UnionVGF Indie Game developers (or thinking about becoming one) corner

starseeker

Your friendly Neighborhood Spiderman
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Sep 11, 2013
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#1
Hello, in a nutshell, this is a place to share your game development (whats ok to share), asks questions, give advice (for the veterans), share good links, & just anything about game developments.

Game developments tools are getting more friendly, more accessible. You have cool ideas you have longed to put into your game? Stop dreaming, its time to act! You already on the train, why not share with us your experiences, what to look for.

I myself is an beginner, a newbie, and probably need more advice than I can help others, but more on that later...

I will start by linking all the popular game engines out there in the market for people looking to make games, on mobile, consoles or PC.

Unity. Its a popular game engine, & now both MS, & SOny both include this (for virtually free) in their development kits. Lots of resources in the net. For more info, there is in fact a Unity thread. DLC, a member here, can explain better.
https://unity3d.com/

Construct 2. Construct 2 is a powerful ground breaking HTML5 game creator designed specifically for 2D games. It allows anyone to build games — no coding required!
https://www.scirra.com/construct2


Goodbye UDK (Unreal Development Kit), Hello UE4 (Unreal Engine 4). The most popular AAA Game development Kit, the UDK (which power Unreal Engine 3), has been available for free for anyone interested to make games since 2009. Tutorials & resources are plentiful in the net. However, Unreal Engine 4 has been made available since March. It is a vast improvement over UDK, for $19 per month & Royality of 5% gross revenue on shipped game, you get to use one of the industry leading tool. You need a beefy PC though.
https://www.unrealengine.com/blog/welcome-to-unreal-engine-4

Cryengine
The most powerful 3rd party engine (until UE4, now I am not sure) is available for $9.90 per month. I could say much but here is the link.
http://cryengine.com/

Other useful game development tools:
1) Photoshop. Every game developers (& photography fans) should have this.
2) Visual Studio (Express version is free)
3) Popular 3D apps includes Maya, 3D Max, Cinema 4D, Lightwave, Blender(which is free)
3.1) Zbrush & Mudbox are also popular softeare for 3D sculpting, & painting
4) Adobe Flash, you can make simple games with it, animation, & useful for making menus
5) Video editing??? Someone fill me in with this
6) Sound editing??? Someone fill me in with this
 
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starseeker

Your friendly Neighborhood Spiderman
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#2
Ok, I will start a little bit about my very short (1.5 month in fact) time into development.

I got this game call Gone home in Winter, & after playing it for a while, one thought keep popping into my head. "I can do a game like this".

So I went to the internet & find out more about game developments & the tools available. Didn't took long before I downloaded UDK, & bought a book called UDK Game development, from Amazon, & start learning beginning of March.
So March was more of learning the tools, & sometimes I will do some design work, like planning the game flow & puzzles, & story. In April (this month), I focus more on making game assert, & yes I have something to show.


Anyway, Its a First person Adventure game. Its very hard work (Full 3D world) compare to many small or lone developers, which focus on simpler 2D/2.5D visuals, but at least I do not have to compete with 90% of Indies out there.

Here is a bathroom I made so far. Its not complete, & right now it composed of just base game meshes with simple materials & Normal map applied in a 3D app. Final material tuning/lightings /shadows/textures will be done when I moved to UE4. I expect (or at least hope) it will look 8-10X better than the simple quality viewport screenshots I posted.

At the moment my PC is too weak to run UE4, but once I upgraded my rig, I will get UE4 & started making proper levels.




 
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starseeker

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#3

Godsmack

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Sep 11, 2013
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#4
I'm working on a serious game. Think of it like an arcade-style, turn-based, Baldur's Gate-esque game. It's looking pretty nice so far, but I'm not ready to show it off. It will be party based just like Baldur's Gate. You have a mage, fighter, and thief. Each will have a unique play style and 4 kits to choose from. The game is based on a somewhat organic tile system, and is turn-based like the Civilization games.

I hope to be able to show it off within a month once I get some more graphics done. I'm building it in Construct 2. It will be 2d, but still isometric perspective. I'm using Photoshop and Corel Painter X3 for graphics. Sound will be a combination of a Roland Fantom X and maybe Studio One 2, depending on how things go. I haven't tested the sound equipment yet.

Here is a teaser. This is the portrait I did for the mage. (Of course, I may still tweak the portraits some)

 

starseeker

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#5
What platforms you plan to release, how big is your team? To be honest, I have not thought much into teh sound part.

