Unity 3: Building a Rocket Launcher

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(For more resources on this subject, see here.)

Mission briefing

We will create a character that carries a rocket launcher and is able to shoot it as well as creating the camera view looking back from the character shoulder (third-person camera view). Then, we will add the character controller script to control our character, and the player will have to hold the Aim button to be able to shoot the rocket, similar to the Resident Evil 4 or 5 styles.

What does it do?

We will start with applying the built-in CharacterMotor, FPSInputController, and MouseLook scripts from the built-in FPS character controller. Then, we will add the character model and start creating a new script by adapting part of the code in the FPSInputController script. Then, we will be able to control the animation for our character to shoot, walk, run, and remain idle.

Next, we will create a rocket prefab and the rocket launcher script to fire our rocket. We will use and adapt the built-in explosion and fire trial particle in Unity, and attach them to our rocket prefab. We will also create a new smoke particle, which will appear from the barrel of the rocket launcher when the player clicks Shoot.

Then, we will create the scope target for aiming. We will also create the launcher and smoke GameObject, which are the start position of the rocket and the smoke particle.

Finally, we will add the rocket GUITexture object and script to track the number of bullets we have let, at player each shot. We will also add the Reload but on to refill our bullet when the character is out of the bullet.

Why Is It Awesome?

When we complete this article, we will be able to create the third-person shooter style camera view and controller, which is very popular in many games today. We will also be able to create a rocket launcher weapon and particle by using the prefab technique. Finally, we will be able to create an outline text with the GUITexture object for tracking the number of bullets left.

Your Hotshot Objectives

In this article, we will use a third-person controller script to control our character and combine it with the built-in first-person controller prefab style to create our third-person shooter script to fire a rocket from the rocket launcher. Here is what we will do:

  • Setting up the character with the first-person controller prefab
  • Creating the New3PSController and MouseLook_JS scripts
  • Create a rocket launcher and a scope target
  • Create the rockets and particles
  • Create the rocket bullet UI

Mission Checklist

First, we need the chapter 5 project package, which will include the character model with a gun from the Unity FPS tutorial website, and all the necessary assets for this article.

So, let’s browse to http://www.packtpub.com/support?nid=8267 and download Chapter5.zip package. Unzip it and we will see Chapter5.unitypackage, and we are ready.

Setting up the character with the first-person controller prefab

In the first section of this article, we will make all the necessary settings before we create our character on the scene. We will set up the imported assets and make sure that all the assets are imported in the proper way and are ready to use by using the Import Package in the Project view inside Unity. Then, we will set the light, level, camera, and put our character in the scene with the first-person controller prefab.

We will import the Chapter5.unitypackage package to Unity, which contains the Chapter5 folder. Inside this folder, we will see five subfolders, which are Fonts, Level, Robot Artwork, Rocket, and UI. The Fonts folder will contain the Font file, which will be used by the GUI. The Level folder will contain the simple level prefab, its textures, and materials. Robot Artwork is the folder that includes the character FBX model, materials, and textures, which can be taken from the Unity FPS tutorial. The Rocket folder contains the rocket and rocket launcher FBX models, materials, and textures, which can be taken from the Unity FPS tutorial. Finally, the UI folder includes all the images, which we will use to create the GUI.

Prepare for Lift Off

In this section, we will begin by importing the chapter 5 Unity package, checking all the assets, setting up the level, and adding the character to the scene with the FPS controller script.

First, let’s create a new project and name it RocketLauncher, and this time we will include the built-in Character Controller package and Particles package by checking the Character Controller.unityPackage and Particles.unityPackage checkboxes in the Project Wizard. Then, we will click on the Create Project but on, as shown in the following screenshot:

Unity 3: Building a Rocket Launcher

Next, import the assets package by going to Assets | Import Package | Custom Package…. Choose Chapter5.unityPackage, which we just downloaded, and then click on the Import but on in the pop-up window link, as shown in the following screenshot:

Unity 3: Building a Rocket Launcher

Wait until it’s done, and you will see the Chapter5 folder in the Window view. Make sure that we have all have folders, which are Fonts, Level, Robot Artwork, Rocket, and UI, inside this folder. Now, let’s create something.

