Un nostálgico viaje en el tiempo

Las herramientas personalizadas, las pruebas rápidas y el análisis marcaron el camino

Estudio de caso de Pixel Ripped: 2D de la vieja escuela en VR

When Ana Ribeiro quit her steady government job, sold everything and flew from São Luis to London to study game design back in 2010, her family and friends thought she had lost her mind. In the end, though–with the help of the Unity engine and a healthy dose of talent, energy and optimism–Ribeiro was vindicated. She now has a collaboration deal with ARVORE Immersive Experiences, and her Pixel Ripped game is winning fans, recognition and awards even prior to its release.

El videojuego

Pixel Ripped 1989, un juego 2D retro combinado con una aventura VR emocionante

El objetivo

Crear un juego 2D divertido, de la vieja escuela, con una experiencia moderna basada en la realidad virtual (VR)

Miembros del equipo

1, más la reciente colaboración de los estudios Arvore (14)

Ubicación

San Pablo, Brasil

Ana Ribeiro, fundadora, administradora de proyectos y jefa de desarrolladores de Pixel Ripped, habla sobre el desarrollo de un juego híbrido entre 2D y VR.

Un juego 2D retro y una emocionante aventura VR

Inspired by a combination of the warm, nostalgic feelings she had for the Game Boy titles of her childhood plus her excitement about the latest virtual reality (VR) technology, Ana Ribeiro had a vision of a game within a game. However, creating a retro 2D game within a VR experience did present certain technical challenges. The Unity platform has enabled her to tackle those challenges by making it significantly easier to polish the final product and keep the frame rate up.

The results:

  • Could create new demo-test versions within weeks
  • Increased frames per second (fps) by 20 with the help of Asset Store tools
  • Asset Store tools saved months of work
  • Featured at Made with Unity Showcase at Unite Austin 2017
  • Collaboration deal with ARVORE Immersive Experiences
  • Multiple award-winner, including Best VR game at Amaze Festival, Indiecade 2015, and Proto Awards nomination for Most Innovative VR game and Best Original Score

La vieja escuela se encuentra con la nueva y despegan

Sit down, put on your VR headset, and get ready to travel back to 1989. Look around: you’re back in high school, kid, and your goal is to complete levels on your handheld game console without getting caught by your nagging teacher.

“I grew up playing games like Mega Man, Super Mario, and Tetris, and I wanted to see if I could use the possibilities of VR technology to let people travel back in time and get that same warm feeling I have for those games,” says Ribeiro. “I wanted people to laugh and feel good and have fun by being transported to the 80s, to the spirit of playing games in the past, the way I remember it.”

Ana meets Unity, and it’s love at first sight

Pixel Ripped started as Ribeiro's final-year game design project at the National Film and Television School in London, where she was first introduced to Unity. In the beginning of her studies, though, she didn’t have the benefit of the game engine.

“When I started learning how to make games, it was from scratch. I had to build everything. I had to build the engine, the camera, everything from scratch. It felt like if you wanted to bake a cake, you had to build the whole kitchen. But I didn’t want to build the oven, build the pumps, the kitchen and the walls just to bake one cake; I just wanted to get to my favorite part. I wanted to make the game.”

So when Ribeiro was introduced to Unity, she says she couldn’t believe her eyes.

“Some of my fellow students were complaining: ‘Oh my God, we have to write a line of code.’ But I was so excited. I was like: ‘Wow, everything’s ready; I can just put the camera there. I can just grab the physics and add it. It was love at first sight,” she says.

Rapidez en el prototipado, rapidez en las pruebas

Cuando comenzó a desarrollar Pixel Ripped, Ribeiro había tenido la idea básica de hacer un nostálgico viaje en el tiempo a la época de juegos de su infancia. A fin de ver qué podría resultar y saber en qué centrarse, probó algunas versiones de demostración con sus compañeros estudiantes.

"Unity me resultó muy útil porque me permitió crear demostraciones realmente muy rápido. Así, podía encontrar los errores o simplemente las partes que a la gente no le gustaban y arreglarlas. Unity es excelente para el prototipado: me permitió crear una nueva versión, por lo general, en menos de una semana".

No me maten, solo soy el novio

Durante las pruebas, Ribeiro tuvo dos revelaciones sobre lo que eran los mejores y los peores elementos del juego. Lo primero fue que los jugadores aborrecían a un personaje determinado: no es que elegían no quererlo, sino que en verdad lo odiaban. Ribeiro pensó que sería divertido tener al novio de la protagonista bailando frente al TV.