But I probably need an equipment to record sound, one to record voices, & a sound editing software, any recommendations?
 

Godsmack

Old Member
Sep 11, 2013
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#6
This will be a PC game, at least for now. It should work for both pc and mac. Eventually, I will try to get the game on kickstarter and then Steam. Other platforms will be considered later.

The team is just me. I work alone. With Construct 2's visual interface and built in programming, I do not need a programmer. I have spent the last few months learning this software, and I have most of the gameplay features done. I still need to do more, but I've got a ton done.

Since I'm an artist, I can do all the landscapes, portraits, character sprites, and HUD elements myself. The title screen will also be something I will put a lot of time into and will also be used as a promotional piece.

For sound, if you want a DAW that's easy to use, try the one I mentioned, Studio One 2. Download a free trial and give it a shot to see if you like it. There are others, but this one was easier to get going for me. Be ready to spend some time learning it. For music, you can either use the built in sounds and a midi keyboard (I have a Roland A300 Pro which is a 32 keyUSB keyboard). I also have a Roland Fantom X as I mentioned with some sound expansion packs. It has an editor of its own, so I don't know how I will use what yet. I may even buy more sounds for use with my DAW I mentioned, but I'm not sure yet. The sound will come after I get some more graphics done so I can start showing it off.

I'll make my own sound effects and modify them with the DAW since it has a ton of effects for tweaking. I don't need any voices since this is an old school kinda game, but I may record some grunts and death screams and digitize them (think Sega Genesis type sounds). The graphics style will be more modern day, but it will be a throwback towards old school RPGs (with modern features). It's hard to explain, lol. You'll get the idea when I post a screenshot.
 

xbgamer7

Mr. Xbox Lover
Sep 15, 2013
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#7
Working on a 2d puzzle adventure game in the vain of puzzle quest.
 

starseeker

Your friendly Neighborhood Spiderman
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#8
This will be a PC game, at least for now. It should work for both pc and mac. Eventually, I will try to get the game on kickstarter and then Steam. Other platforms will be considered later.

The team is just me. I work alone. With Construct 2's visual interface and built in programming, I do not need a programmer. I have spent the last few months learning this software, and I have most of the gameplay features done. I still need to do more, but I've got a ton done.

Since I'm an artist, I can do all the landscapes, portraits, character sprites, and HUD elements myself. The title screen will also be something I will put a lot of time into and will also be used as a promotional piece.

For sound, if you want a DAW that's easy to use, try the one I mentioned, Studio One 2. Download a free trial and give it a shot to see if you like it. There are others, but this one was easier to get going for me. Be ready to spend some time learning it. For music, you can either use the built in sounds and a midi keyboard (I have a Roland A300 Pro which is a 32 keyUSB keyboard). I also have a Roland Fantom X as I mentioned with some sound expansion packs. It has an editor of its own, so I don't know how I will use what yet. I may even buy more sounds for use with my DAW I mentioned, but I'm not sure yet. The sound will come after I get some more graphics done so I can start showing it off.

I'll make my own sound effects and modify them with the DAW since it has a ton of effects for tweaking. I don't need any voices since this is an old school kinda game, but I may record some grunts and death screams and digitize them (think Sega Genesis type sounds). The graphics style will be more modern day, but it will be a throwback towards old school RPGs (with modern features). It's hard to explain, lol. You'll get the idea when I post a screenshot.
Thanks for the info. I will need time to digest the info on sound. I am an Engineer in real life, so I cannot say I cannot handle the technical parts, but I am also a hobbyist 3D artist mainly making characters. However, the game will not have characters to interact, as its too much work for a one man team. Main characters will mainly be shown in stills, & mostly drawned 2D comic style slideshow. I am not too big of a 2D artist though...

Anyway, I added Construct 2 into the list of Game creation tools. Looking forward to see screenshots of your game.
 

Godsmack

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#9
Cool, I'm really excited about it.

The hardest part so far has been setting up the turn-based system and A.I.. It made it harder since it is a party-based game as well. There are rules for how far you can move, how many moves you get per turn, and so on, and the enemy has to follow these rules on its own. Everything had to be fair and predictable so I could let players use strategy. For example, you can wait, put up a defense, and let the enemy come to you, your thief can set up a decoy and place a trap near it, you can decide where to place your characters so they don't get ganged up on and killed, basically there are a lot of decisions to make. However, the color has a lot of info that helps you make decisions. It will tell you how far you can move, how much power your attack will do, how much HP the enemies have, whether you are in range to attack, and so on.

