Ludus ante Portas

About the game

Ludus ante Portas was a game that could be played on the famous landmark of the city of Trier, the ‚Porta Nigra‘. The game was developed as part of the ‚Design und Kulturtage Trier‘. A maximum of 10 players were able to play the game at the same time and the players were divided equally into two teams.

The players in the team of the Romans tried to protect the Porta Nigra by holding up their shields and repairing broken pillars. The players in the Germanic team tried to destroy the Porta Nigra with their catapults. If they managed to destroy a certain number of pillars, they won. The team of the Romans won through surviving the night of the attack.

My tasks

This project was the first time I got to work with the Unity3D engine. Thanks to many online tutorials I was able to learn the basics quickly. At the beginning of the project I had the tasks to implement effects and animations. Some of the effects I implemented were for example the rustling of bushes or the flickering of a candle flame.

I implemented the rustling effect of the bushes by using a particle system with leaves as particles. The particle system was then activated by hitting the bush with a projectile. Fortunately the engine provides a function that is automatically triggered by a collision event with a trigger collider. Within this function I tested whether a projectile has hit the collider or not. If a projectile hit the collider, the particle system was activated. After a certain amount of time, using a coroutine, the particle system was then turned back off again.

Show code
void OnTriggerEnter(Collider other){
   if (!hit && other.tag != "Projectile"){
      hit = true;
      ...
      else if (other.tag == "bush"){
         other.GetComponent().hasBeenHit();
         aSource.volume = 0.30f;
         aSource.PlayOneShot(hitPillar);
      }
      ...
}



The flickering of the candle flames was implemented in the same way. In addition, the flame was scaled up and down permanently to create a burning animation.

Due to the indisposition of many group members, I took on a variety of other tasks. These included organization of the group, bug fixing, implementation of the player controls and creating the animation tree for the main characters.

The organization of the 38 people group turned out to be a huge challenge. First I decided to use the organsization tool called ‚Trello‚. I hoped that this tool would help to provide a structured working flow throughout the project. Just using Trello as tool for organization turned out to be insufficient. As a solution, I arranged weekly meetings and prototype tests. Having some kind of weekly schedule helped the team a lot the accomplish milestones faster.

In retrospect

Looking back I would do the following things differently:

  • Team size
    With 38 people, the group was too big for a project of this size. Due to the high number of people many people had no tasks or worked on the same parts. A group size of 3 programmers and 4-5 designers would be far more adequate to realise this project.
  • Team Leader
    My assignment as team leader was very late in the project. In order to realise the project smoothly, a team leader should be deployed faster.
  • Animations
    As already mentioned, I implemented an animation via script. Unity provides an animation system which is suited better for this task.


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