Why we choose Unity

First of all, to make clear for any expectations, this blog won’t go too deep to technical side of production. Most of us are artist with limitation of coding, so this blog is from perspective of artist in making Omega

We go for Unity, because we’re lack of Coder to dev this mini-scoped game.

The idea, prototype and art assets are repaired way before we officially start to dev this game. We must choose a game engine that visually easy to modify every aspect of game. We surely will make many mistakes from try-and-fail method, so it must be able to try fast and fail fast.

Recently, we are hardworking in a medium project (Tiny Busters) with Cocos2Dx and many other projects using Libgdx, Cocos…

It significantly drains Coder’s energy to manually fix visual issues like button position, length of fx, position of fx, the quality of optimized texture, UI animated … follow these engine’s workflows.

In Unity, everything happened in game is right there, in truly intuitive game editor, and it’s not too hard to make our artist understand what, where, why, how of some basic game scene setup. Artist can even create and custom their own scene without distracting Coder doing his job.

The Coder now only concentrate in implementing game logic, game structure, sound controller, music logic …. . He just spends a little time to make some components for Artist that they can control their own object graphic, UI, animation in any way.

Many times, Artist have ideas to improve experience, it’s easier to Coder to accept and go for it when he know with a little help, Artist can make it by himself.

No more “wait for build” to exactly know what have you done.

No more “change it to 0.02 and let me see” with a troll-face

No more “it’s too complicated” to fix animated UI layout for multi-resolution.

The “issue list” now less terrible when half of it can be share to solve.

Because of that, we can put in game slow-mo effect for Special Skill, weapon attack trail, smoke particle effects …

If you ever notice, the clock of the tower actually works, and it tick tock exact current time. It created by an artist without any knowledge of code

Omega : The first movement” finally done after 4 months of development, with only one-Unity-talent Coder working on it.

Thanks to Unity, Artist and Coder can well collaborate each other.

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Storyline through game, Concept, Sketch, and Final art

After we had set up all the prototype flow and things like that, we entered this step. As I said before, one the main traits we wanted to make with this game is that it must create some “mood”, some feeling for gamers. This is how we made it Method: We decided the most suitable method to do is to create a main story, and make all concepts based on that main story, no more, no less. Reason:

  • To create mood for all the game
  • To make a unity of all concept through the game, like concept of background, of enemies, of main character
  • To make game’s contents deeper and richer
  • To have materials for making press-kit later ( the blogs about press-kit and stuffs like that will come up later too)
  • To inspire our team members

Process: Step 1: First of all, we figured out about the “mood” as “deep” and “serious” since:

  • As a coincidence, at that time, we were watching and listening to epic/emo music like:
    Can try it here And they made a deep impression on us too.
  • At that time, kinda almost of music, rhythm based games we knew were very cute and funny theme, with exciting music too, so we wanted to make something a bit different

Step 2: We created the whole story with full reasons and some plot twist at the end. To do that, we must answer those questions: WHERE

  • World of the story: the places where things happens, time, decades,… fantasy or realistic,…

HOW

  • Main character: his past, his interests, his reason, his way of thinking, his feeling towards others
  • Enemies: kinds of them, their position in this world, their feelings

WHY

  • Reasons for those action of the main character and his enemies
  • Reasons for features of the game: like the changing between story mode to hard mode, or the upgrade system

Step 3: We, the artist team, wrote down all on document, I know, it’s a tiring and boring job to do. But it’s like a MUST DO thing, very important for working in a team So, after we had all documents about the story, come the step of making sketches and concepts   Step 4: Making moodboard references: According to the story’s traits, we tried to search for all reference material online, and make some specific moodboards using Pinterest We had: Moodboard ref of Background Moodboard ref of character Moodboard ref of Architecture Step 5: Concept + sketch + final art   Background, using Sketchup at some points for quick imagination too: Enemies: Some final art: Step 6: UI We choose steam-punk theme, even with the UI After those steps, although we felt like: “ohhhh, we’ve done so˜˜˜˜˜˜ many things, this game’s art field must be nearly done, ehehe” but actually, just finish around  ¼ of all things TT___TT Step 7: Animated Cutscreens We did try the best to make the whole appearances of map, backgrounds and characters sticked with the storyline, but furthermore, what we really wanted to do was to implement this whole story, with reasons and plot twist into our game. In order for gamers to actually experience the feeling we want to make then. That’s why , after some discussing with coder, we decided to use Animated Cutscreens

