Full Game Aesthetic Walk-Through

Hey, y’all! My friends Kytana LeLucien Ye, and I created a chill, atmospheric, color-based puzzle game called The Endless River during the 2018 Global Game Jam. In the spirit of the Global Game Jam’s encouragement of knowledge-sharing, here’s a tutorial on how we made all of the visual effects in the game!

Firstly, here’s the entire Github repository for the whole Unity project. Feel free to download it and use the resources, as long as you include the same open-source license with your project.

I’m going to talk about how we chose the effects that we used and give a short overview of how to implement every effect. One of these effects uses a shader that’s controlled by gameplay code, so this tutorial should be a great example of how to integrate shaders into the overall aesthetic and the game mechanics for your games.

In addition, there are a couple of tutorials that cover the details how the shaders were written for some of the effects, as there’s more material than would fit in this tutorial:

Now, on with the tutorial!

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2D Reflective Water Shader in Unity

Hey, y’all! My friends Kytana Le, Lucien Ye, and I created a chill, atmospheric, color-based puzzle game called The Endless River during the 2018 Global Game Jam. I wrote all of the shaders used for this game (except for the bloom), and my favorite one is definitely the reflective water shader.

So, while it’s still fresh in my mind, I figured I’d write a tutorial about it! The waving effect is quite similar to the 3D water shader tutorial, but the reflectivity is a special Unity trick that I felt made it worth writing a whole tutorial about.

If y’all want to see another tutorial covering how I made the entire aesthetic for the game, including bloom, other post-processing effects (like the vignette), fog, animations, and other effects, please let me know!

If you have any other feedback or questions about these tutorials, don’t be afraid to PM me on Redditcontact me on Twitter, or comment on this post ❤

For your reference during the tutorial, here’s the final code for this shader, under an open-source licence. The code isn’t my usual shader tutorial repository, but instead the repository for the whole game. 😉

-> Link to final code for Unity 2D Reflective Water Shader

On with the tutorial!

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Simple Water Shader in Unity

Heya, I’m Lin Reid, programmer on Limit Theory, and I’m going to show y’all how to make a water shader in Unity! This is totally non-Limit-Theory related… just writing some shaders for fun 😂

This tutorial is really a general graphics programming tutorial in disguise. The techniques we’re going to learn in this post- vertex animation and using depth textures- are basically applicable to any platform. However, I do go over a few of the quirks with getting camera depth textures to work in Unity so that you can make it work too.

These are the two possible end results, applied to an adorable Boston Terrier model made by artist Kytana Le (please ignore crappy gif quality):

Notice how both have a foam line where the dog touches the water (but with different styles for each) and animated waves. We’re going to learn how to do both. Let’s start with the foam line!

Also, for reference, here’s the complete code for the shader:

–> Link to final code for Unity Water Shader

UPDATE: I now also have a tutorial for an ice shader that covers a distortion effect that looks GREAT with this water shader, like in the gif below. Finish this tutorial first, then follow the ice shader to add the distortion pass! ;0


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