3D Platformer GameDev Series – Weekly Blog #6: Completing the Player Respawn

Hey everyone! It was a rather busy work week for me so today’s blog post will be relatively shorter than my previous posts for this series. Still, I did get a chance to go through and reproduce all the material covered so far in the 3D Platformer course on my own (as I said I would do each week before moving onto the next section of the course). Today, I will introduce Unity’s UI tools to finish setting up the player respawn by adding a fade in and fade out transition. Let’s hop right to it!

As you may know (whether consciously or not), User Interface (UI) is essential to all software applications and programs. In video games, the UI is comprised of all the screen displays that the user can see and/or access (i.e.- maps, inventory system, dialogue boxes, menus, etc..). The UI is also involved in generating screen transitions and effects.

In order to create a fade in and fade out transition for the player respawn, the first step is to create and add a UI object called a Canvas to the game scene. The canvas is set to scale with the screen size such that it can fit across any monitor’s resolution. The next step is to add a UI image (“BlackScreen”) under the canvas object. The UI image is resized to match the size of the canvas and to overlay it completely. Of course, an appropriate black colour is also assigned to it (the colour it will transition to and from):

Canvas (UI object)

After setting up the game scene, a new C# script called “UIManager” is attached to the canvas. In order to access Unity’s UI scripting elements and classes, the “UnityEngine.UI” namespace must be declared at the start of the script. This allows us to add and display a 2D Image or sprite to the canvas (a black screen in this case). Lastly, two boolean variables are used to generate the transitions (note: the coding is inversely written for the ‘fadeFromBlack’ transition which is not shown below but included in the script):

UIManager script (fadetoblack)

In order to call the transitions to occur, this is done in the GameManager script. Last week, we had set up the player respawn in the GameManager script by making the player disappear when it enters a killzone and then reappearing at the player’s starting position after 2 seconds. Now, we will trigger the two transition effects when the player disappears and when the player reappears (note: the camera is also disabled and re-enabled in order to fix an issue whereby the Cinemachine camera swivels around trying to follow the player which had just respawned at a distance from the killzone):

GameManager script (camerafix+fadetransition respawn)

By setting and enabling the fade from black transition as the default game state, the game begins with a fade transition – the final result of the complete player respawn looks like this when the game starts:

PlayerRespawnComplete

I must say, I am quite satisfied with my progress and pacing so far – and I think committing to a weekly blog is especially helping me stay on track. I’m already looking forward to this coming week, when I will learn how to create and add checkpoints/savepoints to the game. Stay tuned!

– Taklon

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