Engage Thrusters

In this section, we will set up the scene, camera view, and place our character in the scene:

  1. First, let’s begin with creating the directional light by going to GameObject | Create Other | Directional Light, and go to its Inspector view to set the rotation X to 30 and the position (X: 0, Y: 0, Z: 0).
  2. Then, add the level to our scene by clicking on the Chapter5 folder in the Project view. In the Level folder, you will see the Level Prefab; drag it to the Hierarchy view and you will see the level in our scene.

    Unity 3: Building a Rocket Launcher

  3. Next, remove the Main Camera from the Hierarchy view because we will use the camera from the built-in First Person Controller prefab. So, right-click on the Main Camera on the Hierarchy view and choose Delete to remove it.
  4. Then, add the built-in First Person Controller prefab to the Hierarchy view by going to the Standard Assets folder. Under the Character Controllers folder, you will see the First Person Controller prefab; drag it to the Hierarchy view.

    Unity 3: Building a Rocket Launcher

  5. In the Hierarchy view, click on the arrow in the front of the First Person Controller object to see its hierarchy, similar to the one shown in the following screenshot:

    Unity 3: Building a Rocket Launcher

  6. Then, we go back to the Project view. In the Chapter5 folder inside Robot Artwork, drag the robot.fbx object (as shown in the following screenshot) on top of the Main Camera inside the First Person Controller object in the Hierarchy.

    Unity 3: Building a Rocket Launcher

  7. This will cause the editor to show the window that tells us this action will break the prefab, so we just click on the Continue but on to break it. It means that this game object will not be linked to the original prefab.
  8. Next, remove the Graphics object above the Main Camera. Right-click on it and choose Delete. Now we will see something similar to the following screenshot:

    Unity 3: Building a Rocket Launcher

    We have put the robot object as a child of the camera because we want our character to rotate with the camera. This will make our character always appear in front of the camera view, which is similar to the third-person view. This setup is different from the original FPS prefab because in the first person view, we will not see the character in the camera view, so there is no point in calculating the rotation of the character

  9. Now, click on the First Person Controller object in the Hierarchy view to bring up the Inspector view, and set up the Transform Position of X: 0, Y: 1.16, Z: 0|. Then, go to the Character Controller, and set all values as follows:
    • Character Controller (Script)
    • Height: 2.25
    • Center
      • X: -0.8, Y: 0.75, Z: 1.4
  10. Move down one step by clicking on Main Camera in the Hierarchy view and go to its Inspector view to set the value of Transform and Mouse Look as follows:
    • Transform
    • Position
      • X: 0, Y: 1.6, Z: 0
    • Mouse Look (Script)
    • Sensitivity Y: 5
    • Minimum Y: -15

    We will leave all the other parameters as default and use the default values.

    Unity 3: Building a Rocket Launcher

    Then, we will go down one more step to set the Transform of the robot by clicking on it to bring up its Inspector view, and set the following:

    Now, we are done with this step. In the next step, we will adjust and add some code to control the animation and movement of our character the FPSInputController script.

    1. If the user presses it, we want the character to stop moving and play the shooting animation to prepare the character to be able to fire. We also set the maximum and minimum of the camera rotation on the Y-axis, which limits the camera to rotate up and down only. Then, we set the motor.inputMoveDirection to Vector3. zero because we don’t want our character to move while he/she is executing the shooting action.
    2. On the other hand, if the user doesn’t press E, we check for the user input. If the user presses the right arrow or let arrow, we change the speed to run speed; if not we set it to walk speed. Then, we applied the movement speed to motor. movement.maxForwardSpeed, motor.movement.maxSidewaysSpeed, and motor.movement.maxBackwardsSpeed.

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