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Tanks and Zombies

A small Unity project about driving tanks, shooting at zombies and causing mayhem.

I'm starting to realize how many of my first posts are going to be about tanks. This is of course entirely coincedental, I promise.

This project came about last summer when I found myself with a couple of quiet days in a row, but I have barely touched it since. Hopefully I'll make myself revive it and get it into a more playable state.

Although I spend most of my time in UE4, I do love busting out Unity every once in a while, especially for small projects. I started this project with the idea that I wanted very simple graphics, tanks, and that I wanted to utilize compute shaders. The accessibility of compute shaders in Unity is one of the big pros when I'm picking an engine for a personal project, and I might do a post about them in the future.

I definitely succeeded in making the graphics simple, bordering to crude. This project is done entirely within Unity, using no external textures or meshes. Although there isn't much of it, the animation is all procedural as well, which is something I always love doing.

Showing some of the animation and firing mechanics, and also the dynamic surface smearing.

There's also no GUI, replacing that with reload indicators on the tank itself. The mechanics are quite simple, with only a Gears of War type quick-reload mechanic and also a stationary turret mode you can enter when you've killed enough zombies in a row, but which also leaves you very open to attack.

So, yes, the zombies kill you when you touch them, which many people have pointed out is a huge oversight, because who doesn't love mowing down zombies with a tank? I'll have to fix that.

To offset the very simple initial visuals I really wanted to show the devestation accumulate after playing for a bit, and so I came up with a system with compute shaders that made the ground visuals dynamic and persistent, and also allowed the tank to smear any layer around as it moves. It works well but is also very crude and it would be one of the things I'd like to spend more time on.

Hopefully I'll get to expand on the mechanics a bit, adding pickups that change the type of ammunition or other aspects of the tank. What would be really cool would also be to implement some multiplayer, making it a sort of free for all + zombies.

So in short, the goals for future posts about this project would be:

  • Expand mechanics with various weapons and powerups
  • Implement multiplayer
  • Implement actual scoring system
  • Expand the dynamic smearing visual
  • Implement mowing down zombies

Showing some more of the devestation that occurs and also the turret mode that you can enable after 3 kill shots in a row