If you've been following my Twitter posts lately, you've seen a few screencaptures of my current VR project. I've been working on it for about two months now. In fact it was during a dinner party Kayla and I hosted the first weekend of the new year that I tried out a prototype on a few friends. The idea was simple and they liked it. The object was to shoot a ball at a post several meters from the player, then teleport to the post when it hits. Repeat this to move through the level. Then I worked on a story/setting, which quickly spiraled out of control into an elaborate story about escaping from a sci-fi prison... Until I realized there was no way I had time to build something like that. I only have about 2 hours a day to devote to side projects, so I simply don't have the time. By the end of January, I finally conceded that I needed to simplify dramatically.
I started thinking about how some of the simplest games are still fun despite their lack of story or complexity: Angry Birds, Smash Hit, Crossy Road, Candy Crush, and Super Mario. They all have a few things in common:
- They're colorful
- The gameplay mechanic is super easy to understand and execute
- Simple enemies or limited resources to keep things interesting
- Simple assets that are just combined in clever ways to keep things interesting
- Not much of a story, if any
This realization has resulted in where I am today.
Since I started on this idea about a month ago, I've built most of the major components:
- Teleportation platforms
- Teleportation logic that can accommodate player movement
- Coins that increase your score when hit
- Smart projectiles that know what they hit and react accordingly
- Basic controls using both Xbox Controller and mouse for quick testing
- Level switching
- Score saving
- Enemy movement
I saved a ton of time by purchasing a couple scripting systems from the Unity Asset Store:
- Rewired (https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/21676) by Guavaman Enterprises for my controller input.
- Simple Waypoint System (https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/2506) by Rebound Games for enemy movement.
The best part? I've been doing all of this work on my VR game without a VR headset. I actually sold my Oculus Rift DevKit 2 to offset the cost of the consumer version. My goal is to get to the point where I can start cranking out levels by the time my Oculus Rift ships next month (April).