3D magicavoxel research base

Game progress – Escape the sector

So I’ve been working on a game which I’m calling “Escape the sector”. Haven’t yet decided if it’ll be Android-only, or for desktop – but I’ve noticed you can export to WebGL, which means it’ll hopefully work embedded in a browser without much effort.

This started out as a project called “Escape Vector” which I’ve been writing about on IndieDB (see here). I created some 3D assets, rocks and buildings which I really liked the look of in 3DsMax because the lighting made it look really nice and lego-y, like this:

nice shading lego

Buuuut…. when trying to create the same effect in Unity, it doesn’t look anywhere near as nice. Quite flat and dull, because ambient occlusion is surprisingly difficult to do (well, to get right at least!) So I created new rocks, with more voxel detail to add more interesting shadow.

This has all taken me a long time, and the project is now dragging a bit!

The original idea for Escape Vector was a linear game, based on timings. After playing a few times, I soon realised:

  1. It wasn’t that interesting.
  2. The isometric view I like so much was a bit confusing as you can’t quite see depth very easily. Important when trying to avoid objects.
  3. A bit part of the game is timing, and it would take a long time tweaking each level to make it fun and exciting, which means a lot of trial and error with careful timings. Something that I thought would take waaaaay too much time in the tweaking stage which would just drive me potty.

So I abandoned the game – in favour of one where you’ve got more control over steering a spaceship, which I thought would be miles more fun!

I also created a few more buildings, as the straight-up-and-down tower blocks I had didn’t feel very scifi, and feedback was that instead of it looking like buildings on asteroids, it looked like islands in the sea.

Anyway here’s the research base in 3D on Sketchfab:

And here’s another, this one attached to the cliff face, as the new cliffs are more staggered, my attempt to make them look rounded rather than flat and square.

cliff platform2

It looks pretty rendered in MagicaVoxel doesn’t it? Although now quite as nice in the game sadly.


I also thought, how about making it even more exciting, and what’s more exciting than an explosion? That’s right. Nothing.

So I’ve added explosions. Here’s a video:

If you want to know more about the development of this game, subscribe to my blog, or follow me on Twitter @davidonionball

explosion in escape vector