How we made an infinite runner in less than 2 months

Jun 28, 2022 at 06:00 am by nemirc

How we made an infinite runner in less than 2 months
How we made an infinite runner in less than 2 months

A couple of months ago or so, I wrote an article about Dreamteck Forever, a Unity add-on that allows you to make infinite runner games. I actually used this engine to make “Color SlayerS”, a color-based infinite runner that will release soon.

If you read my articles about game development, you know I am very pro-using existing systems/engines from gamedev marketplaces (be it the Unity Asset Store or the Unreal Marketplace), because those can greatly accelerate your game development. In this case, Forever helped cut the development time a lot. On top of that, I used Character Creator to create the 3 slayers and iClone to animate them, reusing the animations as much as possible and simply modifying the animations to fit each character.

The entire game was made in around one month and a half, as a side project. I handled the part of the characters, and assembling the tracks (setting up track generators and all), and a 3D artist handled the part of asset creation (tracks, obstacles, destructible objects). On top of that, I also used PlayMaker to create the custom programming, like making the girls hit the obstacles, score counters, etc., as well as PlayStation programming.

The first thing I did was use some basic segments (flat planes created in Maya, without textures or any detail) to create a track. I also created prototypes of the different objects (obstacles and destructibles) using cubes, so I could create different segments with different arrays of obstacles. I also had a basic non-textured character that I used to work on animations and calibrate gameplay variables like speed and such.

During that time, the 3D artist was creating different segments for different types of tracks. While the original Color Slayer (that we made in 2019) only had one track, this one will have 5 different tracks. As I was getting those track models, I went ahead and created more segments for the game.

The next step was to create the color slayers. For this, I used a modified version of the Killer Dolls character, and then I gave them “porcelain skin” to make them feel very ghost-like. Since the character appears very small on the screen, and none of them are ever seen in great detail, I was able to get away with some stuff and just add some basic details to the outfits.

Then, I animated all in iClone. The one that took most time was the first character. Then, I decided to simply make copies of existing animations and replace the character. Then I simply modified the animation to fit the character. For example, the idle animation of the one using swords and the one using pistols are different.

While I finished this, the 3D artist finished all the different models for the tracks and objects (which were a decent number of models). Since Unity now has this “variant prefab system” (which works similar to Unreal’s class-subclass system), I could easily create variants of the original tracks and just keep the same arrays I had created. I had configured all the segments in around half a week.

Lastly, to make every track level unique, I used different sky materials that I got from a sky library a while ago. That gives every track its own atmosphere, and that is far better than having all tracks with the same background. To make the tracks feel different, I also used the Forever level generator to create different arrays of tracks, including manually-created sections. This way, tracks will always feel different. For example, there’s this track that puts more emphasis on the bombs, while another track puts more emphasis on rows of destructible objects.

Using Forever helped create this game in no time. Rather than spending weeks or months making my own infinite runner system, I could simply use Forever to have a working prototype in less than a week. On top of that, using Character Creator helped me create characters in a fraction of the time. Rather than spending one or two weeks on a single character, I was able to have all three in less than a week. As I always say, game development is hard, so anything that can make your work easier is more than welcome.


Sections: Tips + Tutorials

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