Alright, I’m now 2 weeks into running September Games. So far, so good! I wanted to share a bit about how Stilt Fella is shaping up and what’s happened so far. First, a history lesson.
Throughout 2014 I started putting together my own games, but they were little more than prototypes. When 2015 rolled around I made a commitment to actually stick with one project and see it through to the end. The idea to make a character who walks on stilts was kind of a spur of the moment thing, and I wanted to see if I could master Unity’s physics system enough to actually make it work. Remarkably, it did, and within a week I had the first working prototype.
In my naive first-time developer-mind I thought I’d spend another week on it, polish it up, add some levels and be done with it. Didn’t exactly work out like that. Instead it took me 3 more months before the game was finished. Turns out game development is a lot more time-consuming than it looks.
This version was made with Unity 4. Late in the production I tried to update the game to work with the newly-released Unity 5, but the whole thing fell apart as Unity’s physics-system had gotten a major overhaul.
New version – Early 2019 development
When I got back to Stilt Fella in 2019 I originally thought about continuing with Unity 4, just add more levels and content, but after some fiddling around with it I realized I’d be able to make the gameplay feel much better if I upgraded the physics. So I switched to Unity 2018, and as a result pretty much every part of the game had to be remade.
From January to early April, I worked on the new version of Stilt Fella in my free time. Most of the time was spent working on the core gameplay, getting the movement to feel better.
It was also during this time Stilt Fella grew arms and legs. At first it kinda felt like sacrilege to make such a drastic change to the character, but once the new limbs were in place, I couldn’t imagine it any other way.
Development during the first 2 weeks of September Games
Some major pieces have fallen into place. Significant additions include:
Partly I’ve revamped a lot of the levels from the old version, but a few new ones have also been added, including the highway level seen above.
I copied the menu-system from another game I’m currently working on, and continued developing it. The code that runs this will likely power all the menus in my future games.
I’ve also added a “Demo mode”. Wait 30 seconds in the menu and it will disappear, letting the background video take centre stage.
Post processing and particle effects
I’m using Unity’s Post Processing Stack to add Bloom, Depth Of Field blurring, and extra-good Anti-aliasing. I’ve also set up particle systems to kick up a little dust when a stilt collides with the ground, and splash water when Stilt Fella falls into the ocean.
To gamers it must seem like such a basic feature, but I must confess none of my previous games have had volume-settings. In the end, it was a lot easier to implement than I had feared. I also added options to change Grahics-quality, as well as options to toggle Bloom and Depth Of Field Blur.
Just earlier today I managed to get this working. Stilt Fella is now playable in English and Swedish! Now that the code for this has been sorted out it’s just a matter of translating and adding new languages. I’m planning to include Korean and Russian, as the original version of the game proved quite popular in these countries. Also most likely I’ll include Chinese, Spanish and Finnish.
And that’s about it!
Up next I’m gonna fix a few issues with the menu/UI, get started on character designs, and make more levels!