You get 3 moves per turn, and these can be spent moving, attacking, defending, using special abilities such as conjuring a creature or placing a trap, or any combination. When all players use their moves (or you click the end turn button), the enemies get their 3 moves each. They will move to the closest player character and attack. They have a slight handicap on attack range, so it's easy to tell your characters are in range to be attacked or not.

The HUD is set up much like Baldur's Gate with the portraits on the right and the icons at the bottom. Like I said, the turn-based system is probably more like Civilization. The character sprites will be 2d and function sort of like the ones from the old arcade/genesis Golden Axe games. The environments will be more like the backgrounds from 1980s cartoons. The HUD is mostly done except for a few icons. I'm using placeholders for the characters and backgrounds while I do some more programming. Once I get the main characters drawn and animated, and get some backgrounds in there, I'll be ready to show it off (at least a test level).
 

Eric

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#10
This is great. I am going to start this summer with developing. I've reached out to a few members here and they've been really helpful. So excited to start.
 

Lucid Rifter

VR Master Race
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Sep 11, 2013
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#11
I'm working on environments right now in UE4. I don't know if I have a official game in mind but I'm having a blast just learning how to do this. I'd be willing to help create a simple game with someone in UE4 just to have some fun. Keep in mind I only have a month of experience maybe working on it 5 hours a week right now due to other obligations.
 

de3d1

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Sep 11, 2013
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#12
I've been working on an overhead rpg for about 3 years, its been alot of fun, but a pain in the ass as well. I'll finish it probably this year I hope. Its sorta of mix between castlevania and diablo, the style is definitely castlevania.
 

Z A C K

Stayin' Fresh
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#13
My game development has been all on Android. Currently working on a turn-based multiplayer game which I am determined to release by the end of the year. I had hoped to release it even sooner, but I work on Apps besides games and I was recently presented with a project that has me pretty excited so I'm putting a lot of my coding time into that at the moment.

Be it game development or anything else, I just love programming in general.
 

Eric

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#14
My game development has been all on Android. Currently working on a turn-based multiplayer game which I am determined to release by the end of the year. I had hoped to release it even sooner, but I work on Apps besides games and I was recently presented with a project that has me pretty excited so I'm putting a lot of my coding time into that at the moment.

Be it game development or anything else, I just love programming in general.
I can vouch for this guy. He's an insane programmer. If any of you guys need work, hit Zack up (when he's not busy).
 

starseeker

Your friendly Neighborhood Spiderman
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#15
I'm working on environments right now in UE4. I don't know if I have a official game in mind but I'm having a blast just learning how to do this. I'd be willing to help create a simple game with someone in UE4 just to have some fun. Keep in mind I only have a month of experience maybe working on it 5 hours a week right now due to other obligations.
I will be working on UE4. I haven't got it due to my slow machine. UE4 is new, so no one really have experience in it.

But my focus the next week is on storyboard. A lot of writing, & researching to do. My game took place in modern days, but the story dated back to the middle ages, & I need to list down the events in chronological order that spin over 500 years.

here is a tip base on personal experience.

Sometimes, you have bits and pieces of part of a scene, plot or story, but blanks in between in your mind. Try not to link them in your mind, but rather write what you have so far down. Once you have the known parts written down, the in between part of the story is much much easier to fill in.

Have a character sheet, give each main characters a face, even if its some random picture from net, & write down details of each character. Once you have a consistence face & info/history of the character, its easier to visualize in your mind.
 

starseeker

Your friendly Neighborhood Spiderman
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#16
Unreal 4 Tool Demo. Good overview of UE4.
 
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DLC

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#17
Great thread starseeker.

Here is something I`m working on, trying to make a platform game (maybe I`m gone add some rpg elements as well since I long time did work on a Skill calculator).
Have made ready main character, sow far only have the head to show as I`m still have left to make Alpha channels for the rest of the parts.
Using Unity and the Smooth moves asset.

Edit:

Neck added and picture replaced

 
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Dno69

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#18
Cool thread Starseeker. I didn't know we had so many aspiring developers. Good luck everyone.

I would love to create my own games. But I struggle to make anything even remotely interesting in games that have user creation tools.
 

starseeker

Your friendly Neighborhood Spiderman
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#19
Thanks guys. I understand making own games has been a big dream for many gamers. I hope this thread can motivate (even though more developers = more competitions LOL, but its ok) follow gamers who have ideas, or always wanted to jumped in but not sure how to go about it.

