How to make game prototypes

Amazin Escape Game Prototype
Amazin Escape. Prototype version

What is a game prototype? Certainly, there is a short and elegant definition. But I like how Jesse Schell explains it in his famous book The Art of Game Design. He says that the sole purpose of a game prototype is to answer a question or questions that arise during game development. Questions could be general like: “Is this game mechanic fun?” or very specific: “Does my team have enough experience to produce animations of given quality?”

When I just started my experiments in game development I did not know about prototyping. I had just a blurry vision of how a game development process should look like. Read More

12 Principles of Animation in Games

Animation Tutorial by Alan Becker

You may have heard about the famous 12 principles of animation. Two Disney animators formulated and introduced them in 1981. These principles are really important if you care about how the animation looks in your movie or game.

In Amazin Escape, the game I am working on now, the main protagonist is a jumping lamp. It jumps all the time and certainly different kinds of animations are an essential part of the game. When I worked on them I tried to follow the principles thoroughly. Read More

Working with Animation Starter Pack in UE4

Animation Starter Pack

While developing a prototype for a new game I am working on right now, I decided to use free assets as much as possible. For animations I found Animation Starter Pack by Epic Games very useful. You probably don’t want to use it in your actual game – but it’s really good for answering a lot of questions about your gameplay. And it is a perfect placeholder for future production-quality animations.

I just finished another iteration of my project where paid a lot of attention to polishing the main character animations. This is how it looks so far: Read More

Implementing a simple behavior tree in Unreal Engine 4

Image displays a level with markers for a neural network

A while ago I started working on a new game project. It’s called Saturday Morning Frag (Let it be SMF for short). Some sort of an arena shooter with bots – that is the idea at the current moment. Anyway, at first, the idea was to employ machine learning™ for bots AI. I was overenthusiastic at that moment. I eagerly started to build layers for my neural network. I haven’t achieved anything significant before I realized that I need to choose: either I am making a game or I am building a neural network. So, I chose the game and switched to UE4 behavior trees.

Today I finished the very first draft version of a bot AI implemented by means of a behavior tree and happy to share what I’ve learned and how you could do something similar. Read More