Masterpraktikum Serious Games: Bylt - A voxel-based Build Tool
What it is about
This project is about to receive a intuitive and fast build tool. The user is supposed to create his own world, containing a self-made landscape with buildings and other objects. The only limitation he would face, is the use of a voxel-based grid. According to this grid, he could place and delete cubes to form an object. During this project, different methods are implemented to improve the build process. One of those methods is to set the build environment in Augmented Reality, displayed through a head-mounted device. As diversion to this static voxel-grid, there are multiple game levels to demonstrate different physical influences.
The idea for this voxel-based build tool emerges from the commonly known game "Minecraft" (Mojang, 2009). The point of interest is the structure of the game world, in particular with regard to the composition of multiple cubes which form up to a multifunctional terrain. In Minecraft, the player is able to shape the game world with mining resources. This process affects the environment in this respect that the terrain-cubes of the specific type are deleted. With the use of those resources, the player can build different tools and buildings, including any structure you can imagine in the shape of cubes.
A big trend among the Minecraft community is to show around what you have built. Many users are spending a lot of time to create impressive works of art. While the traditional game design element incorporated in Minecraft is the single- and multiplayer survival mode, there is a significant amount of users that simply enjoys being creative on their own servers, where they collaborate and try to recreate existing monuments or build their own works of architecture.
With Bylt we are aiming to capture the creative aspect. This game has proofed that it is possible to build realistic buildings solely based on cubes as building parts.
In Minecraft, this process is integrated in the whole game concept which results in that it is not optimized regarding to speed and intuition. Because it is in first person perspective, there are foes to fend off and the user has to mine his resources beforehand, he is limited in his speed and possibilities.
The main difference to Bylt is that we are able to focus entirely on efficient building by stripping Minecraft of its survival game elements and adding our own: The physics. Whereas Minecraft is ignoring physical laws at all, we want to create real models that abide to real world guidelines. We also incorporated various examples of forces of nature, realized in playful challenges, all depending on cubes with different physical behaviors.
Build- and Play-Mode
The game is separated into two unique game modes, which the player is able to choose from right at the beginning of the game.
Sandbox/Build mode: This is the main element of Bylt. Here, the player can freely build up his own voxel-world. This world is supposed to grow over time with the Save/Load option. The work can be saved and also be loaded afterwards, at any time. The player is restricted to the grid but this does not limit the creative process. A nexample building is given in the picture below. There you can recognize a Chinese temple, build up next to a generated and then modified mountain.
TODO: add picture
Campaign/Play mode: In addition to this free building mode, there is a Play mode to make the whole game more challenging by adding different playful elements. The player is facing challenges which require to overcome natural forces like weather, explosions and raw physical forces by building structures. This mode adds physics to the game which sets it apart from the sandbox mode.