The past two days I worked on the system to play in-game cutscenes.
The storytelling aspect of Knock-On Effect is very important to me, but I want to break out of the game world as little as possible. I plan to use story events during the active mission to trigger cutscenes and to have them scripted in the game world instead of prerendered movies.
So I setup a system where I can temporarily take over the active game and control the world from a cutscene, which can be any type of script as long as it can give feedback on when it’s finished. I added some trigger mechanisms so I can start a cutscene whenever I want.
After setting up the basic system I created a simple cutscene for the mission start and mission success events. You can see below how I smoothly transition from controlled game to a cutscene taking over. Fair warning, it’s not exactly A movie quality 🙂
Intro cutscene using Dialogue System
The intro cutscene is entirely dialogue driven. Dialogues are going to be very important and to manage them I’m using Dialogue System For Unity. I have no prior experience with it but it was easy to get started and looks quite powerful. Basically the entire intro cutscene is a single dialogue being played, all I do is pass on the actors involved dynamically from the game world.
Ending cutscene using Timeline
Another tool of the trade for creating in game cutscenes is Unity’s Timeline. I used it for the mission success cutscene, where the extraction helicopter comes to take the actors away. The timeline moves the helicopter and in turn triggers dialogues at certain points in time.
I’m not sure yet which approach I will be using most in the end – probably a combination – but at least I’m confident they’re supported. And I can easily hook in another system if that would be necessary.