Make a Battle Royale Game
As with all of our guides, we are assuming you are using Unity to build your game. Also, you understand the power and value of the asset store. We often link to purchasable assets. This is in the best interest of you the developer and streamlining your project.
You will learn the basics for what makes a battle royale game tick. At the very least, if you haven’t started actual development yet, this article can be a great game design and concept starting document for how you plan to build everything.
The Survival and Battle Royale Genre
If you’re thinking of building a game like DayZ, Rust, PUBG, Fortnite, or Apex, you’ve come to the right place. The beginning of this type of game is more humble than you might think. The original creator was one guy working on a mod in counter strike. Now he’s a millionaire. Now that you have some excellent motivation, let’s begin!
Build Your World
Depending on the complexity you want to exist, and possibly different levels, this step is probably the biggest. It can range from somewhat easy, to incredibly difficult. But also one of the most rewarding parts of building a game. We have a guide we are advancing all the time dedicated to building an open world.
Starting Level and Props
For now we’ll assume your building one large scale map. Which is fairly typical of most Battle Royale games. A good place to start would be a world building asset. Generating terrain at large scales is essential. This powerful asset is pretty much a first step for any large scale, outside world game. Gaia Pro has been in development for years and has amazing support.
Gaia – Terrain & Scene Generator
After getting the terrain the way you like it, time to move on to objects and structures. There is an enormous library of 3d assets on the store. With out knowing your specific theme or style, we’ll suggest some good generics to get you started. Some rocks, trees, a sky box. All of the following assets are free.
Real Rocks Vol.I, Wispy Skybox, Free Speed Trees Package, Survival village props, Crate and Barrels
While we’re talking about some great freebies, it would be a shame to pass over this gem for building your game. Flooded plains is an amazing asset and even better it’s also free. There’s a lot of great buildings and environment objects to pick and choose from. Really helps fill out your world.
Buildings, Bases, and Small Towns
Players love having a variety of buildings and areas to scavenge loot from. Also as tactical cover for fire fights. Give them what they want!
One common element in many Royale games are small military bases or outposts. Usually excellent sources of guns, ammo, armor, and extra gear. Military Outpost 2 Set accomplishes this feeling of a small military base perfectly. With plenty of extra props included to fill it out. While we’re on this topic, Low Poly Military Outpost pack is another excellent addition. As well as the original Military Outpost Set also fitting the theme very well.
Military Outpost 1 and 2 Set, Low Poly Military Outpost
It’s not all military and wilderness. Usually a few outlying suburbs exist in pockets for some strange game balancing reason. A great asset that helps you get some residential down on your map is Suburb Neighborhood House Pack (Modular). The great thing about these particular houses is they have everything you need. Complete interiors and inner upstairs. Doors that open and close. Which is actually really essential for player strategy. Players use it as an indicator of a possibly looted house. While advanced players sometimes close the doors behind them. Leaving traps or actually lying in wait for an unsuspecting looter.
Suburb Neighborhood House Pack (Modular)
While we’re on the topic of suburb housing and outlying neighborhoods, it would be a shame to not mention this other incredible asset. HouseKits Family Homes accomplishes the same things. Just gives you more variety. Which isn;t a bad idea when you have players parachuting in and looting houses constantly. You don’t want too much repetition. So add some variation to that mega map of yours.
HouseKits Family Homes
Campsites and Cabins
Other great locations for looting. In your more wilderness like areas, and there will be a ton of this kind of space. Hills, valleys, forest, and fields. If a player drops in a particularly remote part of the map, don’t have them spend 30 minutes just trying to find a group of buildings. Cabins, RV parks, and campsites are the perfect little loot oasis to sprinkle through the more empty areas. Here’s three set’s of campsites and camping gear.
Old Campsite Pack, Camping Survival Pack 2, and Camping Site
Here’s three great cabins you can spread through your massive level. Great little locations for a pickup truck to be parked near. And developers typically put higher spawn rates of hunting rifles and sniper rifles in cabins. Food for thought!
