Programming Blog 04 – Evolution Is A Mystery
Since my last post all that time ago it seems to be apparent that my little secret about the monster I was working on has now been made public. I mainly blame my team members Andy Tait and Jaime Cross for this. Almost right after I teased you about my monster I see that this wee “selfie” pops up on the next few posts.
Yes that was him. Lovely little thing isn’t he. At first you may be wondering why we just showed you that right after I was being so secretive about his appearance. This is because the monster didn’t always look like that and doesn’t look like that any more. Far from it. Gather round and get comfy as I am about to tell you a tale.
Chapter 1: Humble Beginnings
When the task was given to me to be in charge of the monster of “Maize” I was immediately faced with a challenge. It was the beginning of development, we had nothing started, no art assets, no code and no audio. How was I going to create a monster on my own without anything to start with? Everybody who knows me knows that I am not artistic so making the monster look scary was out of the window straight away. So I did my best attempt at programmer art in Unity and created the most beautiful creation you will ever see. I was taken aback by how well it turned out.
The selling price for this piece is £500
However when I looked at it again I realised that my phone call to the Louvre was a little bit premature. The Mona Lisa still holds that post, my humble little cube stood no chance. However with this floating around the scene I could begin programming the basics of the monster code. I could make this search around the scene for you and chase you down whenever he sees you (Because everybody knows that cubes have eyes) just like the actual monster would in the game. It was a start and even after a while even a floating black cube of death with a big red light slowly making it’s way towards you began to be intimidating after a while. But what I needed was a monster.
Chapter 2 – The Monster Is Loose!
We made sure to get his good side
I felt like Frankenstein getting first looks at his monster, minus the craziness and lightning. The monster finally had some context. This guy looked as if he was going to bash your face in instead of bumping into you and not saying excuse me. So many ideas rushed through my head about the possibilities that could happen with this running around now. Needless to say the mood was on a high here at Junkfish when he was working and walking around the scene and doing his monster business. By that I mean searching for and killing the player, not using a litter box in the corner. However progressing from a floating cube to a big a$$ monster like old Sparky also brought a lot of changes that needed to be made. The most obvious one was the scale of the beast, this guy needed a lot more space to run around in. When the designs of our level were brought into reality by our “Procedural Proprietor” AKA Peter, this was a big problem. He became a huge guy in a very small space, it just wasn’t going to work. This is sadly the reason why Sparky is not going to be making an appearance. Luckily the monster knew this and evolved accordingly.
Chapter 3 – The Future is in the Future
I got a new design of the monster through to my desk and I was immediately looking forward to working with it. He looked more menacing, more agile and more ferocious than ever. This is the current monster wandering my scenes right now so it is here I must tell you that you are now up to the present day in relation to how the monster has progressed in the development of “Maize”. He has really come a long way since a black cube with a light attached to it. He is getting more animated by the day and he is really starting to come together you will be glad to know. There is not too much more I can say about him right now unfortunately because of secrets that we want to keep under wraps for now, but maybe by the next time they allow me to write to you I will have more to tell you.