Atlev's Corner (of the Internet)

Sep 12, 2023

Exploration of Development


It's been a while since I've written here. Almost exactly 2 years coincidentaly, but a lot has happened in my life. Mental breakdowns, trauma, being trapped in a residential for 2 months, yadda yadda yadda. However I am not here to talk about that, so let's get to business!

─Refrigeration Junkie─

An idea for a space game had been floating around in my head for a bit:

"What if you were traveling the endless cosmic void, but had to constantly repair your cheap, junky ship's systems and contend with everything going wrong. Like a space desert bus."

I wanted it to feel like a long road trip, filled with mistakes and problems that the player would have to fix themselves (after all, there are no rest stops in space.) The idea was that you could freely move from outside to the inside of the ship seamlessly and would need to do so if, say, your comms dish got blown apart by a piece of who-knows-what space junk. Now that sounds all good and fine, but where does one start with making such a thing?

First, I started with writing the player's body. After basic movement was working and a testing playground was put together, I next had to create gravity fields. While I could have the player exist in constant microgravity, moving around might get a bit cumbersome indoors. Okay, that's easy: I'll just add directional acceleration to any objects that enter the trigger volume. This involved creating a custom "prop" object that would handle all the logic behind its physical properties depending on its gravity state. Not too bad so far.

It took me a long time and a lot of trial and error (and as someone new to Unity and C#) to make the player reorient themselves upon touching the field so that they would be standing upright. If only I knew that I would end up scrapping it later down the line, but hey, that's just a part of designing and developing anything.

Development continued over the months. I was learning texturing, modeling, debugging practices, and the most important part was that it was fun.

Eventually the joy of creation wore off and turned into tedious, burnout-inducing work. My code architecture up to that point was the same code that I was creating to learn. 9 months of terrible code blocked the iteration process. It wasn't fun anymore.

As I let my sanity rest, new ideas came to me. Some in my dreams. Some watching movies, shows, playing games and thinking "I want to do this better." I wanted to try again.

I'll tell you all about it in my next post.

Thank you for reading,