I hope I can chip in more, but like many, I am also a newbie. When I find useful information, I will link them here.

But I am very experience in 3D side of things, be it characters, enviroments, scrupting etc (except animation & rigging) side of things, so if you have question of 3D, you can ask me. You do not want to ask me about programming or marketing though.

I will be jumping into UE4, & will periodically post some UE4 tips & tricks, & tutorials I find on net, & maybe my own ones, here. It will be by no mean promotion for UE4 (I do not get paid by Epic). Also feel free to post tutorials, tips on other Game engine of choice.

It would be nice also if Vet developers can chip in with their experiences.

UE4 Material Introduction. Learn about the game-changing next gen physical material (you can continue with part 2-rest) from here
 
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starseeker

Your friendly Neighborhood Spiderman
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#20
Cool thread Starseeker. I didn't know we had so many aspiring developers. Good luck everyone.

I would love to create my own games. But I struggle to make anything even remotely interesting in games that have user creation tools.
Thanks. I think you can perhaps try start simple & build from there.


Below is just an example,

First you have a game, & put maybe a few jumping platforms, & at the end, a portal to next level. Not very interesting, but its a start.

Now what if the platforms can move, now this add to the challenge. To-do, make platform movable.

How about activating a switch then the platform rises, & the player have a set of time to reach the end, before the platforms dropped again. To-Do, make a timer switch activation by player. On activation, rise platforms

and so on.
 

starseeker

Your friendly Neighborhood Spiderman
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#21
I am looking at cheap home voice over setup (total noob) for my game, thought this is video is pretty good. Anyone have tips can post here.

And some of the information I gather, you will need (note price as on 2nd May 2014, which may not be current)

A microphone like Audio-technica AT2020. $169 at website but you can get $77.50 for prime member at Amazon.com (I think). €87 at (Amazon.de)
http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/wired_mics/a0933a662b5ed0e2/index.html

Pop Filter like Nady MPF6-6 inch Pop Mircophone Pop Filter $12.52 (at Amazon.com) €30.46! (Amazon.de)
http://www.amazon.com/Nady-MPF-6-6-...ie=UTF8&qid=1399045363&sr=8-5&keywords=AT2020

An Audiobox like PreSonus AudioBox 22VSL. $199 (at Amazon.com store) €185 (Special price) (at Amazon.de)
http://www.presonus.com/products/audiobox-22vsl


A Digital DAW like PreSonus Studio One (as recommended also by Godsmack) Free! The pro version is $100 I think.
http://www.presonus.com/products/studio-one/compare-versions

Note: I am not affiliated in any way to any of the above companies.

So for under $300 to 350 range, you can start having a simple home Voice over set up for your game voice recording, & other Voice over stuff.

On top of these, you obviously need a PC or MAC (Captain obvious!), & a headphone/earpiece to listen to the voice over without external influences.

That's the information I gather. Like I said, I am no pro, feel free to add your input.
 
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Godsmack

Old Member
Sep 11, 2013
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#22
A Digital DAW like PreSonus Studio One (as recommended also by Godsmack) Free! The pro version is $100 I think.
http://www.presonus.com/products/studio-one/compare-versions
Actually, the version I got is the $299 version (there are several versions), but i got it at a slight discount at Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/PreSonus-Professional-Essential-Multitrack-compensation/dp/B0064S2PIM/ref=sr_1_4?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1399247153&sr=1-4&keywords=PreSonus Studio One 2.0

(there may be others listed on Amazon or elsewhere, so do a search for the best price).

As the review states, it no longer comes with that EZ drummer thing, but I think it was due to lack of compatibility or support or whatever. I can't remember. It's got other drumming things built in though, so whatever.

Also, make sure it's "2.0". Should probably include that in the title, Studio One Pro 2.0 since they have an older version too.

But anyway, I tried multiple DAWs. This one was lesser known, but people were saying it was much easier to use, and it even sounded better. I'm still looking forward to trying the Melodyne Essential software that comes built in. It should help when I record sound effects.
 
Sep 12, 2013
2,672
715
1,928
#24
Hello, in a nutshell, this is a place to share your game development (whats ok to share), asks questions, give advice (for the veterans), share good links, & just anything about game developments.

Game developments tools are getting more friendly, more accessible. You have cool ideas you have longed to put into your game? Stop dreaming, its time to act! You already on the train, why not share with us your experiences, what to look for.

