Capstone Blog Post: Tone Maps and Gun Editor Tools / by Thomas McGillicuddy

This week my team decided to give another week for both concepts to better flesh out the mechanics of the western mystery game, and the world of the atompunk twin stick shooter.

Because we only have one (stellar) designer, I went ahead and tried to assist with creating the world of the atompunk shooter. I made a tone map with a laundry list of our references. I used anything with atom punk references like movies, comics, tv shows, and other games, then put them on a X axis scale going from more serious tone to more ridiculous. Then I gave the map a Y axis for player dependence, or how much the game NEEDS other players to be played. We looked at lots of other co-op games, or games with a strong co-op culture, like Halo, and had them going from player independent to player dependent. Then, I move everything on the map along the opposite axis (unless it wasn’t a game), to get a clearer 2D map. Finally, I was able to go to my team at the end of the sprint, and simply ask “Where do we see our game?” Which we all pretty much agreed somewhere between Jetsons and Flash Gordon in seriousness, but as close to Borderlands in terms of player dependence as we could get.

Here’s that tone map

Here’s that tone map

The other 4/5s of my week was focused around building the foundation of the procedural gun system. Defining gun classes was easy enough, they have part IDs, and some base stats saved to a json file. Part classes were pretty much the same, stats, auto generated part ID (used by gun) and a string for the file name for which mesh it uses. What was a REAL challenge, but fun to do, was creating the editor window itself in Unity. It comes equipped with a preview screen to let the designer view the model of the parts and guns, and lets them edit the Json without looking at straight text. Guns can be spawned into the scene and given to players, and it automatically reads the various part’s information to determine the different traits, like fire rate, elemental effects, etc. It was tons of fun to learn about and watch come together, and I can’t wait for my designers to start using it with new gun ideas.

a screen shot of my gun editor

a screen shot of my gun editor