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Every Semicolon

Every Semicolon: Part 6, 7 and 8

Posted by , 10 April 2012 - - - - - - · 538 views

I decided to hold off on posting about episodes 6 and 7 (which have been online for around a month) until I'd done episode 8 and was ready to continue rolling along with this game. After episode 7 I knew it would be a while before I had the time to do so since the project at my day job was entering the final ultra-crunch stage. Now that's over with (WHOO!) I'm more keen than ever to keep moving forward with this game's development and the video series.

Part 6:

(I recommend watching in fullscreen 1080P. Youtube).

Some of the events in this video:
  • I re-setup the scale of my assets and level
  • I create a treasure chest block with code to spawn particles when it's destroyed

Part 7:

(I recommend watching in fullscreen 1080P. Youtube).

Some of the events in this video:
  • I setup the first version of the Ballista model
  • I create a number of shortcut functions for object manipulation including duplicating objects with various offsets, translating objects around, creating new child objects and deleting children of selected objects

Part 8:

(I recommend watching in fullscreen 1080P. Youtube).

Some of the events in this video:
  • I create a projectile motion trajectory class to determine what the trajectory of a fired projectile will be
  • I setup a 3D visualisation to show the trajectory while playing

I'm actually planning on doing a whole lot of work on this over the next few days, possibly doubling my current number of hours (14 hours 36 mins).

Every Semicolon: Part 5

Posted by , 27 February 2012 - - - - - - · 797 views
unity, unity3d, video and 4 more...
Part 5 is now online. I wanted to spend a bit of time on something other than the core gameplay mechanics so in this relatively short (1 hour) video I create a waving grass shader and an editor window to support mass placement of said grass (or any other prefab).

Part 5:

(I recommend watching in fullscreen 1080P. Youtube).

Some of the events in this video:
  • I create some grass and write a shader to make it wave in the wind
  • I write an editor window to mass instantiate objects within a certain region for mass placing the grass and future detail objects

It's still early days so I'd love suggestions on how to improve the videos so that I can evolve this video series as it goes on. I'm definitely going to continue doing it for the foreseeable future as it's a great cure for procrastination and a way of keeping track of exactly how long I spend working on the game.

Every Semicolon: Parts 3 & 4

Posted by , 25 February 2012 - - - - - - · 457 views

Parts 3 & 4 are now online. I've created a playlist that I'll update as new videos are added.

Part 3:

(I Recommend watching in fullscreen 1080P. Youtube).

Some of the events in this video:
  • I develop the initial elements of a camera manager to handle smoothly repositioning the camera
  • Made blocks have different damage states and be damaged based on collision velocity
  • Write an editor window to revert multiple selected prefabs

Part 4:

(I Recommend watching in fullscreen 1080P. Youtube).

Some of the events in this video:
  • I spend some time on the 'blocks', making them something other than cubes and adding a stone block
  • I make blocks destroy themselves when their health hits zero
  • I create a couple of custom inspectors to manipulate and find scene objects
  • I add object following and look at functionality to the CameraManager and track fired shots in towards the target
  • I setup a system to determine when blocks are in an idle state to return the camera back to gameplay

Every Semicolon: Part 1 & 2 - A video capture of a game made from start to finish

Posted by , 24 February 2012 - - - - - - · 940 views
unity, unity3d, tutorial and 5 more...
Before starting our new game project I had a thought: that I could record the entire process from start to finish and put it online as both a learning tool for others, and a way of receiving feedback on what I do so I too might learn some new things and improve the game before it’s released. This will be a fairly long series as while the game is not massive, it’s certainly not a small weekend game-jam sort of production.

So far I’ve recorded 2 videos, one 2 hours and the other 4 hours long. Trying to talk to yourself while working for 4 hours straight and not devolve into inane rambling is difficult (so far impossible), but this is something I want to improve on as I continue with this series. I’d really appreciate feedback on any aspect of the videos, be it the game itself, the video production, what I talk about or my programming and development techniques.

