Happy new year! I’m starting 2019 off right with the release of a small game I worked on at the end of 2018: Minimal Raider, my submission for the #tombraiderjam on itch.io. I’ve always been a fan of the Tomb Raider franchise, so I had to seize this opportunity to play with the formula.
It was a great learning experience working on this game. I’m no stranger to 3D level design, but I never had a third-person character who is able to traverse the space freely and climb and jump and everything. It radially changes how you layout a level. I’m using the excellent climbing system by DiasGames.
I built 80% of the level out of standard Unity cubes with different colors, and then enhanced some areas with more bespoke assets from Beffio’s Lost Lands pack. In a way you can still see a lot of the greyboxing geometry in the final version, which I think is fun, it’s like seeing the brushstrokes on a painting.
And after dancing around it for a while, I finally figured out how to lightmap a level properly. This gives everything a more natural feel, as sunlight bounces off of surfaces to illuminate others. It’s not super easy to set up and iterate on quickly, but I managed to get pretty decent results with fairly swift bake times eventually.
This is also the first time I’m using Unity Timeline in a production environment, and I liked it a lot. I had already made a 2D animation project with it previously, so I knew the basics workflow, which meant I could quickly achieve exactly what I needed for the intro and outro cinematics of this game.
And finally the post-processing effects tie it all together. Bloom is essential here ofcourse for the scorching desert sun and the contrast between inside and outside spaces, then there’s color grading, tonemapping, and motion blur to give it a more cinematic feel.
I’d love to hear what you think if you check it out!