Developing ArkWorld: Explorer

ArkWorld: Explorer is a 3D space exploration and survival strategy game, details are posted at http://www.LatticeHeavyIndustries.com.

The core concept is a third-person command and control of a multi-deck starship and crew.  The game area is in 3D with a fully moveable user controlled view camera instead of a restricted top or isometric view angle; this is a key design consideration to support newer platforms focusing on Augmented Reality and Holographic Display systems.

The game models are designed and created using real world / human scale to simplify the mix and matching of 3D model templates and sources, also to support a first-person walkthrough in the future on a Virtual Reality setup.

The default setup is for table-top scale to work better with Augmented and Mixed Reality Systems like Tango and HoloLens which utilizes real-world positioning to control the in-game view camera. The model and render scale difference introduces a few challenges especially with the built-in navigation system that I will discuss in later notes.

AWE-DesktopView

The overall look targets the Anime form to give some flexibility on using low and mid-polygon environments and it is the style where space, starships, giant robots but still have characters with guns and swords is normal fare.

AWE-CharacterRun

I opted to use Unity3D as the game development system due to its multi-platform support across Android, iOS, Windows and includes Tango and HoloLens.  I utilize the built-in features and functionality of the Unity game engine from the 3D model rendering, animation and character navigation.  I kept the graphic pipeline (production process) as direct and standard as possible to simplify adding more models and animations.

I’ll discuss the following system components to share the experience and applicable code components:

  • Character Model Setup
  • Character movement around the ship
  • Ship Model Setup
  • Doors and Elevators
  • Ship Module Setup
  • Creating Missions