It was going to be important to strike a balance when creating the terrain for Outpost Recon. I needed a selection of section types to create engaging levels, a number of variations on each section type so that they didn’t feel repetitive and finally they needed to be the right size for the player to handle. I also couldn’t let it get too out of control as this was still going to be a mobile game and keeping the size down as much as possible was a must.
My initial designs for terrain all proved to be far too short. Even the shortest flat sections, used to break up more dangerous sections, had to be increased by up to 4x in length. Longer sections also meant the level generation wouldn’t be working as hard and actual level code would be less dense.
The final section types ended up being hills down, hills up, jump, crater, cliff left, cliff right (allowing for variable gaps between), short flat and long flat. Each of these sections has multiple ‘hotspot’ coordinates that can be used to spawn collectibles, powerups and obstacles such as land mines.
The sprites for these elements are flat white so they can be recolored easily inside unity based on the level variables. A similar trick was used for the dust kicked up by the Recon Rover, so that whenever dust particles are produced it reads the current color value of the terrain it is on.
Many of the terrain pieces needed to be smoothed out as they caused issues if jumped from or landed on at specific angles. One infamously needed to be removed entirely as the rate for accident was insanely high. It also looked pretty bad and had already found an unfortunate nickname.
Recon Auth Signing Out
Press F For the Big Donger. RIP in piece..