픽셀 리프드(Pixel Ripped) 활용 사례: 고전 2D 게임을 VR로 구현
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.
복고풍 2D 게임과 스릴 넘치는 VR 세계
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.
- 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
고전적 감성과 신기술의 기막힌 조화
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.
서로 밀접한 관련이 있는 빠른 프로토타이핑과 테스트
리베이로는 향수 속 어린 시절의 게임 환경으로 시간 여행을 떠난다는 기본적인 아이디어를 갖고 픽셀 리프드를 개발하기 시작했습니다. 무엇이 효과적일 수 있고 어디에 초점을 맞춰야 하는지 확인하기 위해, 그녀는 동료 학생들을 대상으로 초기 데모 버전을 테스트했습니다.
“Unity로 데모를 빠르게 제작할 수 있어서 좋았어요. 실수한 부분이나 사람들이 좋아하지 않는 부분을 찾아서 고칠 수 있었죠. Unity는 프로토타이핑에도 매우 유용했어요. 대개 일주일 정도면 새 버전을 만들 수 있었으니까요.”
절 죽이지 마세요, 전 남자친구일 뿐이에요
테스트 중에 리베이로는 자신의 게임에서 가장 좋고 가장 나쁜 요소가 무엇인지에 대해 알게 되는 경험을 두 번 했습니다. 첫 번째는 플레이어가 특정 캐릭터를 절대적으로 싫어한다는 사실을 알게 된 것이었습니다. 애증이라기보다는 진심에서 우러나오는 혐오였습니다. 리베이로는 주인공의 남자친구가 TV 앞에서 춤을 추고 있게 하면 익살스러울 거리 생각했습니다.
리베이로는 “저는 웃길 거라고 생각했어요. 사는 게 그렇잖아요. TV로 게임을 하고 있는데 누군가 화면 앞을 가리면 짜증이 나는 상황을 유머러스하게 연출하고 싶었어요. 하지만 사람들은 이 남자한테 정말 화가 났죠. 때리고 싶어했죠. 테스터가 40명쯤 있었는데 모두 그 남자를 죽이고 싶다고 했죠.”라고 말합니다.
그래서 캐릭터를 없애버리고 대신 데모에서 모든 테스터가 긍정적으로 반응한 부분에 집중했습니다.
리베이로는 “모든 사람들이 가장 좋아했던 게임에서의 짧은 순간을 처음에는 중요하게 여기지 않았어요. 주인공이 콘솔에서 나와서 다른 콘솔로 점프할 때 1인칭 시점에서 그녀를 따라가는 장면이었죠.”라고 말합니다.
“이동하는 시간은 5초밖에 되지 않았고, 그 후에는 다른 게임으로 들어가게 돼요. 그렇게 별거 아닌 부분에 정말 모든 사람이 '캐릭터가 게임에서 나오는 그 순간이 단연 최고'라고 말했어요.”
마침내 조화를 이룬 2D와 VR
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.
편의성을 훨씬 더 높여준 기능
리베이로와 협업자의 시간을 절약하고 골칫거리를 줄이는 데 도움이 된 또 하나의 Unity 기능은 멀티플랫폼 지원이었습니다.
“모든 주요 플랫폼에서 게임을 출시하길 원하기 때문에 PlayStation, Oculus, PC 등에 맞게 간단히 변경할 수 있는 멀티플랫폼 지원은 확실히 유용해요. 일이 훨씬 더 쉬워지니까요.”
리베이로는 프로젝트 초기부터 VR 작업을 진행했기 때문에, VR 기술의 변화와 Unity가 기술을 지원하는 방법을 꾸준히 지켜봤습니다.
“이 게임을 개발하는 동안 모든 헤드셋이 바뀌었는데, 이제 이 헤드셋이 모두 지원되어서 정말 좋아요. VR 초창기에는 모든 항목을 다운로드하고 모든 플러그인을 추가해야 했어요. 게임의 모든 카메라를 하나씩 바꿔야 했던 게 기억이 나네요. 이제는 모두 통합되었어요. 간단히 이 “가상 현실 지원(virtual reality support)” 상자를 클릭하면 모든 게 해결되니까 디자인만 신경 쓰면 되죠.”