masked up the “transitions” in the movement scheme I had built. Here’s a gif of it all put together!
Abstract Environmental Feedback in The Wicker
One of the core features of The Wicker that I have not yet touched on is the significance of the spinning cubes. This is one of the many things in our environment which we are trying to use to communicate the game state to the player. With The Wicker, we set out to toe the line of how little information we would directly be giving to the player for them to understand our complex game. This has proven an immense task in design, but one of the ways we chose to address this was using the environment to communicate with the player. The ways in which we have chosen to do this are all in pursuit of an visual aesthetic goal of minimalism, and other worldly-ness, and “play feel” aesthetic of curiosity & fulfillment, relying heavily on pattern recognition, and all with a tone of horror, of course!
The spinning cubes, and more specifically the speed at which the cubes rotate represents how close the enemy AI is to the player IN ALL STATES. So even while the AI is invisible, and a dynamic timer, the cubes are still spinning relative to how close the AI is to the player’s position (with SODA I’m sure you see how this is so easy). Managing literally thousands of cubes is no small task, and I opted out of using ECS. So all of the managing of my cubes comes down to rigorous abstraction from cube, to individual “storm unit” (around 90 cubes), and then to a storm manager. The storm manager controls which cubes are rendered (once again relative to players location(SODA, DUDE!)). The storm manager also dishes out the tick to each individual storm unit, which then rotates each cube accordingly. The spinning of the cubes set out to do 2 things: Tell the player about their position relative to AI and incite an uneasiness/faster pace while the AI is near.
The lights in The Wicker are another facet through which we try to communicate the game state to the player. As can be seen in many of the gifs above, the default lighting color of all lights in the game is either a bright purple(player spawn light), or a purplish-pink(lights cast by player). However, upon an enemy encounter, all lights in the scene are changed to a deep red for the duration of the encounter. This, in turn, not only signals to the player the beginning of an encounter, but the end to one as well. This feature of the lights is what adds the most value to the “Cast Light” mechanic. Ideally, players are using their lights throughout the duration of the game, and by placing them throughout the arena they are able to better understand the state of their encounter. In addition to turning the light cubes color, other environmental lights are also signaled on the event of an encounter, and switch to the same deep red. This includes the spawn light and the directional light.
The ambiance is another extremely important indicator to the player. While the player is faced away from the current objective, the ambiance audio (a mild drone and occasional chirps) is played under a low pass audio filter. However, when the player is facing the current objective, the frequency cutoff of the low pass is disabled, creating a noticeable jump in audio, which is also synced up with a UI indication on the player’s screen. In our playtesting, we found that allowing players both the visual and audio cue made it easier to understand that there may be an interest in continuing that direction. Our use of the ambiance in this way has become one of the integral features to one of our core mechanics, “connect with objective”.
Tutorialization of Our Unconventional Game
Up to this point, all I have discussed is what me and my peer consider to be the actual game, however it is not the only part of our experience. In fact, it’s not the front facing part of the experience at all. Players spawn into The Wicker in the “Hub”. This hub is where we have placed all the tutorialization of our game. The Wicker has not been an easy game to teach people… as I’m sure you understand at this point in the post! There is a lot of intended “learn on your own” moments. With that said, we have worked hard to tutorialize in a way that would remain true to our aesthetic goals, and came onto 5 main solutions. Within the hub, players are not pursued, and they interact with the environment to become familiar with their surroundings, before being led to a teleport into the “actual” game.
Interactable environmental “signs” in the hub, which host pop-up text, are an extremely effective way of communicating a LOT of information while remaining within an extremely realistic scope. Through a simple event based prefab, multiple of these were placed around the hub. To stay to the intended aesthetic, the text is carefully written, and my teammate has modeled an awesome “obelisk” with etchings on the side, which are tied to the interactable text pop-up. These give our hub some visual depth, as well as a platform from which we can communicate necessary tutorial information to the player’s who seek to complete the experience.
Scrolling mechanic explanation HUDs at the bottom of the screen, which are only present while in the hub, have become a useful tool for us. We use this “scrolling text” (4 tips which alternate in 5 second intervals of being displayed at the bottom of the screen) as an opportunity to explain the core mechanics of our game, as well as delineate the Hub area from the main game. When players enter the “actual” game, this UI disappears completely, but reappears as soon as the player is back in the hub. This is meant to create a more “tutorial” representation of the hub in the player’s mind, and separate it from the actual experience.
Theeye and socket serves 2 great purposes. Firstly, it allows players to interact with the eye & socket mechanism, which helps create familiarity when they encounter it in the “actual” game. Secondly, once the player places the eye in the hub socket, a light appears and leads them towards a bright light in the distance. Upon approaching that light, players hear a “drone” noise getting louder and louder. As the players walk into the blindingly bright light, the noise now begins to gain heavy bass (as a low pass filter is lifted). Just as the noise reaches max volume and weight, it cuts completely silent. The screen remains blinded by light, but the player has actually been teleported out of the hub, and into the main game arena for the beginning of the game.
A splash screen was good enough for Start Wars, so it’s good enough for us. By splash screen I mean at the beginning of the game, when the player enters from the menu, a chunk of text pops up on their screen. The text is meant to heavily adhere to our aesthetic, but beneath the cryptic language it depicts the general goal of the game. Bring the seer eye to the socket. Additionally, having this text upon entry into the game helps to set the narrative tone of the game.
A comprehensive narrative direction is foundational to all the other solutions listed above, as it helps us adhere completely to our aesthetic goals, and create an equally unsettling and intriguing experience for the player. Additionally, writing some background on the world in which The Wicker takes place has helped give us a narrative voice through which we can use to communicate with the player, while staying true to our aesthetic goals.
The Wicker has been a real amazing game to work on. I have enjoyed both the engineering and design side of the project, and am excited to see it finally taking a form which is more true to our expectations for the project. As I mentioned above, we are entering the final sprint in this coming week, and plan to have a “release candidate” build probably sooner than that 2 week sprint ends. I will absolutely be posting the itch link here, and it will of course be free. I’d like to leave you, for now, with a gameplay video! This will hopefully be good reference for understanding all the audio mentioned above. Thanks for reading, and have a great day!
Hello all, I’m very excited to announce today that I have finished up the production on Boomer & Zoomer, which is a 2 person endless runner that I worked on over the summer. I worked on the project as the sole engineer and primary designer, and worked alongside 2 fantastic teammates. A Composer, Zoe Morfas. and a 3D modeler & Designer Alan Karbachinsky. I was very lucky to work with them, and the game would not be where it is now if I hadn’t had these really talented people working with me. That said..
Boomer & Zoomer is a game which I played pretty much every single role on aside from 3D models/Animation and music. I’m not saying this to sound cocky… I hate the thought of that. I’m saying it because it is pertinent to the understanding of where the rest of this blog post will be going, which is a postmortem of my experience creating the 2 player endless runner that is Boomer & Zoomer. With all that said, I’m super proud to present you all with Boomer & Zoomer!
I encourage you to at least watch the above game play video before continuing to read the rest of this post! And… Download the game too!
Boomer & Zoomer Postmortem
It’s time to cut the bullshit. Boomer & Zoomer will from hereon be referred to as “B&Z“. Additionally, Player 1 will refer to the dog player (Zoomer), and player 2 to the boomerang player(Boomer). Sound good?
Creating fun through mechanics is perhaps, in my eyes, the most crucial pinnacle in design. If what the player is doing isn’t fun, what’s the point? If you can make what the player is mechanically doing while they play the game always fun, then that game will always be fun. And then we can get art in there to make it look good too!
B&Z started as an attempt to test the limits of the endless runner genre. Endless runners are generally associated with mobile games, single player, directional mechanics only. B&Z is a game meant to be played with Xbox controllers, by 2 players, which includes a combat system. And this is how it was designed to be, back when the project started in June! As far as features which we had planned and didn’t implement, there were none! In fact, feel free to checkout the Game Design Doc here! That is perhaps the most impressive thing about this project. In the attempt to push how an endless runner functions, I tried to rely heavily on a set of stable mechanics. These mechanics were the player’s throwing & catching interaction, the player’s abilities (& token system), and the player’s distinct movement styles.
Given that I feel so strongly about the mechanics in games, I would like to use this postmortem as an opportunity to reflect on the core mechanics which I listed above, from the perspective of both the designer & engineer.
