Welcome to the third part of our Q&A posts! In this post, you get to know more about the Wonhon mini-comic books, the hardest game system to make, and the ways of managing your stress during game development.
Q1: I find it very interesting to see the scene with assembling crows. Could you tell us more about how you did it? Did you animate each raven separately? How long did it take?
The crow horde is a big GPU particle system. Each crow is animated using vertex animated textures (using texture blending for multiple animations - idle, gliding, flapping). It took a long time to figure out - I couldn’t rely on the built-in systems for animation, physics, and AI, so it was difficult to try to program all of those things from scratch using compute shaders.
Q2: What made you want to start writing these kinds of comic books?
The comic books were written by Alex Park. He had ideas on more stories that could be told within that universe, so those turned into the mini comic books.
Q3: What is the most interesting game programming-related story you learned throughout your developing & researching?
I made a lot of editor tools to speed up my development process, and those were fun to figure out. Unity is really flexible as an engine, so you can do a ton to modify the engine as you wish and make many tools (inspector UI, procedural modeling, fence placement, etc) to make your process more efficient.
Q4: What game system was the hardest one to make?
Enemy field of view system was tough to figure out. Initially I used CPU raycasting and procedural mesh to build the fan-shaped field of view visualization, but it was very limited. I couldn’t have more than 3 enemies showing their field of view at once, because the frame rate would drop to below 30 fps on a standard gaming PC. This was a huge problem as I wanted every enemy to show their field of view when they were alerted by the player. I looked at how other games handled this problem, and it seems like other games either rely on precomputation using simple level geometry or only show one enemy’s field of view at a time. These solutions didn’t work for Wonhon, so I needed to think of something different. Luckily I’d learned a little bit about GPU programming from making rain and fog particle systems, so I thought I could offload the field of view calculations to the GPU as well.
Q5: Are you planning to continue being a solo dev, or will you be happy to work in a team?
I guess it depends on what I want to do after this game. I’m not sure yet.
Q6: Can you somehow explain why you chose such a dark and gloomy style for your game?
I just chose the subject matter and style that appealed to me the most at the start of development. Making a ‘dark’ game wasn’t a conscious choice.
Q7: Why did you choose the Unity engine for your game?
I’ve been using Unity for a couple of years, so it was the tool that I was most comfortable with.
Q8: How did you manage your stress? Such an undertaking must've been quite hard.
Meditation helps with stress management. And I try not to take things too seriously. We’re all here for a limited amount of time, nothing’s worth losing your mind over. Also, I love game development, so even the hard parts were fun problems to solve.
Q9: What would be your best advice for a person who would like to start making their own games?
Start small and do it everyday!
Q10: How long do you think interest in your game will last?
I think that’s impossible for me to guess. If people get value out of my game, I’d be happy.
At the moment, our selection of questions is over, so if you want to see more of these posts, feel free to ask your interesting questions that may be included in a new list in the future.
Thanks for staying with us and simply for reading Sean’s thoughts, we appreciate it!
Take care, friends!
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