Monday, November 23, 2015

Unity3D At Home Project - Day 11 - Weapons & Effects

So now's the point of the project where we roll up our sleeves and really start to dig in. I talked about all the ways in which our design space can go in last week, and about constraining your execution as much as possible. But even so, we just have a heck of a lot to go and build. I've got a lot of ground to cover in this blog alone, and we're still only about half way through implementing a single weapon. So let's get to it!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Unity3D At Home Project - Day 10 - From Simulation to Gameplay

So this is a bit of an interim post, where I just talk about game developery things, without having done real work on the game itself. As such, it's likely to turn into a rambling diatribe that no one actually gets to the bottom of, but there's a process that happens here - it's really important - and one of the reasons I'm doing this blog as I make this game is to share the things I've learned from fifteen years of game developement. So here goes.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Unity3d At Home Project - Day 9 - Twistin' by the Pool

So this week is a story about getting sidetracked, about building things you didn't expect to build, and that sometimes it's exactly what you need to do, and sometimes it's exactly what you want to avoid, and of course there's no easy way to tell the difference.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Unity At Home Project - Day 8 - Sound Effects

First, I have to start off with stupid things I do. This morning, I blew almost the entire morning trying to find a good plugin, piece of javascript, whatever, to allow me to imbed code snippets into blogger. Sadly, while my C# is strong, my javascript is weak, and though I found several alternatives, I was at every turn foiled in some way or another. Two hours later, I'm no better off than I was before, but out two hours of my time. I'm still fuming about it, so I just had to put a quick rant up. I'm sure I'll tackle the problem again, or maybe use a GitHub gist.

In the meantime, let's talk about this week's goal - getting some sound effects on our walking mechs. Again, my original goal was pretty simple - get an engine sound, and some walking legs sounds on the mech, and that's pretty much it.  Of course, as we'll discover, even the most simplest of goals can be fraught with peril!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Unity3D At Home Project - Day 7 - Walking with Robots

So it's time to move into the next phase of our project. We've done some simple experimentation, and dabbled in some of the core pieces of a 3rd person action game. We created terrain, texturing hills and mountains, and learned about how trees & foliage work. We got a character controller and a camera controller to allow us to drive a character around. We mapped some animations to a simple biped, and learned about the animator controller. And we established simple multiplayer support, connecting a client to a host, and letting two players run around the world together.  But none of this is giant robots fighting each other, which is our goal. So with our base pieces in place, it's time to say goodbye to Unity-Terrain project, and start working with giant robots.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Unity3D At Home Project - Day 6 - Multiplayer

So as you've probably come to realize the "Day" in the title really isn't significant. I could be "Issue", or "Section", or "Chapter" if you like. It's really just a way for me to designate each subgoal within the project.  And that's really important - subgoals. When you're making a game, the entirety of the game itself can be incredibly overwhelming. Menus, scores, multiplayer support, weapons, animations, the list goes on and on and on. And a lot of times you're going to be thinking - what next? How do I get it all done?

Your ability to compartmentalize your game into sections - and more importantly - systems, is going to be one of the most valuable skills for you to develop. Pick out a specific section of the game, decide what the goals are for that section, and implement it. But all of the pieces of the game are intrinsically interconnected. And most pieces build upon some other piece. Which is why it's not only important to decide which section you're working on, but what order are you going to build the sections of your game. For instance, I wouldn't spend a huge amount of time focusing on building a level in my game until I had a better grasp on the gameplay - because those things are going to shape level design.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Knights of the Fallen Empire - An Introduction

So last week the early access for Star Wars - The Old Republic's new expansion - Knights of the Fallen Empire kicked off. And with this expansion Bioware has delivered not only an amazing new chapter (nine chapters, in truth) in their portion of the Star Wars universe, but a host of changes to the game's core mechanics as well. So I thought, beyond the story itself, I'd take some time to introduce returning players and new players to some of the interesting changes released in the expansion.

On Spoilers
While I've tried very hard to not reveal any specific characters or plot points from the story, some of the screenshots and discussion of the content after the story will be, by its nature, mildly spoilerish. If you're fanatical about having a completely pristine experience your first play through of the game, feel free to return to this post after you've finished the nine chapters of the story. If however you just want to know about the expansion and don't mind a screenshot or two that might reveal this or that character that you will encounter, please read on after the cut!