Project: Benchmark

Criteria for my first project:

  • Completable within two calendar weeks (of my free time, I have full-time commitments to work around).
  • Serve as a benchmark against which later games can be compared to (hopefully) show improvement.

I do not want to intentionally sabotage the quality of the game for 'easy wins' later, but I also do not want to put more effort than usual into the areas I feel I am most lacking in. This game should be reflective of my current competencies so that I can make meaningful comparisons later to measure improvement. The game also needs to have some element of originality, I can't judge my 'design' of a game if I simply clone an existing game.

Idea: 3D arena shooter

  • Limited amount of environment assets required.
  • Well suited to quick development in Unity3D or similar engine.
  • Novel for me; I have not made a combat oriented First Person game.
  • Small number of required verbs / player interactions
  • Good scope for later improvements

Initial assessment:

Item Note
Genre First Person Shooter (FPS)
Platform Desktop PC
Players Single player
Perspective First person 3D
Engine Unity 3D
Project duration Two weeks
Theme Cyber
Gameplay Navigate arena avoiding and destroying enemies for as long as possible, survival time is score

Thematic elements and some details are open to change to allow for inspiration during the production process. I plan to start with as minimalist a visual approach as possible, though an idea of the visual theme may inform early design choices. For this reason I am working on the assumption that the game will be Tron or Metaverse 'Cyber' style. This should allow for simple low polygon models and easily produced 'beepy' soundeffects.

The game will use the standard first-person verbs:

  • Rotate (look around)
  • Move / run along the ground in directions relative to the heading of the player
  • Jump

Attack ideas

I am as yet unsure of how the player will attack. I would like to have one of the above verbs perform 'double duty' as attack, such as 'jump to attack' or 'move to attack'. Even 'looking' could perform an attack, where any enemy placed under a screen centred view reticule is automatically attacked.

Look attack

  • Enemies near the view reticule become marked. The player can activate their attack to destroy all marked enemies
  • The player automatically fires when an enemy is in the view reticule

Move / manual attack

  • Player is equipped with a melee weapon which can be used in two directions, bound to the left and right mouse buttons. When an enemy is targeted, activating the attack deploys the weapon to that side of the player and the player moves rapidly to the target. Any enemies nearby on the side that the weapon is equipped to are destroyed en passant, and finally the target enemy is destroyed.
  • Player periodically switches to pacman 'eat mode' wherein the enemies may be destroyed by simply colliding with them.

Jump attack

  • The player can jump onto enemies to destroy them, and be propelled upwards.

For now, I think the melee dash attack sounds most interesting of these options. Prototyping will reveal if it has any merit.