On-Rails Shooter First, Planetary Sci-Fi Sandbox Right After
Published 4 years ago
How Unity Seamlessly Brought Craneballs from Mobile to PC
We are Craneballs, the indie guys behind the mobile shooter series called Overkill (1-3). We are now working on Planet Nomads as a team of ten. Planet Nomads is a sci-fi sandbox game of creation and survival on massive (120 km in diameter), procedurally generated alien planets. It also happens to be our first PC game. The PC platform is a dream come true, and one that we'd not reach without a powerful game engine.
The Overkill shooter series started six years ago as a pure gallery shootery with cardboard enemies, but it had the proper dark and intense shooter atmosphere. Overkill 2 was still a gallery shooter, but it had 3D enemies and most importantly 3D guns. Each gun had six parts to upgrade.
Then came Overkill 3, which was a 3rd person on-rails shooter in a full-fledged 3D world. It had cinematic cut-scenes, boss fights with massive robots, and ever more detailed gun upgrading.
This was our first game in Unity - we explored the engine's possibilities, did more and more 3D modeling and animations of the main character and his enemies.
Turns out once you create a game like Overkill 3 in Unity, the PC is yours for the taking.
The main challenge of Planet Nomads was the procedural terrain generation; we explored 3rd party possibilities and finally decided to write our own library for Unity. After a year of work we ended up with Sandy. The first version was generating the world on a flat plain. Two months later our planets were finally spherical, with 120 kms in diameter and 2 km visibility.
Planet Nomads is visually pleasing and its performance more than satisfactory. Unity physics provided robust foundations for our own custom one and saved us a lot of time.
So that is it, Unity has painlessly brought us to the PC. The closed-alpha of Planet Nomads is coming in August, with the sandbox game going to Early Access early next year (Q1 2017).
You can follow the development on the amazing TRELLO and on Planet Nomads Twitter.
Thanks for reading and take care!
Jakub Riman