Small changes, big rewards

The thing about game development is there’s a MASSIVE ton of work even for something small.

For example, imagine the player opening a door. The amount of work involved could be

  • Concept art for the door
  • 3D modeling the door
  • Unwrapping/Texturing the door
  • Animating the door to open/close
  • Importing the door into the game and ensureing it fits and is scaled correctly
  • Programming functionality for the player to be able to grab the door handle
  • Programming functionality for the player to be able to move the door back and forth realistically
  • Audio for when the door knob turns
  • Audio for when the door opens
  • Audio for when the door closes
  • Particle effects to be created and played once the player has successfully opened the door

That’s just for a door… We have a whole game to create in VR.. We need to find as many optimal ways possible to make the game better.

Small changes, big rewards

Sometimes you’re able to find things that with just one small change, it makes a huge difference. For example, we’re using the Unity Standard Asset Toon Shader. Initially we were just using the default UtilToonGradient (which is just a gradient on the toon shaded object that goes from white to black) It didn’t look bad, but it wasn’t quite right, everything was a little too dark. After completing what was set out for the day, I had a few moments to work on whatever I wanted. So quickly taking 3 seconds and making a new gradient that just went from white to light grey made a huge difference to the game visuals.

Left side is what it is currently – Right side is what it was initially


Even something as small as adding a simple particle effect to something suddenly brings so much more life to the game. Once you get enough of these little changes into the game, everything starts to really come together and that polish you’re expecting slowly gets closer and closer with not as much effort as everything else.

Below is an example where we were initially just showing a stack of money disappearing when the tip amount goes down.

Tip reduction, no particle effect

But I had already made a “make it rain” particle effect that took 30 seconds to modify in order to create a particle effect that makes sense being played when the tip amount goes down

Tip reduction + particle effect

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