24/04/2017
Making of Techium Eclipse

Techium Eclipse is our game entry for Ludum Dare 38 and was made in less than 48-hours. In the game the player has to save Earth by changing it's orbit so meteors do not collide with structures. Here are some of the most interesting tricks we used to speed up development .

The concept

The concept of the game is loosely based on our 2006 game World Defense. The original game lacked building and didn't have a clear goal. By adding a goal and allowing the player to construct buildings there's more strategy involved next to skill, making the game more interesting to play.

The planet

The planet is divided in two static meshes. The first one (on the left) is completely covered in triangles. The second (on the right) contains just triangles for the landmass. By going through all triangles of the second mesh it's easy to determine where structures and trees could be placed.

By adding all three points of a triangle and dividing by three you can get the center of a triangle, which in this case is a plot of land that a structure can be placed on.

Meteors

Each meteor is placed inside an empty holder object (origin at core of the planet), the the local X position of the meteor is changed to create distance from the core and the outer rims of the planet. By giving the holder object a random rotation the meteor will be positioned somewhere around the planet.

Changing the local X position of the meteor will move it closer or farther away from Earth. When the local X position reaches a certain point it will impact on the planet.

This way you can avoid having to calculate difficult math and work with basic Unity rotation and position changing.

Visuals

The lighting is left as Unity's default while the ambient lighting is changed from skybox controlled to either a static color or gradient. This gives a greater control over the lighting in the scenes and allows you to brighten dark areas.

Next to the default lighting we added a LUT shader (color correction) in the third panel, sharpen/noise/chromatic aberration (all part of the Colorful FX toolset) in the last. Unity's default crease shading effect gives the planet a bloom-like effect.

Models

The planet and all structures are modeled using SketchUp, a perfect and free tool for creating low-poly models. Unity is able to read standard SKP files (SketchUp 2015 and below only) which doesn't require you to export in any format from SketchUp.

With all groups and components intact when imported into Unity it's easy to handle certain groups in models. This way you can create a structure that levels up (or gets built) by enabling and disabling certain objects within the mesh.

You can play Techium Eclipse of free at Itch.io


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