Throwing and Catching
The interaction is simple, but core to B&Z. To throw: Player 2 uses their left stick to aim the the indicator projected in front of the players. Player 1 then taps A to start the throw towards the aimed area. Time immediately screeches to a quarter of it’s former speed. That’s right, we got SLOW MO! The camera begins to pull out from the tight focus on just Zoomer, as Boomer has now entered the playing field. Player 2 is hurled forward, moving ahead of Player 1. Boomer is moving faster than Zoomer, but is equally in slow motion. Any enemy (water balloon) or rope in the path from Player 2 to the aim indicator is obliterated as sparks fly everywhere. Player 2 has just been thrown! And time resumes normal speed.
To catch: Player 2 must navigate within 1m range of Player 1. Player 2 must hold down A and have it held while Player 1 taps A. This will complete the process of Zoomer catching Boomer! Players hear a quick click sound accompanied by an extremely quick but powerful controller vibration to confirm they’ve made the connection. The camera quickly transitions into the previous “Zoomer Only” view, and Boomer regains control of their aim indicator.
As the designer of these mechanics, looking back I think that I could’ve used stronger visual representations of the unique catching mechanic. While it’s simple in idea, testing proved that a lot of players struggled with that coordination. While the player’s “action logs” tell the players when they’re in range of pulling off a catch, it doesn’t visually represent what the boomerang player must do vs what the dog player must do. It does say it in text. But images and animated control UI really helps players understand unique mechanics such as this, and I wish that I had put something like that in. Additionally, I wish I had added more feedback for the throw process. While I like the slow mo, I feel like something is still missing from the feeling of the mechanic.
Throwing and catching were very fun to work out in code, as I got to work with state machines which heavily depended on one another’s state. I talk a lot about that here, but basically my main reflections on these mechanics as an engineers is that I wish I had finer tuned the sensitivity of Player 2’s aim. The game is meant to be played with an Xbox controller, and therefore a joystick, but as the developer I spent most of my time playing on the keyboard controls. I feel player 2’s aim is the mechanic that took the hardest hit from this crucial misstep in my development process. The aim runs on the typical joystick scale of (-1) – (1), but the aim function is unfortunately not properly scaled to the speed at which a joystick moves through these values, resulting in the aim being extremely sensitive and fast to snap around on aiming,
Player abilities were a wildcard in the design process. I was unsure exactly how they would turn out, because I hadn’t fully thought them out until I sat down to make them. That said, the end result I’m really proud of. The abilities in this game depend upon ability tokens gathered while playing. I tried to first associate heavy feedback with collecting the ability tokens. I did this with crumbs flying everywhere when the player collects them, a satisfying click sound, & with a subtle vibration to the player who collected the token. This feedback is then meant to reach a big “payout” when player’s use their tokens. A description of all player abilities can be found in the above design doc, but for our purposes I’ll break down Zoomer’s Shock Attack. The shock attack sends a flurry of lightning across the ground and sparks up into the sky, as all nearby water balloons melt away. In addition to the visual feedback, the player receives a really nice ($3) shocking sound and controller vibration ringing so long as the ground is laced with lightning. Of all the mechanics in my game, I believe the ability mechanics to be the most fun simply because of the assortment of feedback and dynamics presented into the game through them. That said, nothing is without flaw.
If I were to have a second shot at making these mechanics I would better map out how they would interact with one another. I formed each ability independent of the others, and because of that none of them are specifically designed to interact with one another. Of course the dynamics generated by my abilities and how they do interact are really cool and fun! But the abilities were not designed with that specific intent/interaction in mind. I would like to see what abilities would have looked like if I had considered allowing them to interact / play off one another.
The primary reflection I have on the engineering side of the ability mechanics is how I stored the particle systems & visual effects used by the ability tokens and abilities themselves. I wish that I had taken the time to build out a better system for instantiating and storing instances of these specific particle sysyems. The way it works right now, unfortunately, is each token collection instantiates a new particle system, but these are unpooled and remain assigned to the specific instance of that token. When I made this I knew it was not efficient, and I’ve written object poolers in the past, but I just got lazy on this one and I really do regret it.
One of the things I learned the most about in the production of B&Z is that about the importance & difficulty in pinpointing perfect player movement, From the design approach, I wanted the boomerang to feel free and fast. Meanwhile, the dog was to be easy to control and “medium” speed. One of the main design points of the game is that the boomerang player can move along the forward to back axis while the dog player is locked moving forward at a constant rate. This was the gameplay idea that started the entire project, and I’m still very happy with it.
Things I would do differently is a loaded question… mostly because the things I would do differently I wouldn’t be able to do myself, & therefore couldn’t have done for this project. But the main highlight would be stronger visual representation of the player’s movements. Both the boomerang and dog. For Zoomer, I would’ve liked to have an animation to better represent the player’s left and right movement. Right now, the dog just rotates and faces the direction they’re moving, but it doesn’t look great because the dog moves forward at a constant rate. On the reverse end, the boomerang is difficult to see. I added an indicator over the boomerang for when they are reaching questionable visual territory and it helps. But it doesn’t fix the issue that the boomerang itself is hard to see. My solution to this (If I had unlimited resources) would to be creating some sort of secondary camera overlay. Not even necessarily meant to be the main camera used by Boomer but more-so a supplementary angle from above their location, helping them identify their own surroundings. Then ideally taking that second camera output to dynamically work with the current player positions to display additional input for Player 2. However, that would be out of the scope of this already kind of out of scope plan, and would take a lot of dedication to get to work right.
This game was made in Unity, and in Unity we use Rigidbodies to enact physics on our game object. One of the big turning points in the engineering of this game is when I decided to remove the rigidbody from my player game objects, thus removing them from the physics of the scene. Instead I moved the players using their transform, and directly feeding the player objects a new location each frame, for each player. Having control of the player’s location like that allowed me to build my own sort of constraints on player movement that I like to think turned out pretty well, especially in the case of the boomerang. The movement is meant to reflect the unpredictability of a boomerang… while also remaining fair and in the control of the player. It slows down and speeds up at random intervals and flies in small circular rotations within a larger space, taking up more room that its unmoving collider.
B&Z took a lot of effort and hard work, but I feel that it shows in the final product. No game is ever really finished, but in B&Z’s case we set out with specific intentions, clearly planned out scope & schedule, and defined personal goals, and I believe that is showcased in the final project, making this game complete to us.
My personal goals were to try and test myself creatively, to work on my ability to think up & build out fun mechanics, and to fit this all into a well thought out & efficient game architecture. While nothing is ever perfect, I am satisfied with effort toward achieving these goals. For a personal project over the summer, I’m very happy with the outcome.
I am so grateful to have worked with such a great team, who really brought this game to life artistically. Boomer & Zoomer can be downloaded above!
Hello All, I hope everyone is at least as well as the last time I posted on here, hopefully even better. I wanted to write here today to update on my current projects. I am happy to announce that Liquidators, a yearlong project I have been lucky enough to be the lead producer of, has released a playable and open demo, for free. I would love to have support from my site and receive feedback on this game! It is a survival horror game based on the real life events which followed the reactor meltdown at Chernobyl. The demo can be downloaded HERE.
I will of course keep my site in the loop about this game, as we plan for a steam release this summer, hopefully. However, this is a site dedicated to my personal code and projects so I will carry on to stuff that you will definitely find less interesting than a nuclear reactor survival horror game which is literally free right up there ^. You could play it for FREE but you’re still reading this? Fine, if you’ve made it this far lets talk about scriptable objects and how I’ve been using them in my Finite State Machines in a separate, yet still cool, side project.
A little about this “side” project:
Been in production for almost 3 weeks
I’m working as the only engineer, Game being built in Unity, Being built for gamepad controllers (using primitive input system (I know))
it’s a 2 player endless runner
Player 1(Dog) can choose when to throw player 2(Boomerang)
Boomerang player aims themselves before throw
Dog player only has control of left and right movement, constantly moving forward
Boomerang player can control left, right, and forward back, still constantly moving forward, just at adjusted rate
Players try to survive as long as possible
Each have abilities they can use to help each other
“Tokens” used when using ability
Cylinder is enemy only boomeang can kill, kills dog. Wall blockades kill both
Here’s a clip:
So here, you could imagine there are a few player states. Specifically, a state for each player when the boomerang is with the dog, for when the dog and boomerang are separate, and for when the boomerang dies and the dog persists. A Finite State Machine helps us out here because none of these states will be coexisting. So, each player will have their own instance of a StateMachine, which takes an iState, and they must communicate with one another, to ensure they are in proper states at all times, since one of their states being out of sync would inherently break the other’s state (since their controls are dependent upon one another).