I myself is an beginner, a newbie, and probably need more advice than I can help others, but more on that later...

I will start by linking all the popular game engines out there in the market for people looking to make games, on mobile, consoles or PC.

Unity. Its a popular game engine, & now both MS, & SOny both include this (for virtually free) in their development kits. Lots of resources in the net. For more info, there is in fact a Unity thread. DLC, a member here, can explain better.
https://unity3d.com/

Construct 2. Construct 2 is a powerful ground breaking HTML5 game creator designed specifically for 2D games. It allows anyone to build games — no coding required!
https://www.scirra.com/construct2


Goodbye UDK (Unreal Development Kit), Hello UE4 (Unreal Engine 4). The most popular AAA Game development Kit, the UDK (which power Unreal Engine 3), has been available for free for anyone interested to make games since 2009. Tutorials & resources are plentiful in the net. However, Unreal Engine 4 has been made available since March. It is a vast improvement over UDK, for $19 per month & Royality of 5% gross revenue on shipped game, you get to use one of the industry leading tool. You need a beefy PC though.
https://www.unrealengine.com/blog/welcome-to-unreal-engine-4

Cryengine
The most powerful 3rd party engine (until UE4, now I am not sure) is available for $9.90 per month. I could say much but here is the link.
http://cryengine.com/

Other useful game development tools:
1) Photoshop. Every game developers (& photography fans) should have this.
2) Visual Studio (Express version is free)
3) Popular 3D apps includes Maya, 3D Max, Cinema 4D, Lightwave, Blender(which is free)
3.1) Zbrush & Mudbox are also popular softeare for 3D sculpting, & painting
4) Adobe Flash, you can make simple games with it, animation, & useful for making menus
5) Video editing??? Someone fill me in with this
6) Sound editing??? Someone fill me in with this

well if you have the one you will soon be able to use it for that purpose
I hear fall?
 

starseeker

Your friendly Neighborhood Spiderman
Cornerstone Member
Sep 11, 2013
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#25
You meant Unity, also I heard UE4 is also available for dev? I have not heard much though.
I have not track record so I am fairly sure MS would not give me a Dev kit for free....LOL

Anyway, UI/HUD study for my First person Adventure game. Note that everything is just placeholder knocked together in Excel.




I wanted to have a hint system similar to Broken sword 5, which allow for different level of skills. Each additional hint reduce game scores, so there is incentive not to use hints.
But if you wanted just to experience the experience, story & all, you can do so, with each hint more obvious than the previous one. The final hint basically tell you the steps you need to do.

At the same time, I also wanted a control scheme (cheapo) that works well for both controller & mouse, so I do not need to create different menu system for controls, one for mouse input, one for controller.
 

Andy

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#26
How cool to see we have half a dozen indie developers here at Union. I had no idea.

I like that inspiration you cited, starseeker -- watching Gone Home and thinking, "I can do this." I have felt that way myself, sometimes -- not related to games (since I am not a tech guy) -- but in other areas, e.g., books. I think it's all just a matter of whether you're willing to put in the time and energy. In my case, I'm usually not, lol.

Are you enjoying the process of building and creating it?
 

starseeker

Your friendly Neighborhood Spiderman
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Sep 11, 2013
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#27
The first step is always hard.

Now is more pre-development for me, learning the tools of game development (there is a lot to learn, but luckily, we have internet), planning the games design & storyboard (like what I just posted) so its relaxing, as I do not wanted to stress myself. I am focusing now on learning game programming. Once done, I will move on to learn UE4, after which start development proper.

The only development skills I have prior to my decision to make my own game, is 3D assert making, but that's a significant skill to have. Programming skills need massive polish ( I did have some programming skills back when I am still in university), & proficiency of using of a game engine also required time, but experience in using a 3D apps like Maya helps . Placing objects in the world, & using materials are very similar.

When I am relaxing, watching TV for instance, I will try to sketch a little, using some pictures on magazines or papers as reference, to improve my drawing skills, so I can make simple comic slideshow style cut scenes. I hope to post something soon.
 

Andy

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#28
Sounds like an interesting process and a real learning curve.
 

DLC

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#29
Something I worked on, may have to rework this:

 

starseeker

Your friendly Neighborhood Spiderman
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#30
Does Unity have its own script language? I cannot say I understand the network, but the game sound cool.

Its a top down RPG or still a platformers? Sp or MP?