Old Cabin, The Wood Cabin, and Log Cabin
A lot of these Battle Royale games have
-More props? (sand bags, tires, etc.)
If you’re feeling ambitious and want to expand from just offering a single level in your game. Or perhaps what we suggesting as the base level type just doesn’t fit your games theme specifically. We do cover more of this topic very extensively. Read more about it in our First Person RPG article. Specifically the world building section.
Battle Royal Game Kits, Templates, and Tools
This next section is key to accelerating your development to be as fast and efficient as possible. You don’t see car companies researching and reinventing the wheel every time. Why would you try and tackle advanced and complex game creation tools? There are numerous publishers happy to dedicate their time and support to specialty assets that greatly benefit indie game developers.
Battle Royale in a box
One of the most impressive assets we have ever come across is uSurvival. From the well trusted creators of uMMORPG, it is an extremely powerful tool. Basically utilizing all the greatest features from their MMO builder, except specially tailored for building a battle royale game. What used to require a large development team can now be bought for less than a pair of shoes.
An entire article in itself could be written based on just this asset alone. So we’ll try and keep to the main features. If you need to read more in depth, check it out on the asset store. Some quick features we’d like to point out:
- Robust multiplayer solution. 100+ CCU.
- Built in Character Controller movement
- Third and first person camera support
- A.I. Zombies included
- 100% of the source code is available
- Axe, Pistol, Rifle, and Crossbow
- Scriptable items to expand weapons and pick ups
- Energies, Harvesting, Interaction, Build Systems, Etc. Etc.
- Even includes that closing in field that forces players together!
- A thriving community helping each other out
Items and Inventory
If your getting more in depth, you will quickly realize your need for a bigger inventory management system. For systems such as these, we typically have a go to recommendation.
Rucksack – Ultimate Inventory System
While we’re on the topic of items, you will need items to fill out your game more than just what’s included in the previous assets.
While we’re talking about items in battle ground games, it would be a crying shame not to mention of of the key fun factors when it comes to this genre. Air Drops. This is that added extra sense of excitement and danger. Air drops can make the difference between winning and losing in these types of games. Normally full of essential supplies, guns, ammo, health packs. So it’s worth the risk if your near one dropping in. There is a perfect asset that exists for this. It’s called Airdrop Supply.
This asset packs and incredible amount. Including a parachute and four different boxes/containers that can be dropped in. Gun case style, health pack, military style emergency pack, and cardboard box. So you can switch things up in your game.
And if you want to change the style of parachute up a bit, this pack pairs very well with the Airdrop Supply. Parachutes Pack. And it has a bunch that perfectly fits the theme of this kind of project. Plus if you’re going to have your actual players parachuting in, it’s good to have some variety.
Loot and Item Icons
A great way to have a visual representation of items your player has picked up is still the classic 2D icon. Some games from time to time will still attempt a 3D representation. It just never ends up looking right. The classic artistic 2D style of icon still reigns supreme and probably still will for many years to come. It’s just easy on the eyes and super quick to recognize items in a crowded busy inventory.
1st Person Perspective
Usually Battle Royale games favor a 3rd person perspective. But giving players the option to switch is currently present in most. Especially when it comes to using specialized weapons. Such a sniper rifles. Here’s some first person perspective guns an animations. Animated Hands with Weapons is a pretty good pack to start with.
Animated Hands with Weapons Pack
While on this topic, there is another set to consider as well. FPS Animated Arms. This particular set has bare hands and arms, gloved hands. And clothed and gloved hands. Several different types of camo. As with most models, don’t feel like your character clothing is limited to what’s provided in a particular asset. If you or someone on your dev team know how to do texturing, it can be pretty easy to put together a variety of clothing styles and types.
FPS Animated Arms
Essential Game Building Tools
You’ll want a properly stocked tool kit to build a proper Battle Royal game. The following will help you get it done right from the beginning.