If you have read my other posts here , or here, or here, or here or- okay you get it.. If you’ve seen those posts or the title of this one, you know that I love SODA. So given our state machine above, SODA fits into this very well. The first issue presented above is that our state machines must know the state of one another. SODA Events really help us with this here. When the dog throws the boomerang, it’s an event. The dog script doesn’t even communicate with the boomerang script directly. It simply invokes that event, and the GameEventListener on the Boomerang is quick to respond, switching to its “free” state, after a throwing thread, of course. This exists for all my state transitions here, except for the boomerang being caught by the Dog for that requires a synchronous tap of a button by both players. But you can see how that would ensure our State machine stay in our intended state.
The next BIG help from SODA in these FSMs is that my IntVariable type, the Scriptable Object int I’ve made, can be passed into my states, where they have free access to the value they need, and receive all live updates to that number via that reference. Confused? Imagine this: My dog player location is stored in my Vector3Variable Scriptable Object. In my state constructor, I take a type Vector3Variable _playerLocation. Now _playerLocation.value will be a reference to the exact spot in memory where my Player Location value is stored. Whether I just want to access it, or even adjust it, that value is live, and feeding into any other script that may need that live number. This is huge because normally I would have to make a reference to my player in every script that needs that number, and store it again in that script. Furthermore, by taking it in the state constructor, I don’t have to pester my player script to retrieve it every frame, because in the case of a value that is changed elsewhere, my state script will receive that update instantly through the magic of SODA!
I hope this makes sense, but in case it doesn’t, here’s some code:
//This is a state for player 1's movement, while the boomerang is in its backpack
//Here you have my declaration of the Variables I will need in this State
//Protecting these variables calmed down an empty value warning I was gettig
protected Vector3Variable _dogLocation;
//Player speed can be changed at any time
protected FloatVariable _playerSpeed;
//Player can move, or not
protected BoolVariable _playerCanMove;
//Reference to Dog script
protected DogPlayerMovement _player;
public ISDogRunning (Vector3Variable dogLocation, FloatVariable playerSpeed, BoolVariable playerCanMove, DogPlayerMovement player)
//Simply taking the references I have, and setting equal to the Variable I need
_dogLocation = dogLocation;
_playerSpeed = playerSpeed;
_playerCanMove = playerCanMove;
_player = player;
//This is my state Tick, run every frame
public void OnStateTick ()
//Moves player forwards
_player.transform.Translate (Vector3.forward * Time.deltaTime * _playerSpeed);
//Allows player to move LR
_player.transform.Translate (Vector3.right * Time.deltaTime * Input.GetAxis ("P1Left Stick Horizontal") * horizontalMovementMod);
//Throw boomerang when A pressed
//Keyboard controls for debug
if (Input.GetButtonDown ("P1A Button") || Input.GetKeyDown (KeyCode.E))
//Tells player to throw
//Reads for player using ability
if (Input.GetButtonDown ("P1B Button") || Input.GetKeyDown (KeyCode.R))
//Allows player to switch through abilities
if (Input.GetButtonDown ("P1X Button") || Input.GetKeyDown (KeyCode.F))
//Gets player's aim
//This state actually reads input from player 2 as well, as aiming component was initially part of dog
//Axis is between -1 and 1, adding 1 and then dividing by 2 to get complete input
aimLocation = Vector3.Lerp (_player.GetLeftAimLimit (), _player.GetRightAimLimit (), ((Input.GetAxis ("P2Left Stick Horizontal")) + 1) / 2);
//Will rotate arrow assigned to plauer
//Puts aim point at aim locations
aimPointGO.transform.position = aimLocation;
//Updates player's location
_dogLocation.value = _player.transform.position;
Hello all! I know I know, more than 1 post in the span of a month? How lucky are you! Well the answer is you’re not, because my last post was a month and a week ago now… so calm down, you. But I do bring some cool stuff to share! Ever heard of Object Pooling in Unity? In brief: If you have a GameObject which you’re constantly creating new copies of and then destroying right after, such as a projectile or an effect, it can be really unnecessarily taxing on your CPU. So an Object Pool just instantiates all necessary instances of the GameObject at the start of the game, and just recycles them, setting them active and inactive when needed, and expanding if necessary, much like an ArrayList, to accommodate however many instances of the object your game needs.
I’m just beginning work as an engineer on a game with some of my friends at school. For now we have dubbed the game “Project Rat”, and this game is why I’ve built this Object Pooler! It’s a really easy object to build but I’ll talk a little about it. I’d like to also start by saying that I read and learned about Object Pooling from Mark Placzek. To start, we define an ObjectPoolItem Class which contains an Int that defines the initial size, a GameObject which will hold the prefab that is to be pooled, and then a bool to represent if we want this size to be dyamic, or a fixed value.
From here we define the ObjectPooler Class, which is a monoBehaviour. Here we declare the List that will be our pool, as well as the List that will contain all of the pools, for easy access by the GameManager. The pool list is then instantiated in Start(), where we then have a loop instantiating as many copies of the GameObject as defined in our ObjectPoolItem (both the GameObject and the size are defined there). In this loop the newly instantiated GameObject is set inactive then added to our List.
And… That’s really it! Then just create a function that takes a string of the tag of item being sought, and returns the first instance of an item with that tag which isn’t already .activeInHeirarchy(). It’s here that we can also create a check on the size of the List and compare it to how far we have to go into our List to get a new GameObject, and decide if we want the List to expand or not, using the bool we defined in the ObjectPoolItem, and just instantiating a new GameObject as we did in Start().
Sweet! Now you just need to keep in mind that the Object Pooler is storing inactive GameObjects, so however you call them you must remember to set them active! And then set inactive once they are no longer in use so that they may be recycled by our object pool! Here’s some code:
//Declares necessary values
public class ObjectPoolItem
public int amountToPool;
public GameObject objectToPool;
public bool expand = true;
public class ObjectPooler : MonoBehaviour
public static ObjectPooler SharedInstance;
//Declares List to hold pools
public List<ObjectPoolItem> listOfPools;
//Declares List to hold GameObjects
private List<GameObject> objectPool;
SharedInstance = this;
objectPool = new List<GameObject>();
foreach (ObjectPoolItem item in listOfPools)
// Instantiates the "Object to pool". sets inactive, and stores in List for number in amountToPool
for (int rep = 0; rep < item.amountToPool; rep++)
GameObject obj = (GameObject)Instantiate(item.objectToPool);
//Returns an INACTIVE instance of the pooled object, need to match tag
//Can also specify when to expand and when not to.
public GameObject GetPooledObject(string tag)
//Cycles through active and inactive elements in List
for (int rep = 0; rep < objectPool.Count; rep++)
if (!objectPool[rep].activeInHierarchy && objectPool[rep].tag == tag)
//expands necesary lists all at once
foreach (ObjectPoolItem item in listOfPools)
if (item.objectToPool.tag == tag)
GameObject obj = (GameObject)Instantiate(item.objectToPool);
Hello all! Obligatory blog maintenance: I want to start of this post by saying that I hope you’ve been enjoying my content lately. It’s been a little different for me, but I’ve been really delving into the design side of everything to do with games lately, and I always want to be sure that I’m creating content that I find most interesting at the moment, for that is the content that will end up the strongest finished product. Not that I’m not in to coding & development right now! I’m still very much active in my Unity & XCode files! I just don’t have much interesting content to be posting for you all at this moment! That being said:
Hello all! I recently got a new tattoo! It’s a scene from my favorite movie of all time: Princess Mononoke. Ever since a young age I have been genuinely captivated by the work of Miyazaki, and this fascination has grown to an all out obsession. If you’re unfamiliar with Hayao Miyazaki, he’s a Japanese animator and story teller, one of the co founders of Studio Ghibli. Responsible for many timeless titles, if you’re unfamiliar I highly suggest giving some of the movies a watch. Miyazaki, and his peers at Studio Ghibli, have a supreme ability to create riveting storylines, stunning scenery, inconceivably complex worlds, and most relevant to this post; perfectly imperfect characters.
