Through the past few years of going to school for game development and working on indie titles by myself and with others, I have learned many facets of the production of video games: creating models using Maya, creating textures using Photoshop, utilizing the Unity engine, understanding gaming design principles in a more technical light, and even some basic programing with C#. However, I rarely ever delved into the world of sprites and VFX elements, but with the recent creation of “DDnD – Unsung Saviors,” I have gained much needed experience with both!
As one can see above, an emblem of sorts (just like the one used for the Character Medallions) is being perforated, while orbs of light trails out and away from it. Once the emblem with the question marks dissipates, a new emblem is revealed underneath, but this time with a different graphic on it. Above is what I’ve termed as an IOI (or Item of Interest), one of many POIs (or Points of Interest) scattered around each of the maps in the campaigns of the game. With this specific one, players can find them, reveal the items below, and then pass out the gear appropriately to one another. Specifically for the example used, the item revealed is known as a piece of Gear, and is a RuMa Temple Gi Headband (which is part of an entire Gear set that players can collect in Campaign #1).
I eventually created a Unity prefab for IOIs by first making a standard question mark emblem and then some item emblem (which at this time were the 4 pieces of Gear I posted about not too long ago) sprites using Photoshop. After importing them into Unity, I then created a simple particle effect of white light orbs bouncing away from a center point of the emblem sprites in random directions outwards, each one with a white trail coursing behind them. At this point, I was going to have the light orbs just do their thing and then the question mark emblem simply disappear, revealing the underlying item. However, I was in the mood to learn more about shaders and was able to find an amazing and free shader on the Unity Store. I went into the original shader script, edited it, and then created a unique shader texture to get the desired effect I was seeing in my mind’s eye. Lastly, I created a simple “IOIReveal” C# script that would allow GMs using the “DDnD” Interface to simply point and click on each IOI, allowing the VFX to take place.