One asset we recommend you get, and start learning right away is Playmaker. At first you will be able to accomplish quick things in Unity with enough research and tinkering around. But as your project grows, you’ll quickly realize you’ve made a spaghettified mess. With things not properly tied together and things are becoming complicated. This keeps keeps your project running smoothly and is a great tool for non-programmers. Do yourself a favor and just get it and learn it.
Shooters of all different kinds typically pair well with a controller. Battle Royale games are no exception. Even though you are probably planning to develop this to be PC esxclusive, do not discredit what a console controller could do for your game and increasing your player base. Rewired makes this whole process incredibly easy. So build your game from the ground up with controller support in mind from the beginning. It’s way easier doing it now than going backwards and rebuilding core mechanics to fit this later. Plus a alrge percentage of PC players and players on steam specifically look for games that they can use a console controller with.
Like a web site needs a hosting service, your game will need a multiplayer hosting solution. Even though uSurvival has an incredible built in system that allows for 100+ concurrent players at once, servers still have to network these players together. We have an excellent service that we currently use and recommend. Photon is in the best multiplayer hosting service in the business. We highly recommend them for any of your multiplayer needs.
While we’re on the topic of multiplayer, it’s only suiting we discuss we discuss this next important topic. We like to think we live in an honest world. But as long as there’s online rounds to be won, there will be hackers and cheaters. This is a constant battle behind the scenes in the gaming world. An indie dev already has too much on his plate to build an anti hacking tool. Luckily Anti-Cheat Toolkit is an amazing system that deals with cheaters and hackers behind the scenes for you. Eliminate cheating in your multiplayer games. It provides a better gaming experience and your players will thank you for it.
Characters and Animation
We highly suggest more of Maksim Burgrimov’s work. He has incredible attention to detail and goes above and beyond in his contributions to the asset store. This is another great pack for getting some amazing characters in your game. Definitely stylized to match today’s king of the hill type games.
• Сustomized Post-Apocalyptic Сharacter
Vehicles and Driving
If you’re really feeling adventurous, like your in game players would be, you might even consider adding vehicles. You’re going to want a decent number of vehicles.
Right away you’re going to want to get some realistic vehicle physics. Look no further than NWH Vehicle Physics. This is a great place to start when it comes to implementing vehicles in your project. Comes with some
NWH Vehicles Physics
Alternatively, another great option for vehicles physics is the MS Vehicle System. Including a bunch of key points. Efficient particle tire marks. Five demo vehicles to choose from. (Including a tank!) Advanced vehicle camera for specific views from the inside while using said vehicle. An awesome deformity system if you plan to add damage capabilities.
MS Vehicle System
If you’re on a roll adding vehicles to your project, we have some more great suggestions. This Military Jeep set is very suiting to a battle ground game. (All though it’s so big, it reminds us more of a hummer.) With a gun turret up top. Or if you want something more for quick get a ways or fast travel, this little 4×4 Jeep is exactly what you’re looking for. Or perhaps just a standard Pickup Truck for bouncing over hills, flying across the battle grounds looking for loot and making a safe distance from the closing in barrier.
Military Jeep, 4×4 Jeep, Pickup Truck
Which, by the way, click into the Pickup Vehicle Pack and take a look. It includes a bunch of different looks and paint jobs. Including beat up and rusty, and different types of camo looks. This truck was made for a Battle Royale Project.
Visual Effects and User Interface
A lot goes into the overall look and feel of a game. The subtle effects and heads up display is no place to skimp out on. Lets take a look at some game visuals and the assets that make them possible.
This could range from anything like a small fire left behind after a grenade is thrown. Or smoke from a damaged vehicle. Maybe things will get especially wild in your battle ground like including a flame throwing. What ever your particle needs, Unity Particles has got you covered.