We all know the terms “Round” and “Flat” characters. They are the building blocks for character criticism across all media. In theory, creating a round character really is not supposed to be very difficult. “Winnipeg the sheep herder hates wolves until she is forced to live 3 weeks in their shoes(paws?) and now POOF she understands it, and never hates wolves again”. This is the basis for every “round” character. Add some notable complexity (her mother was killed by a wolf) and personality (she’s SO quirky) to the story and there you have it: she’s perfectly round, and likely the protagonist in any way that the story is told. What these adjectives fails to acknowledge, however, is the complete and utter lack of depth shown in the development of the character. On the other side of the spectrum: “Dale is a grumpy tag-along in an epic adventure with 2 strangers, which he spends the majority of bitching and moaning about having to be on this adventure. He never changes. Nobody likes him. He is the same, through and through”. Dale is a perfectly flat character. Likely thought of as the antagonist, or at least a character consistently shown in a negative light. Such a simple character design, so boring, yet we see this exact character in SO MANY movies, books, and video games. Obviously, this is a subjective matter, but I’m going off of the basis of what is generally considered to be a round or a flat character.
To further the understanding of round & flat characters here’s some famous examples:
Forest Gump- He begins his journey as just a slow boy from Alabama, but through his travels, experiences, the people he meets, and the situations he gets himself in to, by the end of the story we see him as a completely different person. He is charming, successful, insightful, and loving. He is a well rounded character. He is almost entirely good, with very little negative and is definitely the protagonist of his story.
The Emperor- Evil and cunning, the main villain from the Star Wars original 3 is a perfectly flat character. He is evil, predictable, and the same character throughout the entirety of the series. An obvious antagonist, he will never change and dies a committed villain.
Now let me introduce you to an idea, not one of my own but since I don’t know what to call it, I will refer to them as “Deep Characters”. Remember all the business about Miyazaki and Ghibli up top? Well, this is where I will tie it all in. I believe that the best characters have so much more to them than just the simple tags of “protagonist” & “antagonist”. In fact, it’s anti-creativity, in my opinion, to fill these roles as such. There is no truly bad person on this planet. There are some TERRIBLE people, don’t get me wrong. But human beings are inherently driven by incentive. Even if that incentive is not perceived by a logical thinking human, there is a reason for everything somebody does. Everyone has this depth. So why then do we often see characters in popular media only shown in one light, only good or bad? Don’t you think that Bowser has a side to his tale? Don’t you think that maybe Thanos has some logic behind his actions? I think this is because we, as consumers, like to see a definite evil, and a definite good. We like to know what side to root for. This is where Mr. Miyazaki has made himself different in the world of entertainment. There is an undeniable complexity to EVERY character in EVERY Miyazaki directed film since 1986. And that is something I would argue in to the grave. Characters in Miyazaki’s films blur the line between hero and villain, so much so that I feel that the term of “Round” character does not suit them well. Most of these characters change in many ways for the better, but most of them also remain the same in ways too, or will even change in ways the put them in a more negative light, as is true in humans. Miyazaki makes it a point that no character in his films is ever truly evil through and through. They are simply fighting for what they believe in. Fighting for what they want. I’ll try and list as many examples here as I can, for I realize that some may not be familiar with these films, but hopefully with enough examples you may all be able to understand the essence of Miyazaki’s deep characters.
Lady Eboshi, Princess Mononoke-
While generally thought of as the antagonist of the film, Lady Eboshi is beloved by her townspeople, who are extremely friendly, helpful, and understanding of the protagonist, Ashitaka, throughout the film. While she is responsible for the havoc of the film, when the resolution is not in her favor, she is quick to admit defeat, and even apologize to those who were killed in her efforts.
No Face, Spirited Away-
Probably the best and most well known example of this character type. No Face is the dominant antagonist for the beginning half of the film, yet is quick to become a friend to the protagonist, Chihiro, once he has left the Bath House, which is the source of his psychosis. He is from then on a beloved, sweet, and polite character, speechless, yet adored by those who surround him.
Yubaba, Spirited Away-
Yubaba is a villain, concurrent with No Face, but she also helps save the bath house, and all of it’s occupants, from No Face. She remains the “villain” for the remainder of the film, but she is one of the first to congratulate Chihiro in her triumph by the end of the film, readily admitting defeat.
Porco Rosso, Porco Rosso-
First off, if you haven’t seen this film, but are a fan of Studio Ghibli, this is a must watch. By far one of the best movies I have ever seen. Porco is the definition of a flawed hero. Rude, bitter, and playing by only his own rules, Miyazaki does a brilliant job of focusing on his triumphs as well as his flaws, leaving the viewer to question just how heroic this hero is.
Howl, Howl’s Moving Castle-
Howl is another flawed hero. While he is beloved by Sophie and his peers, he is being hunted by the royal family for theft. He is essentially a vigilante, and this is not revealed until midway through the film. Miyazaki chooses to show him in both a villainous and a heroic light, and switches this up a few times in the film, which is an extremely interesting choice. That along with the mystery surrounding his character, it truly is up to the viewer to interpret his intentions.
I hope that you have all enjoyed my little rant here. I am just a huge believer in the importance of complexity within a character. A character that a viewer can become attached to, relate to, and ultimately see living in our own reality is a perfect character, in my eyes. I feel this way about all of the characters in Miyazaki’s films, and feel like this is perhaps something that the video game industry could use more of. Not to say we don’t have lovable characters, but a story driven game needs depth driven characters, and I feel like I haven’t seen much of that recently. But I digress. Heres a picture of the scene I’ve gotten tattooed! Once again, I can’t recommend these films enough, they are a haven for story telling, and truly an example of peak creativity.
I’m a game enthusiast. I love all things video game. I love gameplay, I love design, I love characters, and I love experimenting with ideas that pop into my head as something that could be interesting. Multi Player Battle Arenas, or MOBAs are a game type which has risen to extreme popularity in the competitive field (think League of Legends) as well as the casual gaming community over the last 10 years or so. The game has extreme roots in RTS games, which are some of my favorites. The style of MOBA games can be seen across many popular games today. Battle Royale games are really just large scale MOBAs in a way. Now before you get all pissy and rage on me for comparing Fortnite to DOTA 2, please hear me out: The idea of an even playing field upon entering a multiplayer lobby, as well as accumulating gear and perks along the way is very similar in both genres. Royale games have no respawn option generally, however, and definitely don’t have as strong of an emphasis on strategy, just simply due to the structured “free play” of the game.
If this is your first introduction to the idea of a MOBA, the I highly recommend reading this before continuing. I will also cite that the ideas that follow have been implemented in some games already, google Paragon. But I genuinely feel that they have not been created in a manner that would allow them to be successful on a large scale.
First Person MOBA
The basic schematics of this game would be 2 teams of 5, with 2 bases, and of course bot soldiers on a synchronized release from their respective bases. Unique characters will be chosen by each team. The game would rely heavily on a standard class system:
DPS: Moderately armored, heavy damage, offensively oriented specials.
Support: Low to moderate armor, low to moderate damage, support oriented specials.
The 5 player team system will allow for a vast array of team compositions to arise. Maps will be based around 3 main paths that the AI would follow, and as per most MOBAs, the middle alley will be more heavily pushed by AI than the longer outer ones. Each path will lead to both bases. Each base is protected by 2 tiers of defensive towers, which attack enemies as they invade, with crushing strength. Finally, the base where players respawn is also home to the “heart” of the team, which will fight back, but once destroyed will mark a victory for the attacking team.
This is where the idea deviates most. First person perspective would bring in an entirely unique style of play, sense of mobility, and greatly affect the players awareness to flanks, cover, and strategy. Every character will have a primary attack which will require targeting. No more click & unleash. The speed at which the game is player will require players to know their characters, understand both the primary and specials, and adjust accordingly in the first person. Maps will contain FPS style cover, scalable structures, and players will be able to (and forced to at times) take advantage of vantage points built into the maps.
