Starting Development

Hi all,

we would like to start a series of blogs about the development process of our game, Deadly Labs, to help other developers by showing the problems we ran into, which tools we used and how we worked to solve them. The game is still under development until Q4 / 2017.

We will go through specific topics for each new post, including animation, modelling, texturing, analytics and what else that could help other indies gaining some inspiration.

On this first post we would like to introduce our studio, a quick look behind the scenes of what Rebound Games is all about. We will follow up with technical stuff on the next post. So let's get into it.

We got into game development in 2012 and had to learn everything from the beginning - we decided to stick with Unity and Blender as foundation for that. We quickly realised that even though Unity is a very powerful engine, its features weren't enough to fulfill all our needs for specific game types. So we learned to create them on our own, and later sold them as Unity Assets. That led us to the founding of Rebound Games in 2013.

Image 1 is showing Michael's office, located in Balingen, Germany. Working on Deadly Labs. We had to test it on different devices, therefore the desk looks like a mess. Most of the time we work in our own homes. Once a week we meet for a dev session, because we found it very helpful and extremely productive, talk about how we approach things and focus on a specific topic together. It is also an important factor for motivation to meet every once in a while and encourages to finish what we started.

In Image 2, that's Florian's flat in Metzingen, Germany. It's about 45 minutes drive from Balingen. (Left: Michael, Right: Florian). On this pic we're playing around with the Oculus and Gear. Which have also great Unity support in current versions, btw.

What you will get from this blog series

Game Design is one of the most versatile arts in the world. There are so many things to think about before you even start. We want to show you our approach for getting things done in an appropriate way. First off, there is planning.

F.I.: Deadly Labs is supposed to be a mobile game. Therefore, if you look at the picture above, there are several difficulties to overcome. Because mobile devices are much weaker than a PC, so you have to use as few resources you possibly can. We used different techniques to get this result:

  • Baked Lightmapping
  • Baked Reflection mapping
  • Custom Shaders, f.I.: for the glowing lamps, which are planes with emission. The Standard Unity shaders were too expensive so we had to make them significantly smaller. Also for the characters and lots of other stuff
  • Low Poly models for objects
  • Custom Level Designer scripts that put everything in it's place, so we don't have to start from scratch in each new level
  • Adaptability for each object, because they have to work in each level under different circumstances
  • Light weight particle effects
  • Garbage collection and respawning for those and other objects, like shots, characters
  • Use of Box Colliders wherever possible, to keep good performance

To call only a few. There's also another asset that came out of this game for making tutorials for an individual type of game. The tutorial for Deadly Labs was first written by plain C# code, which was very impractical as the project was growing. So we made the Tutorial Designer (see Image 3) which was later used for cutscenes, too:

In the upcoming posts we will pick a specific topic and get into them more deeply. I hope you found it inspiring so far. You can also ask questions here or in our social channels for an open discussion! Thanks for reading! More to come soon.

We are looking for beta testers!

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