Inside the Mind of a Bug: Unity and PlayMaker

William | 9 April, 2015 | Design, Hollow Knight, Technical

Hey everyone, William here. A few bits of news for you, first though I thought I’d introduce a new tool we’ve been using to develop Hollow Knight: PlayMaker. After the Kickstarter ended back in December, we decided that we’d move development over to the Unity. That turned out to be a great move, because it means the game is going to look a zillion times better, and we’ll be able to release on all kinds of systems , including the Wii U and hopefully other consoles as well. The past few months have been spent porting the existing game over to Unity, and coming to grips with the new system and all of its new features. We’ve also started using a plugin for Unity called PlayMaker, which is a kind of visual scripting system which uses these flowchart style layouts (called ‘Finite State Machines’) to build up game logic insanely quickly. The flowchart style layout a perfect way to structure things like enemy AI in a logical way, so enemy designs are coming together much more quickly now. It also means that I, as a designer with fairly basic coding skills of my own, can put together all kinds of enemy behaviours and game events without having to constantly hassle poor old Dave.

Bugs love flowcharts!

The innards of the Spitter’s mind on the left, and the result on the right.

It feels good to finally have all of the enemies running around and attacking the Hollow Knight again! For the past few months they’ve just been sitting around twiddling their thumbs, not really doing anything. Well, the holiday’s over guys, back to work! DisclaimerWe aren’t getting paid to mention PlayMaker and the link above isn’t an affiliate one or anything. We’re just pretty pleased with it and thought we’d share. If you’re a Unity dev, we’d definitely recommend checking it out! Having said that, if the PlayMaker guys want to send us some kind of retroactive bribe then by all means go for it. Hornet Figurine Beep beep! New figurine coming through! Our incredible sculptor friend David Díaz Patrón has built another beautiful model prototype for us, this time of the enigmatic and extremely cool Hornet! Hornet and the Hollow Knight Hornet   Check it out, she looks fantastic! In the future we’re hoping to sell some of the Hornet models, so stay tuned! And if you want a Hollow Knight for yourself right now, check out our merchandise page. Beta Update Right now we’re working like crazy on the Beta Release of Hollow Knight. This will be a version of the game that lets you play through the first area, the Forgotten Crossroads, and it’ll be available to everyone who backed $45 or more. Over the next few weeks we’ll be releasing more and more sneak preview images and video of the Beta, so get excited! We’ll also be releasing the Beta to some of the gaming press, which means it’s the Hollow Knight’s big chance to start impressing people! Anyway, that’s all for now. Speak Soon!

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