Click here to play the latest build. Here's what's new:
- A single stamina meter instead of two "per-pick" stamina meters. The idea was to simplify the UI. The meter also turns red when you're running out of stamina.
- A new mountain is generated each game according to a random seed in the form of the mountain's name. So "Mt. Rainier" will produce the same mountain every time. You can even type in your own mountain names and see what kind of mountain you get.
- Player movement tweaks.
- Terrain generation tweaks. See below.
I spent a fair amount of my time on the new terrain generation for this build. I tried to find a workable range of values to randomize so that each mountain felt climbable but somewhat unique. You may notice that the mountains have a lot less side-to-side vertex warping than in previous builds. The result is that the surfaces are mostly vertical and perhaps back to feeling more voxel-like. The reason I did this was to work around a problem I'd been having with the player movement.
As I added more and more angled surfaces to the mountains, I noticed that the player frequently "bumped their head" when jumping near a seemingly vertical surface. The problem is that the character controller doesn't have very complicated collision detection, so whenever the capsule-shaped collider hits anything on its top-most portion-- even a very slightly angled vertical surface-- it counts as a ceiling and stops the movement.
I tried making the climbing picks hold the player farther out from the wall, but that doesn't solve the problem when jumping from a standstill. I also looked into overriding or ignoring the default ceiling collision behavior, but it's tricky to tweak Unity's standard character collision code.
Eventually, I looked at the problem and the amount of other work I had to do, and decided to change the terrain to no longer produce the problematic geometry. It's definitely a sacrifice in terms of cool mountain shapes, but I'm hoping it's worth the saved time and effort.
My other news is that I've set an arbitrary deadline for myself: I'll release the finished mountain climber game by the end of this month (May 31st). My hope is that having a finite amount of time to spend will help me prioritize my efforts more efficiently, like with the ceiling-bumping issue. I'm also eager to move onto new projects, so knowing that I'll be freed up to do that in June is something to look forward to.
Thanks a lot for all the great feedback on the last update. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the latest build, especially on the terrain generation. Let me know in the comments if you find any particularly good (or bad!) mountain generation seeds.