Heading towards Milestone #1

Heading towards Milestone #1

This week marks the beginning of a new project milestone for Kitbash. Milestone #3, specifically. The first two milestones passed by quietly — this time I’m forcing myself to pause just long enough to post an update. I’ve been posting some Twitter updates and taking part in Screenshot Saturday on Reddit, but this blog has been woefully neglected.

Milestone #1: Barebones

The first milestone was completed a few months ago and mostly involved familiarizing myself with C#, Unity and Blender. The requirements for the milestone included the following:

  • turn-based game loop with multiple teams of units
  • tile-based board layout and movement
  • very basic GUI / camera controls
  • units using an imported model from Blender
  • event system similar to what I was used to from AS3
Not quite there...

Not quite there…

A pretty straightforward list, and nothing I haven’t done before. Wrapping my head around Unity’s component-based system was the main challenge, and my first attempt at modelling a human in Blender took longer than it should have. (Especially if you’ve seen the result! Yuck.)  Anyway, before too long I had a bunch of little guys sliding around a tile maze and the element that has ruined so many gamers’ lives: the End Turn button.

Placeholders everywhere

Placeholders everywhere

Milestone #2: Shootin’ & Lootin’

Making sure missed shots actually miss

Making sure missed shots actually miss

The second milestone was finished this past weekend. Its requirements were a bit more abstract:

  • attacking
  • death
  • game over
  • looting
  • doors
  • lights
  • consoles
  • character design

Doesn’t look so bad when it’s listed like that! However, each of those items can be broken down into dozens of smaller tasks, each with their own set of complications. So many decisions to make that could come back to haunt me later.  By the way, when I say these tasks are ‘finished’ I don’t mean they’re written in stone — each one is just a basic implementation that will evolve during development.

The toughest part of Milestone #2 was trying to come up with a character design. I added that to the milestone because I wanted to get the ugly placeholder human out of my screenshots as soon as possible. I dove back into Blender, learned a bunch of new things, and emerged with a new human model that I’m fairly happy with for now.  There are a dozen other human models I need to sculpt, so hopefully there will be some improvement and these early attempts can eventually be tossed out an airlock.

Very rough, un-textured modular walls

First pass at some modular walls. Rough and un-textured.

With Milestone #2 finished, Kitbash is now a game where some teams are randomly spawned on a board and they can slide around, shooting lasers and looting corpses. Lights can be turned on and off, doors can be opened, terrain can be destroyed by missed shots, and so on.  It’s still quite basic stuff — but the stage is almost set.

Milestone #3: Foggy Memories

Surly the Spaceman. Missing his head texture and hair.

Surly the Spaceman. Missing his head texture and hair.

Time to work on some fun stuff! Here’s what I plan to tackle next:

  • Fog of war
  • Save/load
  • Captain
  • Rig human model
  • Death ragdoll
  • Sudden death
  • Initial GUI mockup
  • Port procedural board generator from AS3
  • Presence radius

It may be too much for one milestone. It was too much for one milestone, so I bumped one of the more nebulous items to Milestone #4: Brains.

So much to do, so much to do!