Alright, we’re a week and a day late (sort of) but here we go. This is the first dev log for Stealth Elephant Entertainment’s future first title: Dog Eat Dog. Over the last week, I’ve been doing as much as I could in-between finals in college. I didn’t do as much as I’d like, but it’s a start.
First of all, I decided not to try to program everything from scratch and jumped over to Unity. In a perfect world, I’d have all the games we made be built mostly off of our own software, but for now I’ve decided to set that goal aside and focus on more pressing matters. By more pressing matters, I mean actually making a game.
Above you can see the basic elements of the game, which are also the basic elements that will be in pretty much every prototype until the game has advanced a bit. The bunnies are standing in for the different types of animals. The white one in the center is the player. The green one is an herbivore and the red one is a carnivore. At present, the two npc bunnies don’t do very much. There are also several flowers on the right side of the screen. Since those are the most straightforward to understand, I’ll start by explaining them.
The idea behind plants is pretty simple. After a certain amount of time, a plant makes a new plant. Then both those plants make new plants, etc. There’s also a maximum amount of time a plant can be alive at which point it dies. One other addition is the fact that plants can’t overlap with anything when they spawn, which causes them to spread out pretty naturally. In the future, I plan to add more rules to this process, but for now it works to support the other features in the game. At the moment, the player can interact with plants in one key way, by eating them.
As you can see in the demo above, it’s a fairly basic action right now. When close enough to a plant, the player can hold down a button to start munching on it. You can also see a UI in the top left showing the “Current Food Level.” This number represents the amount of food the character has in their stomach. When it hits zero, the player starves to death and dies. I’m not showing that because it just means the player disappears since game overs aren’t really implemented at the moment. I also have been referring to Current Food Level internally as “Fullness.” I’m not actually sure what to call it though… maybe calories? If you have any suggestions, feel free to send us a message or leave a comment.
The particle effect for eating is a simple construction using Unity’s particle systems. Just a little burst of particles in random directions. I think it comes out decently satisfying considering it’s a prototype. There’s also the sound effect, which was made by scrunching up paper next to a microphone.
The final two elements that are in this build are the red carnivore bunny and the green herbivore bunny. They aren’t particularly interesting right now. They stand around for a little while and then starve to death. I’m actually working on getting their behavior working this week. Here’s a little preview of what we’ll have next week.
As you can see, I’ve got some rudimentary foraging and wandering AI. This is obviously a work in progress. As you can see, the AI can instantly devour anything, which is a problem. It also doesn’t know how to choose plants based on what’s closest to it, and instead goes after whichever plant is the oldest. The wandering part of the AI isn’t particularly visible in the gif above, but it’s decent enought that you’ll probably see it mostly unchanged in the build we release next Monday.
On an artistic note, Sienna (our artist) created the main art asset featured above, the bunny. Here’s a bigger version of it.
One final note. Last week we didn’t post anything on Medium since there was no dev log. But we did post a short announcement on our website, which is now up and running (if a bit bare-bones). In fact, you’re on it right now.
That’s all for this week. We’ll be back next Monday with more to show off. Thanks for reading!