In addition to this, the game will incorporate a simple leveling system, starting at 1 and maxing out at 15. Each AI kill will gain the player a little XP, whereas each Player kill will yield much greater XP rewards. The player’s level will add to their max health, improve special attacks, and even give a currency boost at levels 5 and 10. While a higher level can still easily be taken out by a lower level player, the odds are not necessarily in the lower level’s favor. Leveling up is easiest at first, progressively requiring more and more XP for the next upgrade, but by the end of a full match, players will generally be around levels 9 – 15, depending on how long the match goes on for.
The in match shop will allow players to purchase items best suited to their style of play, character, and situation within the match. No drops are implemented, and the only thing to be found on the battlefield is currency to help boost the speed at which you may purchase these items. Currency will accrue at a standard rate for all players, unless a player with a passive to expedite currency generation is present. In the shop, players will find armor, items to speed up primary attack/heal speed, items to increase damage/heal strength, items which grant new abilities such as a temporary shield on a cool down, items to increase run speed, items they can use to relieve them of ailments, as well as much more. Players will have a limited inventory based purely in quantity, and, if the player would like to, the same item may be purchased until their inventory is full. Items may be upgraded into better and stronger versions for less currency, destroying the original.
With the basics for this game laid out above, I would like to share some ideas for playable characters that I have thought up, which will continue to be added to.
Blarney: A red headed war hero. Fighting on the front lines, this massive bloke flaunts a daunting number of accolades from his time of service. A tactical mastermind, Blarney never goes far without his longsword in hand, which looks a normal when wielded by such a large fella. A non believer in modern war attire, Blarney wears only his trousers and his sheathe. His skin might as well be armor, as this man is truly unbreakable.
Primary: Swings blade in perfect rhythm, greatly damaging those in front of him, but range is not his strong suit.
Special 1: Blarney rushes forward, stopping once he has flattened an opponent, or is simply too tired to keep running. This move makes up for his lack of range, but he is greatly winded by the end of it and is greatly slowed for a few seconds afterwards.
Special 2: Blarney is a massive man. With this move, he slams his foot to the ground, tripping up nearby enemies, who meet the ground at such force. Perfect time to unleash a few swings of the blade, eh?
Shīrudo: A man at peace with himself, looking to spread a similar awareness amongst his allies, and teach this to his foes. Shīrudo is a large presence. What he lacks in talkativeness, he makes up for with appearance. Wearing the armor of his ancestors, he calls upon their ancient styles of defense and combat to guide enemies to his will. A master in martial arts, the only weapon he wields is his body, and more specifically: his fists.
Primary: Jabs and chops his way through multiple enemies, if present, or simply executes perfect combos upon a singular opponent. Always on the move, Shīrudo knocks back solo opponents when unleashing these combos.
Special 1: With his mind and body as one, Shīrudo is able to stop oncoming projectiles over a large area in their place, and even direct some back towards the enemy.
Special 2: Shīrudo calls upon his ancestors, as they give him life, granting him, or anyone of his choosing, temporary armor. If the armor is destroyed before it expires, a huge shock knocks nearby opponents to the ground.
Muur: Wall building is a generational thing within the family of Sterke. Coming from a town below sea level, the strength of a wall is truly a matter of life and death. Getting his nickname from the countless homes he’s saved from these harsh conditions, Muur is no amateur when it comes to defense. While not the largest man around, he’s built as thick as a fridge and can definitely take a punch… or 7. Light hearted, but with the determination of a hundred men, Muur is a force to be reckoned with. Don’t be fooled by his flatcap and junky overalls, wielding his makeshift shield and work hammer chained to his wrist, the man is ready to fight at a moments notice.
Primary: A hammer to any part of the body doesn’t feel great. Well, unfortunately for the enemies of Muur he’s as accurate as one could be with a hammer on a chain. With powerful blows landing at a moderate speed, and range up to 5 feet, escaping this man is no easy task. His powerful swings lessen in damage the further his foe, but that won’t stop you from being knocked from side to side with each hit.
Secondary: Muur’s shield is one of his proudest builds to date. That being said, it doesn’t look great but it sure as hell gets the job done. Murr can raise his shield at any time during combat and block incoming directional damage completely. While he can still be hit from other directions, a head on strike is not likely to land due to his convenient stature. Raising his shield stops him from being able to swing his hammer, but it doesn’t stop him from dropping it at a moments notice to land a blow.
Special 1: Muur utilizes his background in wall building to quickly put up a barrier which will stand until destroyed. This wall can block both players and AI on the enemy team but, thanks to excellent engineering, has a stair way along its weak side for allied AI and players to quickly hop over. The wall takes no time to build, and can take as much damage as Muur’s current health. If Muur is armored to the teeth, so are his walls!
Special 2: A hammer on a chain is not your typical weapon, but Muur knows this. Utilizing the versatility of his hammer contraption, he swings around his weapon in circles, damaging all near by enemies within his 5 foot range. The move also puts momentum at his whim, and Muur can quickly launch out from this attack to any direction he is looking to land a strong blow, knocking his target to the ground, and throwing him to their location. Any player or AI that gets in his way will take the blow, and he will end up where the strike was interrupted.
Gen: If stealth is an art, then Gen might as well be Picasso. Or Monet. Or Van Gogh. All in one. From her humble beginnings of simple thievery and practical jokes, Gen has transformed herself into a breathing weapon. And on top of that, she also wields a pair of “breathing” weapons. Her two daggers have a mind of their own, and they often lead her to outwitting her foe. Beneath her hood, not much can be seen, and her get up doesn’t make her any easier to spot.
Primary: With unmatched speed, Gen is able to quickly unleash multiple blows. And if the initial stab doesn’t get you, the bleeding after just may. Slashing and stabbing her opponent, every end to a chain of hits adds to a bleeding effect which reduces the amount you can be healed, as well as some minor damage for some seconds to come.
Special 1: While not in combat, Gen slips to the shadows, only visible to enemies if they directly locate her with their cursor. From here she can attack, flee, or even receive healing. While in combat, Gen can vanish to thin air for a few moments, before returning back to our realm. While in this state, she cannot receive healing, not be located by her enemy.
Special 2: With a flurry of steel, Gen rampages her opponent with flurry of blows, all in an instant. This also enacts a bleed effect, which takes twice as long to heal up.
Passive: Gen is never alone, as her blades tell her, when in the shadows, when a nearby enemy is close to locating her, or when an enemy is behind her.
Rent: RENT IS DUE! Straight out of the swamps, Rent is a “soldier” with no regard for his own safety, let alone that of an enemy. Don’t let the beer belly fool you, Rent is a real cut throat warrior, with scars to prove it! Most he got from fishing, but some definitely seem like real battle scars. With an admirable sense of humor, Rent guns his way through enemies, and his pony tail is sure to keep his vision clear. Trap master, as well as gun enthusiast, there’s not much to protect you from his obsession with self destruction.
Primary: Locked and loaded, Rent uses his automatic rifle to shoot his way through foes near and far. And just when you think he might have to reload-BOOM, he pulls out his double barrel shot gun to finish the job.
Special 1: Rent rigs up his explosive lobster trap, that he found at Dollar Strut (it catches and cooks all in one!!), and places it down, waiting for an enemies foot to trap. Though visible, a quick glance won’t do an enemy justice as there’s not much to see before you’re locked in place and set a blaze. Burning damage occurs for the next couple seconds to ensure a perfect char. Mmmm!
Special 2: Rent is far from the most agile this battle ground has seen, but he’s always been host to the wolf pack mentality. For 10 seconds after activation, all Rent’s teammates are motivated by his rambling on about team work, fast food, and his thoughts on “Organic” zucchini, to get the hell away from the useless banter, increasing their speed by 50%. Meanwhile, Rent moves at his normal pace.
Passive: Rent doesn’t leave the house without both his guns, so in a time of need, he can always switch between the 2!
Ayana: There weren’t many books where Ayana came from, but you don’t need books with a mind like this. A story teller, Ayana gained the ability early on to conjure her imagination to reality. Some might call it magic, but to her it’s just all about the moral. Lanky, dark skinned, and quick moving, she soon learned she could use her imagination as a way to fight for what she believes in. It is this power that makes her a fierce warrior.
