Iridiscence (wip)

(woops noticed the typo in the title)
I’m starting on a project in UE4, a (hopefully) fast-paced runner-type game. A bit like Canabalt or Dino Run, but with combat. So a Run 'n Gun, I guess.
For the uninitiated, it means that the screen and player move automatically, forcing the player to dodge obstacles, enemies and jump over gaps.
To spice things up the player has 5 tools at their disposal that are required for their survival. Each is represented by a color.
Basic colors: These are bound to 3 keys (like ASD for example), when a key is pressed the player is now wielding the corresponding color.
Red is a gun/laser the player uses to fight basic flying enemies, Yellow is a grappling hook that allows the player to cross larger gaps or jump over obstacles more easily, and Blue is a disrupting wave that disables enemy forcefield gates that might block your way.
Mixed colors: These 3 are gotten by pressing 2 keys at the same time, mixing those two colors together to form a new one.
Orange (Red + yellow) is a hook used to tear down enemies that are stuck to the ceiling, Purple (Red + Blue) is an attack that immediately kills enemies with a shield, and Green (Yellow + Blue) grants the player a very short shield that prevents harm but has a rather long cooldown.
Enemies and obstacles shine with a light that has the color of the tool that is required to bypass them.

For the graphics I was planning on going for an orthographic sideview, using only silhouettes and color glows. So it looks 2D, but I’m actually using 3D models (which are easier to animate hehe). If it doesn’t end up working out, I might just go for perspective low-poly after all, it’s something that I’ll need to look into further.
I wanted to keep the game relatively HUD-less, to prevent clutter and make it more sleek. So the character has a spot that always glows in the color that is currently selected, and this spot also leaves a trail in that color. The trail disappears however when the green-shield is used. (Because this might make it harder to see the current color this can also be seen as a drawback to using the shield and an incentive for the player to git gud) When the shield has recharged the trail appears again.
However the no-HUD idea might pose a problem for the health of the player, as it’s a bit harder to show it clearly without a HUD. This got me thinking and I will probably either keep it like it is, a game where you have to survive with limited health until you get to the end (or maybe an endless runner? not sure yet), or I can make it so that it’s time based. The player only has a limited amount of time to get to the end, but when they take damage they’re slowed down, so the player can only die if the time runs out. I was thinking that maybe enemies wouldn’t stay on the screen forever until beaten, but if the player does destroy them he gets a speed boost. This makes it so that even if they have taken a lot of damage, if they can take down enough enemies they might just make it after all.
Any feedback on these ideas is much appreciated. xoxo

List of assets I will most likely end up making:

  • No Real textures necessary (silhouettes), beside maybe for particles and UI.
  • Character:
    • Model
    • Not sure yet if each color will also get a different weapon model, or if the character just uses its hands
    • Shooting animation and effects
    • Grapple animation/effect for hooks and enemies
    • Shield animation and effect
    • Hurt animation
    • Slide animation
    • Jump animation
    • Death animation
  • Enemies:
    • Basic flying enemy (Red):
      • Model
      • Shooting animation and effect.
      • Idle/flying animation
      • Dying animation
    • Ceiling Crawler (Orange):
      • Model
      • Attack animation and effect
      • Idle/crawling animation
      • Dying animation
    • Shielded flying enemy (Purple)
      • Model
      • Attack animation and effect
      • Idle/flying animation
      • Dying animation
    • (Optional) Killtron 3000 (end boss, multiple colors)
      • Model
      • Multiple attack animations and effects
      • Probably multiple idle animations, depending on boss health and color
      • Dying animation
      • Maybe Environment becomes randomly generated to prevent the game from ending before the boss dies. Or maybe it gains a timer where you only have a limited time to defeat it.
    • Grapple hooks (Yellow):
      • Model
    • Force fields (Blue):
      • Model
      • Field effect
      • Destroy animation and effect
        At the moment I have a prototype player character modeled, rigged and skinned. Will most likely need some more touching up though.

This is a mockup of what the game will look like (yet hopefully even nicer in the end?).

Rise from your grave!

So I haven’t updated this in a long time, sorry about that. I’ve just been busy with a lot of other projects and I kind of lost interest in this one.
Thus I have decided to scrap my old idea and I’m now going with what I was actually thinking about doing in the first place: A 2D sidescroller. I went with another idea, because I thought it might be too much work to make sprites compared to just making and rigging models. But since I have pretty much no motivation for the other idea, this one is probably going to prove more fruitful.
I don’t know how feasible it is making this in UE4, but since my goal is to practice Blueprints I don’t have much of a choice.

The idea for the game is to make a 2D sidescroller in the style of a Metroidvania, heavily inspired by Dark Souls. The story and setting aren’t completely certain yet, but I’m thinking about Post Apocalyptic with Lovecraftian themes.


So far I have a basis of the player character. My pixel-art skills are rusty so I’m starting simple (these are just test-sprites, I’m hoping to revamp and make them snazzier in the end). (using links because uploading gifs doesn’t work, even though spent too much time actually saving them as such and editing them…).
For the pixel-art animations I’m using Photoshop atm, I tried GraphicsGale but the lack of tool shortcuts annoyed the crêpe outta me. :stuck_out_tongue: So I guess I’ll stick with an old favourite.

Basic movement, jumping, “rolling” (is still just a weird flaily frame atm) [video][/video]
Attacking, Stamina management [video][/video]
Health management, death, respawning, managing respawn points. [video][/video]

Next I’ll probably start on a simple enemy, make sure that the player can actually roll through enemies and attacks without taking damage, and make the player be able to damage the enemy. I don’t really know how I’m gonna handle Melee attacks and hitboxes in a 2D game yet, if anyone has some good references for that I’d be much obliged. :cool:
I’ll probably update soon with an asset list of what I’m planning to make.

Good looking start! Keep us posted! :smiley:

Made a basic enemy that I can damage and kill by attacking. 514fe6a1e354da4ca7435bd8638dafdf33df5614.jpeg
Also made the player collide with the enemy, but I’m currently trying to make the player able to roll through by changing the collision type of the player. It works most of the time, but I still bump into the enemy sometimes, especially when I try to roll forward when already standing against the enemy.
Not a big update, unfortunately. Currently also looking into using tilesets and tilemaps to build my level.

Made my first ground tiles. Will probably make some wall and ceiling tiles, and then leave the rest of the environment sprites for later.
Also made some spikes that will hurt the player if he walks into them, still need to make them throw the player back. (Might do that for all damage instances) You can still roll through them, but you’ll take damage anyway, still not sure how I’ll handle that.

Updated my player animation, redid the Idle and Attack animation. Now he has a fancy sword!
Also updated my basic enemy, who now uses a linetrace to detect the player if he comes in view, after which is starts moving in the direction it saw him. I still wanna change it so that it will always know which direction the player is in, so it can follow him around.
Changed my roll to use Character Movement Input instead of Launch or Add Force, because those caused a lot of problems with friction and made the character fly off into space if they rolled off a ledge.
I still have a problem where the enemy doesn’t seem to take damage if it moves into the players attack hitbox if the player is already attacking.