01 - We Made A Game
Our main job at Minddesk is to develop our voxel editor, Qubicle. We don't plan on becoming a game developer anytime soon. But since Qubicle is mostly used for game design we thought it might be a good idea to set-up and test a game development pipeline ourselves. The experiences made in the process should help us find ways to improve Qubicle in the future. And while we were at it we wanted to document our pipeline and all the steps to give you a good overview of how you can build your own game.
Our game is called Gravity Knight. It's not finished yet - and probably never will be. Unfortunately time ran out too soon, but we were able to set-up and test every required step (except for sound design). The following documentation will show you our pipeline. It's not the way to do it, just one that worked amazingly well for us.
We are 4 guys who all studied media design here in Hanover. Our university's main focus is 3D modeling, animation, compositing and in recent years, game development.
Tim is Minddesk's lead developer and the driving force behind Qubicle. His job on this game was mainly management and teaching the basics of Qubicle.
Patrick and Christian know each other and have collaborated together for quite a long time. They both did an internship here at Minddesk for about 18 weeks and this game was their main task. They already knew about Qubicle but had never used it before.
Patrick was responsible for rigging and animation in Maya and prepared the game assets for Unity.
Christian made most of the voxel models and designed the user interface as well as the game's logo.
Our last team member Tobi - who normally pre-develops new features for Qubicle - wrote control scripts for Unity.
Due to the limited time we had to create the game - roughly 10 weeks - we were focusing on a simple game idea that should run on mobile devices. We all love old school pixel-art games, so the decision to do something retro was quickly made. And what is more retro than the hero who saves the princess from a dungeon on top of a tower? To give this a modern twist we decided to add a little gravity and an unusual perspective: a hero with gravity boots who runs straight up the tower and who can jump from one side of the tower to the other. The Gravity Knight was born. The kicker of this game idea is the camera which remains fixed on the hero even when he is jumping around the tower. So it looks rather like the tower and the world is rotating right beneath his feet.
Besides Qubicle we used Photoshop for everything related to texturing, Maya for rigging/animation and Unity for game development.
For our game we decided to use the most common approach and export all our models as textured meshes. If you are using a custom voxel engine or want to export your meshes with vertex colors instead of textures then some parts of this series of articles may not apply.