I began this process with ideation and research. Inspired by the 2016 movie “The Greasy Strangler”, I initially considered creating a video game where the main character went around strangling NPCs. This seemed too dark, so instead I decided that converting NPCs to religion would be a more appropriate theme. Based off of blatant evangelical Protestant conversion practices, I created a game where the main character, a Crustian Chesuit Missionary, sets out to convert all non believers to his cause. However, a game where one just goes around and converts NPCs sans challengers is not interesting, so I decided to create two enemies to impede upon user success. The first, the “Cat-Holic” missionary, would convert non believer NPCs or those you had converted into a “Cat-holic” convert. The “Militant non believer” bad guy would turn all converted NPC’s back into their non believer status.
Once I had a mythology going, I went about bringing my characters to life in Adobe Fuse.
Here were the initial designs for “Non Believer NPCs”:
I endeavored to make this NPC look sickly and miserable, which lends itself to the idea that only through conversion might these characters find peace.
After I created this model, I used this form to make the “Crustian convert” and “Cat-holic convert” models:
These models were physically happier than the non believer. They shared many similarities, save clothing color and eyes.
To design the Cat-holic convert, I channeled the cultural perception of a crazy cat lady. Here is the design I ended up with.
The final baddy would be the “Militant Non Believer”. His character would be an obese figure with sparse facial hair and a fedora.
After initially presenting these characters to the class, some feedback I received indicated that the game was too heavily masculine, and that the addition of female NPCs would help the gender discrepancy. So I added these models as well as designed the main character.
Here are the female NPC non Believers
Here are the models for the main character:
Once this was done, I attempted to give these characters skeletons and animate them to create FBXs for Unity. Unfortunately, the number of vertices made each character impossible to boolean together, causing me to use low poly characters in the games final instead of these models.
Then it became time to build the scene aspects. I decided that the game would take place in an urban setting, like a city street. I decided to emulate Los Angeles’ skid row, which is notorious for its homeless population. To emulate this, I designed buildings and other street assets for the game.
Here you can see some of the street aspects I made, like buildings, trash cans, and street lights. The next step was to export these objects from Blender into Unity, and create a scene. Once all the finished assets were in Unity, I created a “model” block that incorporated each of these models. This would serve as the building block for my scenes, as each “street” would be comprised of any amount of these prefabs. Below you may observe this basic street object.
After using various scripts provided in class, I set about making a prototype that would illustrate the functions of the game. To access this build, click HERE.
The task of building this game was a precarious one, entailing many hours of scripting, alteration, and amendment. I had to make some cuts, like the primary actions of the two enemies. However, I did create an opening animation and tutorial scene to better situate the gamer within the context of plot and controls. To see this animation, view the video below
At the beginning of the semester, designing a video game seemed little more than a simple final project, typical of what I might accomplish in other classes. Now that all is said and done, I can say with certainty that I was very, very wrong. Setting out to make a video game was perhaps one of the most challenging endeavors I had set on throughout my collegiate experience, as this project required skills in several softwares, hours of production, and coding. And while I can say that what I submitted as my final was an unpolished, perhaps Alpha, version of a game, I can say with certainty that the experience I gained while building this project and the final product were well worth the effort. For links to the final (and an improved one I made after the fact) click here.