Skeletron.exe is a fast-paced arcade FPS where the player is tasked with finding and defeating arch-virus Skeletron.exe who has trapped them in his crypto-city. The player is only equipped with their trusty binary-blaster, but ammo is precious and expensive! The player will only be able to reload by picking up the bullets they fire when they fall to the ground. Will skeletron.exe finally be defeated? Can his soul be purged from the net?
The focus of this project was to iterate heavily on simple mechanics and provide a project more polished than anything we had achieved in the past in an academic setting. I was tasked with creating a satisfying "gun feel" but I also got to work extensively with Unity's effects graph to create complex particle systems.
The project was made in Unity with a team of 6 composed of programmers, designers and an audio designer.
Satisfying Gun Feedback
Throughout my research and experimentation, I feel as though I was able to really enhance the gunplay through the movement and animation of the various systems. The bulk of the “play feel” coming from animation work. More importantly, I found that the system work that needs to be done will vary from game to game. This doesn’t totally surprise me as that tends to be the case for most things in games. What did surprise me is just how much work can go into something very small. One shot from the gun required camera work, several animations, multiple particle effects, and accompanying audio. This amount of work is all very subtle but together created an effect that felt very powerful.
Accompanying Visual Effects
I spent a great deal of time on two areas of visual effect in this game. The first was the animation work and art that went into the gun itself. This included hit marker animations, crosshair animation, as well as muzzle flash and bullet trail effects. Everything was kept simple because of our lack of artists for the project, but I did experiment a great deal with the subtle ways that these effects could make the gun feel more powerful.
The second kind of visual effect was created with Unity's new-ish visual effect graph. Through combinations of smaller particle systems, I created exciting effects like the barrel explosion.