Creating a third-person zombie shooter with DOTS

Unity

Creating a third-person zombie shooter with DOTS

Far North Entertainment is a Swedish studio co-owned by five friends from engineering studies. Since releasing Down to Dungeon for Gear VR in early 2018, the company’s been working on a game that explores a classic PC game genre – the post-apocalyptic zombie survival game. What makes the project stand out is the number of zombies chasing you. The team’s vision included thousands of brain-hungry enemies coming after you in enormous hordes.

However, they quickly run into lots of performance issues when prototyping this idea. Spawning, despawning, updating, and animating all those zombies was a major bottleneck, even after the team tried implementing possible solutions like object pooling and animation instancing.

This led the studio’s CTO Anders Eriksson to look at DOTS, and how to change his mindset from an object-oriented mindset to a data-oriented one. “The key insights that helped us make the shift was to stop thinking about objects and object hierarchies, and start to think about the data, how it is transformed and how it is accessed,” he says. That means that the code doesn’t have to be modeled around something that makes sense in real life and it doesn’t have to solve the most general case. He’s got a lot of advice for anyone trying to make the same shift: Read More

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