Tanks vs Aliens

Tanks vs Aliens is a small strategic game by VRFeatures. Unlike classical RTS, it doesn’t have base management and resource gathering. Instead, it focuses more on tactics, positioning, and micro-management.

Unfortunately, the game wasn’t successful on Steam. Besides of this, I still think that I’ve implemented some good stuff here which I want to share.

My Role

I’ve joined the project as a freelance programmer on the stage when most of the game logic and game modes were implemented. But it was a prototype with almost no UI and lack of some essential features.

My areas of responsivity on this project were:

  • UI and Controls
  • Fog of War
  • Tutorials and Scenarios
  • Polishing up to the shipping-ready state

Highlights

Here you can see highlights of some of the interesting features I’ve implemented for Tanks vs Aliens.

UI

I have both marked up and animated UI in Unity according to designer’s mockups and programmed the logic. UI in Tanks vs Aliens works on aspect ratios from 4:3 to 16:9. For the mobile version, two separate set of screens were developed: for 16:9 (most phones, large buttons) and 4:3 (iPad, small buttons).

Fog of War and Screen Borders

A classical RTS feature. In Tanks vs Aliens the visibility map is updated on the GPU and mixed into the main picture via a post-process effect.

Read more about Fog of War on my blog (russian)

Tutorial and Scenario System

I’ve implemented a system that allowed our game designer to script tutorials and dialogues for all 30 missions. The system provided UI for building up a scenario which then was executed via reflection at runtime. The system supported nested expressions (get the current health value of the unit that was just damaged) and very limited branching (break the script if a condition isn’t satisfied).