Building an FPS #1: Getting Started

We're building another game!

For years we've heard from you, our users, that game development is a big topic that you guys want to learn. This past December, we committed a big effort to this request in the form of a Tower Defense Learning Flow. It's been a pretty big hit! You guys weren't lying.

Today, we're very excited to share that we're working on another game development Flow centered around the first-person-shooter genre. As with the Tower Defense Flow, our approach with this project is to deliver game development education in a two-fold method:

  1. Offer a fully-playable game. When we create a CGC tutorial, we believe it's important to legitimize the education with example/result imagery that showcases the workflow(s) we're teaching. With game development, what better way to do this than by sharing an actual game that our community can play? Granted they'll be smaller games, like one level instead of many, since we're only a 4-person team - but a polished, fun, hopefully addicting game nonetheless!
  2. Release beginning-to-end training about creating that game. If we can prove the project with a polished game, then education about that game becomes that much more valuable. Shortly after the game is released, a thorough Learning Flow will follow that teaches the entire process of creating the game from conceptualization and design, asset creation with Blender, and development with Unity.


We're almost one-and-a-half months into production on our first person shooter prototype and we're having a blast with it! We've been referring to it as "The Range". It's going to be a beautiful sci-fi-ish aesthetic complete with glorious harsurface environment details, a robot character, and yes, of course bad-ass weapons. Also you can expect some CGC easter eggs o'plenty!


Yeah robots! Who doesn't like robots? We sure do. Tim came up with some sweet design that we are translating into Blender.


The level is self-contained as a fairly large structure of hallways, rooms, and a large open courtyard. Jonathan Lampel has spear-headed the level design and after 5 versions, we're really happy with the way it's playing.


Our list of weapons was initially 5 but along the way we decided to double up functionality, which makes the current count 3:

  • An accurate, high-powered pistol that can switch to a sub-machine-gun rate of fire at the cost of accuracy.
  • A rifle that fires accurately in bursts or semi-automatic (not sure yet which) and can transform into a sniper rifle at the click of a button. The sacrifice is rate of fire for accuracy and zoom.
  • Finally, a rocket launcher to blow all the things up.

Here's the design sheet from Tim:



Jonathan Gonzalez is hard at work as the sole developer for the game. He's single-handedly building all game mechanics. Here's a taste of the prototype in action:

This is an ambitious project and we still have a long way to go but we're very excited about it. Stay tuned for more dev blogs about "The Range" in the near future!

Update: read the second update by clicking here.


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  • fieryalbino

    I think this is a great idea. I hope you guys eventually get to do this for various gameplay genres.

  • akant0r

    Will this be a tutorial soon? and if yes, then what will it cover? will it cover everything from asset creation to game programming?

  • crew
    Jonathan Gonzalez (jgonzalez)

    At the moment we expect roughly 4-6 courses. The first one Tim Von Rueden will be going over the concept art side of things. Covering the development of the character(s), and weapons along with some ideas on environment art paint overs.

    After that Jonathan Lampel and Kent Trammell will cover the 3d modeling and level design aspects along with texturing. This will cover the character modeling/sculpting/texturing, weapons, and level design. We expect this portion to be one of the biggest aspects of this process.

    Animation and rigging will be after that and we have Wayne Dixon, who created the "Animation Bootcamp" course, who will be teaching the rigging and animation portions.

    Finally once it's all done it'll come over to me and I'll cover the game development process of programming enemy AI, character movements, animations, explosions, etc. We'll be building a fun shooter against enemy characters and we may even include a true multiplayer experience if feasible. So yes, lots and lots will be covered from start to finish.

  • crew
    Jonathan Gonzalez (jgonzalez)

    Indeed we will. We may or may not be also planning a kart racing game next. ;)

  • crew
    Jonathan Gonzalez (jgonzalez)

    Thanks Derek! We were quite surprised how well the Tower Defense courses were received so we wanted to bring something even more exciting to you all. This series of courses will definitely be bigger and better than the TD courses.

  • Alessio Corridori (alessiocorridori1973)

    Fantastic project, thank you very much for your hard work. CG Cookie it's the best and most inspiring teaching platform!
    You guys are really amazing and developing games as tutorial it's the best way to cover all the gaps on the workflow that leads from an 3d object or a game mechanic to a fully playable game.
    Can't wait to see the project completed!

  • Cy Sean (xyxspliffy)

    nice, I can't wait :D thank you for this!

    are there any plans for a top down action/adventure type game tutorial in the future?

    you guys are awesome!

  • fjag

    Awesome. When do you plan to start course publishing ?

  • Richard Rabassa (rrabassa)

    It looks awesome! Can't wait!

  • crew
    Kent Trammell (theluthier)

    We dream of having a CGC Arcade where users can play a bunch of *fun* (can't stress this enough) games and can immediately learn how to make them.

  • crew
    Kent Trammell (theluthier)

    We're probably a couple months away from publishing. These are very ambitious projects that require significant R&D. But we'll continue sharing dev blogs as well as publishing other content along the way!

  • crew
    Kent Trammell (theluthier)

    Thanks, Alessio!

  • mediajolt

    This looks pretty exciting! Looking forward to it!

  • crew
    Kent Trammell (theluthier)

    A top-down action-adventure hasn't been discussed yet, but all this is still new. We have mentioned a cart-style racer though..

  • Ryan Warren (cmdrfirezone38)

    A cart-style racing game would be pretty cool!

  • Ryan Warren (cmdrfirezone38)

    I think it would be really awesome if you made an RTS project! It could be one map with maybe only one army or two small armies. But I think that a course like that would be able to encompass a lot of elements which would allow a lot of learning. If the CG COOKIE TEAM did that, I would love you even more than I already do!!! lol

  • Neil Jenkinson (daddios)

    I think this is a great idea, as I've watched so many of the CGCookie tutorials I feel I have already gained all the components for a game like this. But I know I'm unable to put them all together, particularly the Unity parts.

    Really looking forward to it, and keep up the excellent work.

  • davincheaney

    I agree

  • kidpeppers

    This is exactly what I have been looking for the entire time I have been on CG cookie! It looks amazing! Keep up the good work!

  • Cynthia Shaw (gamrteachr)

    What? An FPS game and tutorial?! High-five to the CGCookie team! Thank you for taking care of us and giving us what we have been waiting for! Lots of luck-- I can't wait!

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