Remember Hunter? He and instructor Jason work together as part of Game-U’s Accelerate program. Hunter’s current platformer game challenges the player’s strength and dexterity as he uses platforms to cross a river of lava. (Hopefully Hunter’s player does this better than Anakin Skywalker!)
To build different game surfaces, Unity, a professional-level gaming engine, offers materials that can be customized to the developer’s needs. Hunter and Jason made a lava material that they set to gradually rise higher and higher until the lava engulfs the player. (Super Mario 64 fans, is this ringing a bell?) Ideally, in a perfect world, everything game developers try works for the first time. Realistically, game development involves a little more trial and error. Hunter and Jason noticed that if the player stood still, the rising lava material couldn’t detect when the player was engulfed. So, besides the other detection events in place, Hunter added a distance check between the lava and player. His modifications cause the level to restart every time the lava reaches a height over the player’s head. (In other words, the level restarts every time the player loses.) With that problem solved, Hunter also created the moving platforms his player will use to cross the lava unharmed. Maybe Hunter’s thinking of Anakin and Obi-wan’s fateful Mustafar battle too, because the platforms – like the ones the Jedi fought on – are in motion. The platforms bounce between different points, at different speeds, in different directions! His player will have to be quick-thinking and surefooted.
Check out Hunter’s video to see his game’s progress. Thanks for the update, Hunter, and keep us informed! Plenty of people would like to test your game when it’s finished.