Primary: Ayana calls upon her mind to summon forth crystals of pure ice, slinging them one by one at the enemy. While the damage is not the heaviest, it’s the after effect which is to be feared. As each crystal hits the same foe slowing occurs and, and stacks. One hit may temporarily knock down an attackers speed by 10%, but by the 5th blow, 50% of movement speed is gone. And with the 6th blow, the enemy is quickly frozen, unable to move for a few seconds. Once the ice snaps, the player is back at normal speed.
Secondary: Ayana believes in balance, and therefore refuses to allow her ice powers to go un-challenged. To compliment her primary, Ayana’s secondary attack harnesses the power of flames. By imagining the energy of all she knows, she brings forth balls of fire. At starting rate slower than her Primary, but also the ability to charge the attack for up to 50% more damage, the flames land a much more devastating blow to enemies. And it only continues to give as enemies burn for a few seconds after. Naturally, this will counteract any chill that the enemy currently has, and the burn effect is lessened the more ice it must burn through.
Special 1: Ayana summons forth a beast which only she could imagine to aide in her attack. The beast charges a nearby enemy (if no player is present, then a bot), and thrashes for 5 seconds, viciously knocking enemies wherever it pleases. If a frozen enemy is charged, the freeze does not break as the beast unleashed upon them.
Special 2: Clouds form all around Ayana as she summons a great and powerful thunderstorm. After a brief cast time, Ayana roams freely as the storm continues to strike randomly, injuring those in the vicinity of each strike. While not incredibly powerful with a single strike, be weary of where you get stuck, for it could be the end of you. Lightning strikes will break through the ice of frozen enemies, freeing them but not before taking amplified damage from the strike.
Kuvien: No one truly knows where he has come from, but his allies are sure glad he arrived. Some say he was raised by wolves, others say by monks in the old east. Regardless, Kuvien has grown to be a fierce warrior, unparalleled in his connection with his surroundings. With cartoonishly purple hair, and mythically red eyes, he might as well be a beast himself. Adorned in war paints and tribal beads, he wields a bow and an endless quiver, ready to attack from wherever his enemies aren’t looking.
Primary: Kuvien is a threat from all distances, but he is especially dangerous from range. A fully drawn bow can send his arrow as far as the eye can see. That being said, with his speed he’s not much easier to take from close range. A quick succession of close range shots from this bow and you might find yourself in a troubling position. Kuvien’s arrows hit for more damage when fully drawn, however his speed to draw the next arrow is un matched, which allows him to send lower damage shots at his foes with incredible speed. That being said, basic laws of physics still apply to his arrows, and shots with less power will not fly nearly as far, or without a drop.
Special 1: A master from range, Kuvien sends himself flying backwards to avoid oncoming attackers. From the ground, he can reach about 12 feet from launching point, but by using this move on an enemy he can both deal a moderate amount of damage and send himself around 15 feet backwards.
Special 2: Summoning a force we can’t begin to understand, Kuvien seems to defy all laws of this world as he locks on to a target. If an enemy is pinged by this ability, all of Kuvien’s shots in the foe’s general direction will lock on and curve straight for them. While this ability only lasts 5 seconds, the effect can be deadly.
Passive: Kuvien is incredibly in tune with nature, and it’s this that allows him to easily track foes. Fresh footprints left by enemy players (within the last 7 seconds) will glow red to him, as he hunts his prey.
Miracle: At a young age Miracle discovered she was different. Small scrapes and bruises would disappear from her skin in a matter of seconds, but she never realized just how powerful this ability was until she broke her leg and was fine within a minute. She soon began a career in the medical field, looking for answers as to why. While she still is not sure, she has found a way to harness this blessing into a device which allows her to help others. This device comes in the form of a full body suit, and leaves her levitating just above the ground. Intelligent, and with an unwavering will to help her allies, Miracle is an excellent person, and an even better team mate.
Primary: With the help of her apparatus, Miracle sends a cascade of healing upon all her team mates in the area in front of her. These beautiful crystals of light continue to fill the air for the next couple moments thereafter, which her team mates may pick up to heal themselves even more. The initial fire of her primary will heal all allies hit slightly, regardless of picking up the residual heals.
Secondary: While her suit has a very strong emphasis on aiding others, it still hurts to get kicked by. Miracle floats quickly forward for up to 5 feet, and any enemy she hits she will deal a quick blows to, and use this force to fly up to 20 feet in the direction of her choosing. It is in the time she is air born that she quickly heals herself 35% of max health.
Special 1: Focusing her energy on a single ally, Miracle sends a flurry of healing to a targeted team mate, healing them to maximum health. This heal does not have the same leftover health left by her primary, but it does also heal her 10% of max health.
Special 2: Miracle’s suit is truly a war machine, but rarely does she use it for anything other than helping others. In this rare occurrence, Miracle overloads her levitation module on her tech, sending a powerful shock to the ground, greatly damaging and briefly stunning enemies. The cooldown on this ability is lengthy, and until fully charged, Miracle must travel by foot. While stunned, these enemies are vulnerable to all forms of damage.
Maldición: Sometimes we refer to something as both a blessing and a curse. Well that idiom is embodied by Maldición, who goes by Mal. With an extensive career in humanitarian efforts, Mal made the decision long ago to go rogue. Since then, there have been sightings of him across the globe. One week he may be helping refugees, the next punishing those responsible. Mal plays by his own rule, but he never lets a friend go without help. With his face covered by what appear to be bandages, and dressed in a black robe, There’s something very peculiar about this hidden warrior.
Primary: An orb is conjured from Mal’s own palm, and he casts it off with speed. Upon hitting an ally, the orb will moderately heal them. However, upon hitting a foe the orb will moderately damage them. This orb will not stop with a single target, however. The orb will pass through up to 3 players or AI before vanishing. The orb dissipates upon contact with any non-living substance.
Special 1: An ally has fallen, and their body lays as a respawn times ticks down. Mal isn’t known to be the patient type. He summons the corpse to pick up where the player left off, and the corpse charges into battle. Stronger and more intelligent than the standard bots of the game, summoned corpses will fight any foe which presents itself along the way, until dead. The corpse can be healed but only by Mal.
Special 2: Mal is a practitioner of the dark arts. While dangerous in nature, they can also yield great reward to the friends of the caster. Mal sends a curse towards an enemy, which will bite away at their health for the next 30 seconds to come. Slowly, but surely the foe will decay. After a full 30 seconds, 25% of the player’s max health will have succumb to the curse, if no preventative measures are taken (see shop description above). Mal can also link this curse up to an ally, who will receive all of the health drained from the enemy.
This is all a work in progress! I’m going to continue to add to this character list, and game description for a while to come!! Thank you SO much for reading! I really do appreciate any feedback! You can always contact me at the email listed here! Please stay tuned! For now, here’s a picture of a great and very proven MOBA! (For those wondering about the images I have been choosing to attach to the end of recent posts, if you scroll through my topic pages on my site, you’ll see that the images make the page much cleaner looking, which is important to me as someone who enjoys design & aesthetic)!
As some of my regular readers surely know, I am a huge believer in the impact that music has within video games, and really all forms of entertainment. Why is this? As explained in a great scholarly article HERE, humans naturally process, and enjoy, music through a few specific “dimensions”: cognitive, emotional, social/cultural, and physiological/arousal-related functions. The dimension I identify the most with, and think applies best to video games is that of emotional response. A great, and very relevant video HERE (Please watch at least some! Very relevant, and very well put together).
So all this brings us to the topic and reason for me sitting my butt down to write this post: why impactful music is essential to a truly great game. Some games you play, a user can almost tell that the musical component is an after-thought, and not implying that this is the norm, but I do feel it is the most commonly, and tragically, overlooked component to many games. Do me a favor and look deep into your heart, and recall a tune from a game that impacted you as a kid/teen so much so that every time you come across the soundtrack, it sends chills down your spine and goosebumps up your arms. The music has the power to instantly take you back into the universe of that game. We as humans are able to absorb so much emotion into even the simplest of songs, and this obviously doesn’t only apply to video games. So then why would any game design lead allow such a powerful way of encapsulating the emotion of a moment, or a period of time for a player to not be made a priority of any sorts? Rhetorical question. Obviously not every studio has time or resources for adequate care to be put into something that head honchos at a studio would deem possibly one of the least important things things in regards to releasing an operational game on time. This isn’t something we see at all big studios, but I would say its fairly common amongst some of the largest (EA, Activision, Ubisoft). On the reverse end of that, we see some of the largest studios in the world taking the musical component at a higher priority, and I would definitely argue that the games from studios such as Rockstar, Nintendo, or Bethesda have seen much more positive reactions from the fanbases of their games lately, as I feel that these games and their stories have found a home in the hearts of many fans. I’m not saying that music is the only contributing factor to this, but in an era where some studios don’t even care enough to include any semblance of a story beyond a brief “bio” of their characters, the games that are strongly story driven seems to resonate better with fans, and I don’t think it’s any coincidence that these same studios sticking to the tradition of strong story telling and all enveloping universes also seems to be putting much MUCH more effort into having a strong soundtrack to aide in this.