Unity Particle Pack
A subtle effect that used quite extensively in shooter and battle ground type games are camera effects. This are visual cues at the screen level. Like when you’re shot and low on health the redness and slight blood splatter that is closing in around your screen. Done properly this is a great indicator of taking too much damage too quickly. Or even when the electric zone or poisonous zone is closing in and starts hitting your player. Again, this is visually represented on the screen to let you know you are currently being damaged. Camera Play does all of this and more.
Also does cracks on screen, water droplets in rain, night vision. So much potential for almost any kind of game in one amazing asset.
GUI’s, Menus, and HUD
Known as UI, GUI, (Graphic User Interface) and sometimes the HUD. (Heads Up Display) These parts also includes the various menus the player will use to navigate the game. Too often these are an after thought. Plenty of game building guides simply gloss over this quickly than move on. Best to make them properly right from the get go.
One that jumps out at us right away as very suiting for a Battle Royale game is Military UI. It just has that battle ground type feel to it. Plenty of weapon icons. All the menus, scroll bars, indicators, rank icons, etc that you should need. At least at the start of the project.
It even includes a scope sight! So check it out.
Instead if simply leaving you with one option for UI graphics, we happen to know of a plethora of them. We discovered a bunch while writing our article on How To Make a FPS > GUI’s. Since so much of a FPS is similar to a Battle Ground type game, we should also share the same GUI options here as well.
This next asset can display a wealth of information such as health and/or shield level, ammo, equipped weapon, radar, etc. Sentinel FPS GUI accomplished this and has extra UI applications for menus.
Sentinel FPS GUI
These next three suggestions really round out what almost any developer would need for menu and UI graphics for their Battle Royale project. Sierra Foxtrot FPS GUI, Infinite Warfare UI, and Bullet UI are all excellent choices. Some developers take multiple UI assets and combine them to make unique combos.
Sierra Foxtrot FPS GUI, Bullet UI, and Infinite Warfare UI
On the topic of user interface graphics for first person shooters, we might as well but these suggestions under this header while we’re hear. FPS Icons Pack is a great free asset. It can fill in some of the gaps for weapon icons and graphics. Mod Ranks is an excellent asset for providing badges as awards for ranks or completed missions.
-Bring over the FPS graphics to this spot and update
Music and Sound Effects
The right music and sound effects can add so much final polish to a game. But beware. Doing your own music from scratch is very time prohibitive. Also hiring out for music can also be very expensive rather quickly. We’ve been down this path enough that we recommend cost effective music and sound FX that are of high quality. Also royalty free is a key factor here.
Game Sound Tracks
Lot’s of Battle Royale games actually don’t have a sound track or music while the actual battle is going down. But does that mean there’s none? Nope. Menu music. The waiting area beside a plan before take off. While in the air before and during the signature drop to the map. Victory and stats screen. There’s a lot of different parts of your game that become much more immersive if you include some great warfare sound tracks. And Ultimate Game Music Collection has some excellent choices perfectly suited to battle ground type games.
Ultimate Game Music Collection
Gun sound effects in a shooting game are a necessity. Bullets whizzing by. Impact noises. Explosions. The list goes on. This particular asset pack perfectly encapsulates all the ware like noises that go on during a battleground fight. Warfare Sounds has it all.
Have you thought about subtle foot steps yet? Lots of Battle Royale games use foot step sounds as a strategy. If you don’t see the enemy player first, sometimes if your quiet enough, you can hear their foot steps approaching. Which could give you the upper hand in a fire fight if they’re not expecting it.
Not to mention a ton of other miscellaneous sound FX that need to be taken care of. Items moved silently around the inventory is just weird. The same sound effect for every item is also weird. Thuds, bangs, bleeps, and blips are all here. And thousands of other sounds too.
Universal Sound FX
This pack can not only solve all your extra sound effect needs. It’s also a great sound library investment to own when you go on to develop future projects.
Thank You For Reading
We hope that at the very least, this article has been a solid foundation on which you plan your overall game design. Be sure to bookmark our site and check back in frequently. We are constantly updating our articles to keep up with the latest in game development trends.
Thanks for reading and happy developing!