Dust Devils


What’s it about?

Dust Devils is all about driving, shooting and destruction.
It’s a two player splitscreen coop game where one player controls a car and the other player the turret on the car. While driving through the level several enemy cars and helicopters will attempt to shoot and ram you.
All the props in the environment are destructable and when destroying one you get a short slowmo that allows you to better shoot your enemies. 

Key facts:

  • 1 week student project
  • 3 guys
  • Unity

The Development Story

In our fourth semester at the university we again had a whole week focused on developing a game. No lectures, just working on our game 9-5.

We came up with the idea for our game shortly before the start of the week. We just wanted to make a fun coop driving game, nothing fancy.
Work started on the weekend leading up the the project week when I began researching how to setup Unity with git. Before this we had never worked with git and Unity so I made sure that this would not come back to haunt us during the week.
After the project setup I began searching for ways to implement arcade driving physics. During this I stumbled upon this video that provided the basic foundation for our car handling.

So over the weekend I made a first prototype of the car driving which worked quite well.
It took a bit of tweaking but I was an easy and comfortable way to implement driving physics without complex physics calculations and setup.

At the start of the week we first implemented the splitscreen and shooting mechanic before continuing with leveldesign and the enemies.
The enemy cars use the built-in Unity navmesh to navigate around the level, the achieve the destruction effect on our props we used the Exploder asset package. 

The good things

We started of the week quite well prepared with a working car and a setup git repo. This saved us quite a bit of time, some other teams had quite a few problems with the git setup on monday and during the whole week. 
The teamwork and organization was on point, we regularly talked about how to do things and had a whiteboard full of objectives and todos.

We managed to get most of the content we planned done till Thursday so we had a day time to polish the game and iron out any bugs. The game mechanic and splitscreen worked really well overall.

On Friday we had a playtesting of all the student projects and we got really positive feedback from all our testers. Some even told us that it was the best game they played that day. That made us really happy as there were also bigger projects from 6th-semester students present.

Things that didn’t work that well

Sometimes we had some issues with merge conflicts and scene merging. That was mostly down to us not being so experienced with git overall. But it cost us some time while designing the level.

The leveldesign and building was quite slow with a lot of strg+d and manually fitting colliders to separate areas.
And lastly the Unity input system gave us a bit of trouble with hotplugging and using multiple controllers for playing. But that is mostly down to the input system being poor. We should have probaly used Rewired or something similar.

But other than that the project went really well and for an one week project I am really proud of it.