In Xavian’s world, Plant-life is very abundant in part, to the strange magical aura that encompasses their planet and their proximity to the Sun. Certain trees have evolved to create large and thick vines that can stretch for many miles. The Baobab Trees are the most sought-after tree to produce thick vines.
Concept & Inspiration
My inspiration behind the Vine Grinding comes from the sub-punk genre known as Solar Punk. Solarpunk imagines a future that could be, based on current-age technology. Solar Punk has an aesthetic that brings together uniquely designed and sometimes silly architecture and nature in harmony. The luscious green, wild, bright, and colorful beauty of the earth.
These vines have allowed for a unique transportation system. Certain small and medium-size animals can jump on the vines and grind along as a mode of transportation. Unfortunately, large animals like Elephants, Giraffes, Rhinos, etc., are unable to grind on the vines as their weight is too much for it. With a large portion of the population travel above on the vines, travel time on the ground is very low for larger animals.
Development & Testing Stage
I planned the Vine Grinding system very early in the game development to give a unique feel to the game. My goal was to have the player travel a top and through the large Baobab trees as they navigate through the levels.
After creating the concept artwork, it was time to begin implementing it and, it was a pretty rocky start. To create a grinding system in Unity, you have to use a Spline. The hardest part was not finding a Spline asset from the Unity Store but getting the character to jump and stay on the Spline to travel from point A to point B.
After about one month of coding, we were successfully able to have a working grinding system. However, the next steps were to create the grinding animations and activate them when approaching a Spline.
After this stage, we made a huge jump to implementing the Baobab Trees into our level.