None of this means I haven’t been playing Apex: Legends and enjoying every second of it, but the point I’m mostly trying to make here is the longevity of the games which are taking the time and effort to put in a masterful soundtrack alongside their gameplay are the ones that I will never forget. Twenty years from now, I can promise you that every time I hear an ocarina playing those simple notes, or any of the songs from Zelda Ocarina of Time for that matter, I will be instantly taken back to Hyrule my pure love and adoration for that game, and likely feel more compelled to find remasters, share it with my friends, or maybe even dust off the old N64.As an aspiring game designer, all I can hope for is that my works and universes that I create live on in the hearts of those who I have touched with meaningful stories, compelling plights, and enjoyable gameplay. There is no reason that I could see that music, which is a vehicle to fully immerse every past present and future gamer into your world, should be overlooked by a studio. So please, as a favor to me, go and find that song or that soundtrack that gives you those same feelings. If you are personally unaware of any games that have that impact, I’ll list below some of my personal favorites, and most notable examples:
Hello all! I had an idea and wanted to post it here because I think it’s a neat concept. This past week I’ve been spending a lot of time (23 hours to be exact) playing through Squares new game, Kingdom Hearts III. Im sure most of you are familiar with the franchise, and if not, the studio, but it left me with many thoughts that I wanted to post here. First off, I want to start by saying I’m a longtime fan of the series. I played the original KH as a kid, and I would go as far to say that the connection I felt to the main characters, as well as the story is one that has definitely defined a lot of my motivation to pursue a path in video games. KH II was a great addition, but I feel like KH III really pushed the series into what I would consider an unforgettable journey.
That being said, I know that many people point towards flaws in both gameplay and story progression in this newest addition, but I would instead like to focus on some of the amazing elements that the series incorporates from the studios background in Japanese Role Play Games (JRPGs). For those who don’t know, Square Enix is the studio which produces the Final Fantasy series, perhaps one of the most famed examples of a JRPG. To (overly) simplify it in my own words: JRPGs generally incorporate simplified battle scenarios, meaning that you usually have a set combo which can be enacted using only a single button, sometimes pressed multiple times. They have a pretty simple leveling system where you may gain more health or mana from a level up, or maybe an additional item slot, but that’s basically it. They incorporate pretty simple armor tiers (if any) and generally not many stats to boost, and the game is centered around combat scenarios. Often times they are turn based, but more recently we have seen a turn towards free combat sequences often contained in a set space. “Quests” are generally linear without much room for deviation, but worlds are usually explorable and filled with side tasks which may yield experience or armor rewards. To top it all off, most JRPGs incorporate very unique boss battle sequences and heavy and complex story lines.
I’m a huge advocate for simplicity in video games. I think that a game that everyone can play and enjoy is one that will be successful. In addition to this, I think that allowing more skilled players opportunity to advance their “style” of play is also key. A great example I always use is Minecraft. In Minecraft, anyone can build a simple house and explore caves. But there’s also exponential room for players to scale their complexity of the game to levels which are unimaginable. Players can use the simple structure of the game to build complex computers, operational machines, and even weapons, all using the same materials that the newest of players are using to build 5×5 huts to survive the night. JRPGs take a simple scheme of combat, and do just the same, allowing more skilled players to play to their own level, utilizing selectable abilities, purchasable items, and built in mechanics which are not necessary to putting up a good fight.
So this leads me to my idea: taking the simple, story driven ideals of a JRPG, and applying these to our ideas of an MMORPG. Think World of Warcraft meets Pokémon. I love JRPG combat. And I love MMOs. Why not combine the two? Have a simplified combat scheme, built around classes and simple armor, and place players in a world where they compete against one another to, or alongside one another, to complete linear story lines, which perhaps would end in being brought to a server consisting of only players who have also completed the main story.
Place in dungeons and side quests to allow players to increase their own skill, but also stay true to the idea of simplicity in the facets of gear and abilities. Allow players to choose from multiple paths, perhaps pitting them against other paths at times, but all while competing for similar goals and rewards.
/*And before you say it, yes I have heard of Final Fantasy XIV, but this game very strongly resembled WoW in complexity, gameplay, style, and pretty much every other way possible, and had a much weaker semblance to any other Final Fantasy game we’ve seen.*/
This idea is obviously very primitive, but I will continue to update this post with my ideas and thoughts on the topic. But for now, as I must head to work, enjoy this photo from the endgame of KHIII, and enjoy your day!
Edit 2/9/19: Another huge feature of such a game would indefinitely be the “boss” battle sequences. JRPGs do a fantastic job of keeping every next boss battle unique, and increasingly challenging, which for me is a huge appeal. Now take these unique battles and apply them to an online oriented gaming environment, and we could expect the arising of many unique and interesting strategies for each individual boss battle. I think this would be a feature which would set the game itself apart from the meticulous and, quite honestly, boring boss battle sequences that we experience pretty universally in the MMORPG genre, and quite honestly most RPGs. Don’t get me wrong, I love every time I get the opportunity to strike down Alduin, but it does get a little boring and tedious at times. More thoughts to come as I expand on this idea.!
So it’s my birthday, which means I got time to work on stuff that I care about, and not just finals studying! I got some time to work on my Simpossible game, as well as go through some of my old design documents, and wanted to share this one with you all.
Below is the back story on a game I started writing and designing a year or so back… we’ve put the project on the back burner as of a few weeks ago, but the story written for it and the basic lore are below:
We start at a time before time. The creation of the 5 planets we now know as the 5 sisters. As legend has it, the gods created each planet 1 harvest apart, creating entirely unique ecosystems for each one.
The first was Arne. Arne was created closest to the sun. It is a barren wasteland. With no water, Arne is essentially endless sand dunes. Arne rotates much faster than any of the other planets, and it’s days only last for about 4 hours, and it’s nights the same. Arne has very little large settlements, mostly consisting of groups of 2-4 homes in the middle of nowhere.
People: The people who are able to survive shield themselves from the sun by only coming out at night. All other times they live in these forts they make from condensed sand, which creates a stone like material. The people here are notorious for their ability to make it days without food or water, and they are able to survive off the bare minimum essentials. The people, when they do eat, feast upon the rare to find animals of the planet. They wear masks which cover all but their eyes in the hopes of avoiding the wrath of the sun.
Animals: The animals inhabiting Arne are mostly small beasts. All of the large gods fled the land within the first few hundred years. Rodents reign supreme here. Most of the rodents have evolved to eat anything they can find. They gnaw on any wood which may fall from the heavens. They eat sand, foliage, each other, and most importantly, man. The people of Arne must always be weary of where they walk, for if they stumble upon a nest of rodies, they very well may become their next meal. The rodies are small, fast, and dirty. Their eyes glow a bright yellow in the night.
Next came Vex. Vex sits comfortably away from the sun, the optimal distance for human survival. Vex is where our hero begins his story, for Vex is the origin of some events to be discussed later. Vex is unique in its ecosystem, but leans towards a more mediterranean ecosystem, however a large majority of the planet is covered in huge cities. The cities are the center of life in Vex. Anything anyone could ever need can be found in one of it’s cities. Vex is also covered in a fair amount of water.
People: The people of Vex live the best quality of life of all those who live on the 5 sisters. Vex is the government capital of all the planets, and this is mostly because of the utopian qualities it demonstrates. Being by far the most civilised and technologically advanced planet, the people are often well spoken and well off. Those who are not usually end up outside the towering city walls. The people eat well. They keep jobs and respect their government. There has only ever been one crisis in Vex. Crime is low, and the people are happy. Most stay within the walls, but it is not a big deal to leave the city once a harvest or so. The people eat meat and the food from farms. Most of the farms lay directly on the outskirts of a city’s walls, however some farmers do stray from this norm.
