Happy Friday!

It’s been a busy week at my work, but I’ve managed to make more progress. This log is themed Runes and Firebreath (and how both can make a dragon pretty darn epic)!

– Managed to implement the prototype dragon firebreath; alot more still to be done to iron it out, but it looks epic
– Created ~80x runic symbols to add to the game, which I am thinking of sharing on the asset store in case anyone is interested
– Swordsmen now catch on fire if they get hit by fire; both allies and enemies! I was thinking of using this to force the player to balance between melee/spells/firebreath and how they use them


No dragon game is complete without some form of breath weapon (as I learned from one of my favorite old-time games where you can play as a dragon, Istaria). It actually took quite a bit of work to get this system operating correctly.



In order for enemies (and unfortunate bbq allies) to receive the notification that they should spontaneously combust, I made use of the ever helpful box collider! This collider is attached to the dragons head, in a way that lets it follow the main firebreath animation.


This is what “impacts” the enemies as the dragon swings its head and determines the range of the attack. The system also checks if the firebreath animation itself is currently playing, so that people don’t just burst into fire anytime the dragon looks at them (sounds cool, but makes negotiations very difficult).

The enemies themselves have a fire particle system on them that is normally not enabled, but becomes enabled once the conditions of collision + animation playing are met. They are also sent a “death” message by the AI system; the AI also uses this collider to detect the impact.



One of the challenges faced when you use Unity Asset store assets, is making it unique with your own style. I considered a few options for the dragons and environments; I could use decals that the player could customize to change the appearance of the dragon. Another idea is adding dragon armor. My third idea was runic symbols (considering environment, these seemed especially nifty).


One thing runes let you do is add juice to the game! They are very visual creations that can also be dynamic and responsive to things such as impacts, attacks, or just making that random wall seem less like a big blank space with nothing in it. I.e., imagine the rune flaring up while the dragon is breathing fire to really sell the release of powerful energies. Or (like the gif above shows) just make dragons or humanoids look cool.


You could even add little spirit things that spawn from the rune and move about. Perhaps they are creatures attracted to certain runes of power? Rotating circles surrounding the rune seem to help quite a bit as well when a rune is placed on a large homogeneous surface such as a castle wall.

The runes are made using a combination of GIMP 2 (for the textures) and Unity 5.5+ particle systems. (Once I submit the asset store package, it will contain a tutorial on how to create these if you are interested 🙂 )

What’s Next

There are still kinks to work out for the dragon Firebreath, and I have about 80+ runes drawn up in GIMP 2 that I still need to import into the game (and put together for the unity asset store). Once the asset is complete, it will be found here. The asset store is a part of my strategy for funding game development!

I am thinking of using these runes to surround the portal and make it look way better than just a couple slabs of rocks stuck together and a distortion effect.

I am also thinking of adding runes to the dragon model and then tying their brightness into the dragons firebreath and other spells. The AI dragons on the other hand will not have access to these visual effects, which will be one way to differentiate the player from the rest of the world. It could also be a way to demonstrate progression!

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