  • First, we made a simple yet messy storyboard like this, just for 3 of us to imagine things

This storyboard showed us where, when, and how gamers would see the story’s flow, and even how the cutscreens would animated, how they would show up  

  • Simple sketches for those cutscreens
  • Line art and colouring with caring about the assets for animated
  • Export assets, then use Spine to animate them, export file
  • Then once again, this time, we made a clearer document for our coder. He just needed to follow this note to implement suitable files into certain placesThese  steps, as I can say, are one of the most interesting and happiest moment we had in all the game making process Okay, then with the final art and cut screen, we had done for like ⅓ amounts of stuffs.Now come the other big part: the Animation and Effects

Growing idea, prototype, and fail prototypes

This is how we made this game Omega – the first movement from the very first start. The whole process is of course not perfect, but we tried our best the whole time and had a very worthy happy time, so we hope you guys may gain some experiences from reading these lines.

  • Growing idea, prototype, and fail prototypes

We’re a team of 1 programmers, 1 game designer, and 3 artists, we always work together from all steps, including designing gameplay, making concept, testing, and also self-published marketing steps too  (this self-published stuff, as I think, is kinda a hard and strange field that almost all indie developers must face up with)

 This is the second product of us, right after Tiny Busters, which had 100k installations in the first 3 weeks on Google store.


Process

  1. With this second game, at the very first, we did choose out 2 main traits that we wanted to follow the most according to our current situation: 
  • This must be a small scope game ( not a very tiny/mini one, but must not complex since we didn’t have much time and money, and making kind of 6-months worth working game was kinda out of budget)
  • Create mood for gamers while playing game. Since we really wanted to bring out something that could resemble our team into our game.
  1. Gathered all around, with our game designer as the main host, we talked about what we liked to make the most, list them all out on board, brainstorming the options for these points that just had listed and having fun all the time talking about the possibilities of each options, it was really fun, like a word battle between our team members, since each ones had to protect their idea and options. We tried our best to break our limit, try new genres and mechanics too.

With all options/gameplays, we wrote down their own stregths and weaknesses, and in the end of the day, we chose 2 gameplay options, which of course had more stregth points and less weak points. They were based on match 3 gameplay. 

  1. With each options, we worked together to make some prototypes.

The advantages is that we had 2 artists and 1 technical artist, that’s why it only took us a very short time to draw something for those prototypes.

 

The step of making prototype as we think, is the very very important step that must have, since we did face up with lots of nonsense things which could have ruin the whole game, that we didnt noticed out at first.

Making prototype gave us huge posibilities to fix and improve our gameplay.

We made prototype as fast and as simple, not try to fix bugs and other things, just needed to have a overall view about the gameplay.

 

After making about 2 or 3 versions of prototypes like these ones:

We decided that kind of match 3 gameplays was completely fail, and took for other 2 more prototypes in order to decide the final gameplay and all the upgrading system along the gameplay.


It was the rhythm based action gameplay like the final Omega now.


Prototype of gameplay

Prototype of Game flow and UI

So after having an overall prototype of the whole game, we entered the next important step:
Making Storyline though game, Concept, Sketch, and Final art

The making of OMEGA : The first movement

Hi everyone,

We are Goya team, an young indie mobile game dev team. Say “Hello!” to the world now guys! ;’)

We’ve just released this game after 4 months hard working

OMEGA – The first movement.

Link down game:

Yes! Download here!

iOS Download

Here’s the link for trailer:

Here’s the link for demo clip:

We would like to share our game’s making process, in order to give out and receive more knowledges. Any feedbacks are warmly welcomed with all our thankful hearts XD. And, since I’m not a native English speaker, so if just anything of my words that make you guys confused, please tell me too.

This is the contents we will post in a row, on this game making process topic

  1. Overall views about the game
  2. Growing idea, prototype, and fail prototypes
  3. Storyline though game, Concept, Sketch, and Final art
  4. Why we choose Unity
  5. Animation: research and solve
  6. Work with composer
  7. Presskit + Trailer
  8. Public test and won the Hot new game reward in Comic Con HCM 2014
  9. The problems we had to face up within the whole process
  10. Released

Follow our journey!