"Creí que sería divertido porque eso sucede en la vida real, cuando estás jugando un juego en el TV y la gente se cruza frente a la pantalla y te hace enojar. Pero los usuarios realmente se disgustaban con este tipo. Querían lastimarlo. Alrededor de 40 jugadores de prueba querían matarlo", dice.

Entonces, se deshizo del personaje y se centró en la parte de la demostración que resonaba con todos.

"En un principio, ese breve momento del juego que todos adoran no iba a ser tan importante. Es cuando sigues a la protagonista con un punto de vista de primera persona, ella salta de una consola y se mete en otra", dice Ribeiro.

"Eran unos cinco segundos, como mucho, y entrabas en otro juego. Era algo muy breve, pero todos, absolutamente todos dijeron: "Es la mejor parte, sin dudas: el momento en que la protagonista sale del juego".

2D y VR juntos por fin

Ribeiro now had the key to producing the right atmosphere that she was looking for . She now knew how to give people that happy, old-school gaming feeling mixed with modern technology. At least in terms of the narrative and gameplay. But there were still technical challenges to overcome.

“The biggest challenge has always been having two games within one,” Ribeiro says. “You have a 2D game, which is a jumping platform, like Mega Mario. And this game has separate scenes, separate graphics, separate music, sound, code, everything. And then you have the 3D world of the 80s classroom. So the programming behind these two game universes, plus the VR, has meant that it’s always been a challenge to increase the fps and keep it on a doable quality for releasing the game and not making people sick.”

The solution was to go through the game and polish everything in order to make it as light as possible. But that requires time, resources, and the right tools. With that in mind, Ribeiro says that the Unity Asset Store has been invaluable enabling her to increase fps by 20.

A lesson learned the hard way: Look on the Unity Asset Store first!

Ribeiro learned the hard way that it made sense to browse the Unity Asset Store for the right tools before building something on her own. She recalls one particular incident that really drove this lesson home when still at school working on the project with one of her fellow students.

“We were trying to model this Christmas tree, and we saw one for five dollars on the Asset Store. But we really wanted to make everything in the whole 3D part of the game ourselves, including all the modeling. If we had just bought the tree on the store, it would’ve saved us a month of work and stress, and a little bit of disappointment, trying to get it right. I’ll never forget that,” Ribeiro says.

“Now I just always go to the Asset Store straightaway first. If I find it, and I think it will save me time, something I need in the game, I just buy it, and it’s done. That’s that. Sometimes you can even find something for free. I’d say the Asset Store saved me around three months of work at the very least.”

She has used a number of Asset Store tools for effects to create the unique mix of 80’s nostalgia and futuristic time-travel feel of Pixel Ripped. For example, she used Shader Forge to produce the pixelation at the start of the game when you travel back in time. She has also used Skybox for around 300 image effects. Ribeiro even found an asset specifically for the nostalgic feel of her game, which creates an 80s-style blue-camera effect.

Esta función les facilitó enormemente las cosas

Otra característica de Unity que les ahorró a Ribeiro y sus colaboradores mucho tiempo y dolores de cabeza fue la compatibilidad multiplataforma.

"Queremos llegar a las principales plataformas, por lo que definitivamente ayuda poder adaptar el juego tan fácilmente para PlayStation, Oculus, PC. Nos hace la vida mucho más fácil".

Ribeiro trabajó en VR desde el comienzo de su proyecto y fue siguiendo los cambios tanto en la tecnología VR como en las herramientas de Unity para esta tecnología.

"Durante el desarrollo de este juego, cambiaron todos los visores. Es realmente muy buena noticia que ahora haya compatibilidad con todos. En un principio, en los primeros días de VR, tenías que descargar todo, agregar los complementos: recuerdo tener que cambiar todas las cámaras del juego, una por una. Ahora está todo integrado. Simplemente marcas la casilla "compatibilidad con realidad virtual" y te ocupas únicamente del diseño".

Ana Ribeiro, Creator of Pixel Ripped 1989

"Fue amor a primera vista. Estaba tan entusiasmada. Me asombraba el hecho de que estuviera todo listo, de que solo debía elegir dónde poner la cámara. Podía simplemente tomar la física y agregarla. Me encanta Unity".

Ana Ribeiro, Creator of Pixel Ripped 1989

¿Cómo comienzas a utilizar Unity para 2D?

Consulta esta guía práctica con información y recursos que te pondrán en marcha, te ahorrarán tiempo y te ayudarán a obtener el máximo valor cuando desarrolles juegos 2D con Unity.

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