Here is Part 1:

(I recommend watching in 1080P. Watch on YouTube)

Some of the events in this video:
  • I start a new Unity project and begin setting up the folder structure
  • I discuss some general concepts of the Unity engine
  • I write some basic scripts and show how to apply and use them
  • I show how to setup and use prefabs
  • I show some shader development and get fooled by Unity 3.5's new Linear lighting solution which sends me on a shader debugging session
  • I write a new custom editor window for measuring distance between objects
Here is Part 2:

(I recommend watching in 1080P. Watch on YouTube)

Some of the events in this video:
  • I develop the initial elements of a camera manager to handle smoothly repositioning the camera
  • I create the first basic siege weapon in the game, the catapult with placeholder graphics
  • I create the top and side aiming modes with placeholder controls and graphics
  • I create the first "bullet" and set it up to be shot into the fortress
A little about me: I work full time as the lead programmer of a team working on large “serious game” projects in Unity and work on my own stuff (like the game in this series) on the side in my spare time. I’ve been working with Unity for around 3 years almost every day.

I really want to evolve and improve these videos so any feedback is appreciated. Especially important is if you really hate anything I’m doing, please let me know and I’ll try to change that.

Unity Asset Store

Posted by , 01 May 2011 - - - - - - · 1,402 views

As an indie game developer it is hard to find the ideal marketplace for your current needs. Depending on your circumstances, the time and budget you have available will vary, as will the required monetary success.

Thus far through South East Games' short existence, our focus, like most others, has been the iOS App Store. While it can't be denied that success on the iOS devices is possible, achieving it can be more difficult than the thousands of aspiring game developers that have tried might have hoped. While we're still trying to find the spare time to finish our current in-development iOS (and other platforms) title, I thought it might be worth testing the water in some other markets. First, the Unity Asset Store.

Posted Image

Unity launched their Asset Store as a built in window in Unity 3.1 in mid November 2010. Upon release I was interested in getting in early with some products in the hope that being early would have the potential to be successful whether the store ended up a viable marketplace or not. Unfortunately as is often the case, my full time job became too busy at the time and I wasn't able to complete the product I was working on.

Over the past few days I've been reminded of the Asset Store once again thanks to a few blog posts showing some relatively successful products. First, Unity showcased their top seller on their own company blog.

Posted Image
A&B Software's products are first-class and fill voids that the core Unity product releases with, namely an advanced GUI system and a 2D sprite manager.

While ~$15,600 isn't a massive number when we're used to seeing news of the million selling iOS game or the tens of thousands of dollars Notch rakes in daily from MineCraft, it is still a very desirable number for many developers and it's on a store that has a fraction of a percent of the competition as other marketplaces. This is not a one in a million proposition.

Lets take a look at the featured product shown in the first image in this post, RageSpline. I saw the creator's blog post detailing his successful first five days on the store after Unity's lead graphics programmer linked to it on Twitter (@aras_p). 61 sales in 5 days at $50 each is a fantastic result, and since that post it seems to have continued selling just as fast or even faster.

For an experienced programmer, neither RageSpline nor A&B Software's products are difficult to develop, but they found holes and filled them. They've also both created polished products and have spent the time to create videos and showing off how to use their software and also the results it can achieve. I think this is a very important factor in their success.

The way I see it, the prioritised list of things to consider when developing something for the Asset Store is:

  • Find something people want that is not built into Unity
  • Develop a solid product with as much flexibilty (i.e. Inspector options, etc) as the design allows
  • Create videos that show off your product's ease of use and results in the best possible light
  • Brand your product

My final point there is mainly based on a hunch. Branding is obviously a significant aspect of many retail markets and I won't begin to understand the intricacies. A&B Software's Brady Wright has his 'EZ' branding and Juha Kiili can reuse the 'Rage' prefix on future products. If confronted in future with two competing products that do essentially the same thing, if one is branded with a name you trust from one of their previous products, that will be the one you choose.

So now I will begin at step 1, looking into holes in Unity that I think could use filling. The holes may not be immediately visible. RageSpline is an example of a product that fills a void you previously did not know was there, and Juha came to it through chance when working on his own title. I have some ideas already, but comparing features with other game engines and reading complaints on the Unity forum seem like a good place to start the search.

I will post back once I find the product and begin development. I'll also post any and all details on the submission process, sales, etc when the time comes.

Also posted on the South East Games blog.

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