solburn cluster game landscape

Solburn Cluster project

So I’ve been working on a new(ish) project which for now I’ve been calling “The Solburn Cluster”, and right now it’s a collection of unconnected modules and assets that I’ve created in Unity, ready at some point to be formed into a game – or many games. But right now I’m sort of working without and end goal, creating things that I think I’ll need. 

Solburn spaceship industrial factory

So for example I know it’ll include spaceships, but instead of the vast nothingness of space, I’ve decided that the levels need constraints, so will set it underground, in a network of tunnels inside an asteroid.

Solburn cluster tunnel train

I’ve created some assets for the landscape, and as usual for me, spent far too long on how it looks rather than actual gameplay.

Solburn cluster portal opening

But I wanted to get this just right, it’s like I can’t even concentrate on decent gameplay if it doesn’t look how I want to. And so much time can be spent tweaking the smallest of things, like scale, especially if things need refactoring at a larger pixel size (as I’ve done a few times).

Solburn cluster jetbike

My original idea was to create a rich world you could explore, fly and drive different types of vehicles, and perform simple missions. Similar to Lego Dimensions’ open worlds which I love exploring. Right now I’m not sure if that’s the direction I’ll go. I’ll be making this for mobile (Android first), and I know that’s a very different platform which has it’s own special nuances. So I’ll experiment first.

I’ve been experimenting with getting in and out of different vehicles for a while, and have tried a few ways of controlling a flying vehicle in 2D. I’m still fond of the simple touch controls used in my Starbug Thruster game, but I know lots of people were dead confused by it. Although that did provide quite a fun time crashing and getting snide comments from the robot instructor 🙂

Swinging block hits man

I’ve been experimenting with more ragdoll physics things too, continuing where I left off with the Astro Potatoes game.

Something that’s been an unexpected surprise has been how popular videos like the one above have been when posted to Twitter & Instagram. I’ve been using hashtags for game development, especially indiegames, and I’ve been getting a fair few likes and retweets. Many by bots set up to popularise indie games, which is nice.

Videos where things go wrong, or astronauts falling over (even as simple as the video above) seem to find an audience. So it’s encouraged me to post more. Including several that have been created just for the purpose of fun like the video below – although this does push me to work harder, so it’s not completely superfluous.

I just hope that this will at some point translate into converting people to play my game – whatever the final product will be!

I’ve been posting more like this on Facebook,  Twitter & Instagram.