An in-depth Unity course on how to make an "Action-MOBA"

I propose a new course for Unity 2017 that teaches how to make 3 different MOBAs. The focus would be on the action variety since it has the most potential for learning the most things about the widest range of topics, but we would need to learn a few other things 1st, which gives us the opportunity to learn a few bonus things about game design in general as well as how to apply what we are learning here to a few other game genres. The course would probably assume you’ve already taken the “Learn to Code by Making Games - Complete C# Unity Developers Course”.

During this course, the student would make 3 games. Layout would be something like this:

Section/Game 1: A moderately detailed overview on how to make a basic classic/standard MOBA (like dota2 or LoL). This would include basic in-game/match currency (gold to buy in-match upgrades, etc); movement, attacking, and death coding for creeps; player movement/moving in a high-precision/high-‘speed’ 2.5d-ish top-down moba-style map using keyboard/mouse; making the map; coding a basic AI for a bot; including a shop; and making the game support basic multiplayer. This would not only teach us the basics of the genre, but would give us some basic skills that would be transferable to other genres (like RTS’s). (This should be roughly 35% of the total course material)

Section/Game 2: A relatively brief expansion on section #1 where we cover all the same talking points, doing all the same things all over again, but modified for a different style of MOBA: the 2d side-scrolling kind. (like “Awesomenauts” Doing everything over again is good for retention, especially if everything is slightly modified this time around, since being able to see how to do the same thing in a slightly different way is a really good skill to have. Modifications would include (but are not limited to): making the whole game 2d, controller support, and including the drop-ship animation on death/re-spawn would be a very useful tool to have as well (effectively teaching us the ability/skill to be able to add mini-games into our games). Additionally the modifications make the skills transferable to other genre’s (like infinite runners, mario clones, and almost any other 2d side-scrolling game). (This should be roughly 15% of the total course material)

Section 3: A super in depth, nuts to soup, detailed “clone” of an Action-MOBA. This is where the majority of the course material will be (roughly 50%).
• A) Basics: We again cover all the basic moba game set-up, this time modified for an action style game. The repetition is good for retention and understanding, as well as the modifying (not-so-slight this time) of the basic code to accommodate this new style is excellent for learning to apply what we’ve already learned to a broad range of other genres (including FPS’s in this case). If you haven’t yet seen the worlds #1 Action-MOBA, (aka: #3 MOBA in the world), you should go check out SMITE: so that you know what game I’m talking about because this game has a few unique points that would be incredibly valuable to learn how to make/copy (and tweak):

• B) Control: The controls in this game are rather unique: the way the character sidesteps/moves based on wasd and mouse direction, including how the mouse is anchored/limited (especially when the option in the preferences is selected to limit camera pitch). It’s very similar to a FPS but zoomed out a little, but at the same time, not quite the same - the differences are subtle, but profound once you get into the details. I feel that setting up a controller in Unity to match this is probably not hard, but is something that, by copying Smite as exactly as possible, we could learn a lot from. Especially if we also include options for player control customization in the preferences menus. We would use the “Jungle Practice” mode from Smite as our learning and testing ground since it is effectively a single player mode for the game.

• C) Game play: The game play here is not unique, in fact, its a pretty standard moba at its core, but this is something that is both an incredibly popular genre (one of the fastest growing game types right now), as well as unique in it’s design demands. Knowing how to set up a basic moba game, but in a 3rd-person “action” style would be very instructive for learning to design and code many other types of games as well (like “Darksiders”, etc). We would focus on making the “Conquest” game mode from Smite.

• D) Models: Making a “smite-clone” would also give us ample opportunities to learn about modelling, rigging, 3d animations, etc, in blender (which would also trickle into maya or 3ds max for those that want to learn those programs but want to start with blender).

• E) Advanced multiplayer: We would include queueing, batching, matchmaking, and MMR balancing.

• F) Game modes: We can also include an extra game mode, which gives us tons of opportunity to learn how to apply what we’ve learned to other games we might want to make. In this case we would learn how to make and add the “Arena” game mode from Smite to our game.

• G) Misc: This would be a big project, so I’m sure I’ve forgotten some stuff. It would go here.

FPS/MOBA/HERO games are the new trend. I think this course should cover it too

This is would be a horrible idea. Simply because MOBAs are so extensive that it’ll take forever to create 3 of them. By the time you finished the course the stuff you learned in the first 2 sections would be obsolete. Now if you choose just one section and taught it then it’ll be a fantastic course. But to do all three would be insane.

That is a very interesting idea. I think the first 135 lessons of the RPG course covers the same content as what you would need for combat mechanics in a game like League of Legends. Therefore, I would suggest Ben and Rick to look into branching out the RPG course at a certain point. So here is my suggestion:

Course-1: Core Combat (I believe first 150 lesson)
Course-2: Inventory and Items (I think this should be about 75 lesson)
Course-3a: Branching Story, cutscenes, and other hardcore RPG story elements (150 lessons)
Course-3b: MOBA (another 150 lessons including networking)

Courses 1 and 2 could be the same for both courses, and individuals could tailor their games towards either a story based ARPG or a full fledged MOBA depending on the course they choose.

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