Animals: The animals which live in this land are few. Vex is the safest planet, and is renowned for it’s “Safety Force”, which is responsible for keeping all cities clean of pests. But the few animals that do inhabit the land of Vex are unforgiving. Packs of hounds are the most common of these. The hounds are fast, but prefer to stay unseen. The second most common is Ozen. The Ozen were once human but have evolved since the creation along a separate path than the humans. They share similar features, but are a completely separate species at this point. More on the Ozen later. Another threat to some in Vex are the bots sent out by the King Olii to seek out the forgotten who remain outside the city walls. They pose no physical threat to the forgotten, however, upon seeing a member of the forgotten, they seek out the nearest safety force members to alert them of forgotten presence.
Zaki was the third planet to be brought into existence. Zaki sits slightly closer to the sun than Vex. Zaki is a jungle planet. Largely untamed by man, Zaki is a beautiful and peaceful planet. Zaki is said to be the home of most the gods, and for that same reason many natives claim to have encountered giant beasts on long journeys. Zaki is green and gorgeous. The planet consists of 2 masses, said to have been split by the gods at the dawn of man to keep man from ever venturing to the god’s domain. The planet therefore is effectively split down the middle, and the only way to cross the great abyss is by crossing the Bridge of the Gods. No man has ever come back from the god’s side of the planet, therefore all settlements are on the man’s side of the planet, referred to as such. The settlements in Zaki are often centered around a church of a specific god, for the inhabitants are largely religious. There are only a few large cities known within Zaki. What lies on the other side of Bridge of the Gods remains a mystery, however.
People: The people living in Zaki worship the gods for a living. All they speak of are the gods. All they ever are concerned with are the gods and it is for that reason that they placed no votes in the most recent of the elections. For this, many of the people of Zaki are unliked by those of other planets. The people of Zaki often wear face paint. They are amazing survivalists, able to track down many beasts and humans alike. In addition, they rarely ever wear shoes. The people don’t carry any currency and instead tend to be more self sufficient in all their survival needs.
Animals: The animals in Zaki are copious. All types of beasts and critters alike roam these lands. The people live at peace with many of the critters. The beasts, however, tend to attack settlements, and often. The many types of beast hold resemblance to the hounds on Vex, and the springers on Buri. However, it seems that many of these beasts still remain unknown. The gods which some claim to have seen have been recorded to take the shape of some of the common animals inhabiting this region. Ozen have been recorded to live here but are not common by any means.
Buri is the fourth planet of the sisters. Buri is the second farthest planet from the sun. Buri is the only planet to ever attempt to withdraw from the sisters, in disagreeance with the result of the 3rd election. Because of this, many of the forgotten fled to Buri after the 4th election, but fell into a trap set by the new king to rid themselves of the forgotten. The king Olii flooded the planet killing many of the inhabitants, and destroying all established settlements. Because of this, Buri is almost entirely covered in debris scattered water. The settlements that have since popped up are placed upon giant rafts, and have little protection from the springers, a beast which lurks under water, and attacks from below, but is able to live upon land. Buri is not home to many people nor animals, but it’s resources trapped below the surface are plentiful. Some do travel to Buri to gain access to these riches. Buri also has a high population of Safety Force members.
People: The surviving people of Buri are quiet. They mostly keep to themselves. The scale of the disaster which took place here has been too much for many of the people to handle psychologically. All people own a makeshift boat. It is essential to survival. Many fish for food. Others dive deep down to take springer eggs, which are a known delicacy. The people have not fully adapted to this life, however they are known to be skilled negotiators. Only the richest of people on Buri are able to afford to live on one of the few bits of land remaining. These people tend to be incredibly defensive of their land and protect it indefinitely.
Animals: There are many fish who inhabit Buri, but the most common dangerous animal are the springers. Shooting out of the water at high speeds, and being able to fight on land with their claws is a huge advantage to them. Other than springers, there are not many surviving threats to the humans living there. Near land, there tends to be more birds in the air.
Hau was the final planet created by the gods, on the final harvest. Hau is also the furthest planet from the sun. Hau is mostly frozen over, and completely covered in snow. Despite this, it is a fairly lively planet. Hau is known best for it’s feasts. Hau celebrates at any chance that they can, and they do so in huge ways. Huge dining halls in every city is where you are most likely to find anyone you are looking for. It is this mentality that makes the planet feel very welcoming to strangers. Life in Hau is eventful, simple, and above average. The simplicity comes mostly from the lack of technology to have reached them. The people still ride animals, chop wood, and even read. The people stay warm with huge bonfires within city walls, and are always seeking out more wood to keep the flame ablaze.
People: The people of Hau are kind, welcoming, and most of all, happy. Never to be caught without a mead nearby, they live a much simpler life than those on other planets. But this does not make them stupid. It is this style of life that allows them to all stay in top physical shape. Most of the people survive by hunting some of the many wildlife that live beyond city walls. They often wield traditional weapons such as guns, or even bows and arrows. Many of the men grow beards while the women also remain incredibly fit. The best way for the people of Hau to stay warm is the accumulation of many beast’s pelts over their shoulders, worn as almost a vest.
Animals: The animals in Hau are innumerous. Although Ozen have taken many parts of the planet, the majority of beasts on this planet are white to better blend in with the snowy weather. One of the most common of these beasts are the Marus. The marus have huge white tusks and although not fast, they are strong. They have no arms or legs, but fins. They are proficient swimmers as well, but they are most dangerous at close range.
After the creation of the 5 sisters, the gods created man, and then went into hiding. While some do insist that they reside on the other side of The God’s Bridge in Zaki, this is not known for sure. The first planet inhabited by men was Vex. Here, man thrived and quickly advanced. Over 10,000 years ago, man began to venture from Vex, to live on the other planets. They all quickly adapted to their environments and evolved to best survive in their respective situations. The system of government had been the same for as long as man could remember. The king ruled over all subjects in his or her domain, which was expanded to include the other planets once necessary. This continued until only 300 years ago, when the king was assassinated by a group only known as The Control.
The 5 sisters plunged into chaos, in utter disbelief of recent events. But soon, a new king arose. King Gaius of Zaki took the throne. A new system was established. One which was meant to preserve the lifestyle of all inhabitants of the 5 sisters. It enacted an election upon the death or resignation of the king. It required that every single citizen cast a public vote for one of 2 predetermined candidates. Since Gaius had already taken the throne, he declared himself the victor of the first election, and had all opposition run out of cities, and prosecuted as criminals. Public executions, mass graves, and rallies of hatred began to take place throughout the 5 sisters, except on Zaki. And so it was.
The 2nd election was around 260 years ago. The retaliation towards the losers was swift and powerful. It had become a new norm. Killed on the street, run out of cities, left for dead, the losers of the election became the Forgotten. The 3rd election was about 140 years ago. Buri made an attempt after the election to leave the 5 sisters and be a standalone governing body. This notion received no support from the other planets. Come the 4th election, many of the forgotten though that Buri would be a safe place to hide from the treachery that would soon ensue, but instead found themselves in a trap set by the new king, King Olii. This trap killed many of the forgotten. While nobody knows exactly where all the forgotten hide, the hideout that we find our hero in is in Vex, underground in the furthest outskirts of the planet.
Present on all planets, mostly Arne.
Small rodent like critters
Yellow Glowing Eyes
Small, fast, dirty
Set traps for humans
Always travel in groups
Present Everywhere but Arne and Buri
Wolf like creatures
Quick, strong, intelligent
Always travel in packs
Present all planets
Human like features
Travel in packs,
Diverged along separate evolutionary path
Present all planets
Serve the king
Don’t attack, but alert others
Tough to kill
Present on all planets
Squads sent out by King Olii to pursue the Forgotten
Travel in packs
Present on Zaki
Rumored to exist but never reliably recorded
Giant, beautiful beasts
Strong and sometimes aggressive
Present on all planets but Arne and Vex
Live in both water and land
Use claws and fast attacks as weapons
Travel in packs
Present on all planets but Arne and Vex and Buri
Look like fat walrus
Live both water and land
Incredibly strong, not smart
Travel in small groups
The other animals that inhabit this universe are much like those in our own world. Most are not aggressive but some can be at times.