Feature Friday! Continuing to Develop Game Aesthetics

42. It’s day 42! The answer to the ultimate question of life the universe, and everything!

Don’t forget your towel.

And on day 42, I found myself continuing my task into making the main menu, and UI for the game. Today’s challenges included rethinking my particle system, creating a load menu, and planning the user interface for some future implementations.

Though my current particle system for the main menu was working, I realized that getting it to cooperate with everyone else’s unity might be a problem, as I used a special asset pack to accomplish this graphical feat. As I researched the challenge more, it became clear that using a particle system for UI, was not such a simple task.

One does not simply just use particles on the UI.

The problem lay in how the system recognizes the UI system, as its not exactly the same as how it looks at game objects in the game. The particles have to be not only on the UI layer, but the render mode for the canvas has to be swapped to screen space for the main camera so the particles to show up. This realization was thanks to me breaking down and finally asking for some help from a lead named Austin, and one of the art experts Al, who helped me figure it out during our AM stand up meeting.

Change this, so particles can be seeeeen!

Not only did I figure out how to implement a normal particle system on the canvas, but due to the help, I was able to figure out how to make an even BETTER particle system, closer to what I had envisioned form the start, with the start particles flying towards the screen like you’re flying through space! This was achieved by also changing the shape of the emitter to a hemisphere and rotating it towards the camera position, which was not previously available through the custom asset I had downloaded.

*Space Fanfare Plays*

As the day continued, I messed around more and more with the assets and scenes and made some good progress! I couldn’t help but feel like I wasn’t doing much BECAUSE the tasks and projects I was working on didn’t have much code to write.

Don’t get me wrong, I did write at least a couple scripts, including one for a sweet loading screen with randomized tips featured on it, which allows the player to only continue if input is received. I was very satisfied with that! We then had a mandatory workshop with Al Heck, which seemed to be serendipitous, as he went over how to do animations for games, basically doing things complicated code would do, through animations! His overall message was that if you don’t have to be some amazing perfect coder, to achieve great things in Unity, there are tools available to help you.

Though I do want to learn and enjoy learning about code, I also absolutely love the aesthetics of a game. Assets really make your game come alive and help to tell the story that you want to share, or the experience you want to give. I’m often told not to judge a book by it’s cover, however, in today’s professional and competitive environment,looks are very important. It’s true you can still have a great game, or product and it may not look the “best”, but if you can aim for a great product with a great look, it sure does help.

With that in mind, I want our game to be better than good. I want it to look and feel amazing, share the experience that our team envisions and come out on the other side with no regrets.

As the day’s go on, I am even more excited to see what my teammates and I will come up with next, I can truly say that what I’ve seen so far is just so creative, and this is just the Minimal Viable Product phase!

So with that, I leave you with a sneak preview of my loading screen with one of the tips!

;)

Until Monday, have a wonderful weekend, and thanks for reading!

— Ryan

Pewpewer of QQ-ers

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