The first day’s focus was an introduction to Unity and begin a tutorial called Lerpz. We are also breaking down game categories with the purpose to consider a feasible game to create for our first semester project.
We split the class into two teams to create a game concept that we would build. Our team came up with a 3D platform/puzzle. Our character is a robot that wakes up on the assembly line. His needs to escape the factory and avoid danger. It won’t be easy, there are many problems he will need to figure out along the way. This is a steampunk world where everything runs on steam and electricity. I am going to figure out how to add UV wraps to 3d objects in Blender. I also purchased the game Banjo-Kazooie because the team felt it had a look and feel that they would like to emulate as close as possible. We also continued to work through our Lerpz tutorial. I’m almost done.
We continued to Finish up our Lerpz tutorial. It feels good to know that I’m on track with most everyone else in the class. Unity’s workflow is becoming more familiar and easier to understand how its laid out. The last half hour of class was dedicated to talking about the game our team wants to build. We’ve thrown around a few more ideas but I think we will revert back to our original robot platform puzzler game. It’s a bit strange throwing around ideas with the other students. Most seem too shy to offer input or unwilling to do so. I’ve noticed this in all of my classes. I’m not sure why this is. I’m starting to dive further into Blender and watching tutorials while following along. Our team has few artists so I’m going to step up and fill in that gap. I think it will be our greatest challenge as a group. We will have to reuse as many assets as possible. I haven’t figured out how to add UV wraps yet because I need to understand how Blender works first.
Today we worked on building our team structure so that duties can be assigned. We have a clear focus for our games creative direction and need to start working on getting duties assigned. Lizzie is the Scrum Master and she has asked me and Ken to be her assistants. I think we have to create a high level of category and from there, create tasks. The major areas of focus to create our game is. Level design, 2d-art/3d art, Mechanics and Programming. From here we need to decide what jobs need to accomplished for each of the major areas of focus and keep our pipeline full of things to do. There should be no reason for anyone to be idle, everyone should have plenty to do. This first week has not been as productive as it could have. I believe we need to learn from this and not make the same mistake moving forward. I need to finish Lerpz. I’m at the end of the tutorial but I’ve broken something. The Lerpz tutorial is due next week, I’ve got to get this finished up correctly.
Lerpz is complete and off my plate. So glad to move on. Today we had a very productive meeting. It seems like these projects are all starting to become easier as I get my head wrapped around goals. The most daunting situations are from not feeling confident which direction to go with a project and having so many opinions in the group, that our work flow slows down or doesn’t move forward at all. Today we made a lot of key decisions that both gave us direction and the ability to move on and assign meaningful tasks. Everyone is settling into their roles and learning how the flow of information and jobs is going to work through Psyberfire. Some on the team have not worked in a workflow environment before and seem unsure of how to take it. I am confident that it will sort itself out. I think we have a good team and some real talent. It will be up to Lizzie,Ken and myself to keep the team focused, on task and always productive. Our steampunk themed game is really coming to life both on paper and in theory. I’m just very thankful that we have seemingly levelheaded people on the team. No one has dug their heels in on any issue, everyone seems to have a great willingness to compromise and let their ideas go for the sake of the teams collaborative spirit.
We’ve come up with a name for our little robot, which is Static. I think it’s a great name that will give him a personality and the obvious connection to our company’s first game. Our day was extremely productive. We started to prototype our levels and the first thought experiment of our characters obstacles. We have a basic idea for the path that he will follow but I think we will learn more once we have the room built in unity. We learned how to create our floors to scale by first creating them in 3DS Max and also bringing in reference cubes that will help give us size perspective. We created a significant list of props that we will need but also kept in mind that we will want to repurpose shapes as much as possible. Hector has purchased some assets from the unity asset store and together we found many great assets we can use for free and one we found for $5 that was incredible.
Another productive day. Today we met as a team with our teacher Seth. He has helped us with understanding where we should be on our project and how we should narrow our scope. We have also set some milestone goals, he got us thinking about a contingency plan for our assets. Fortunately I think we will be able to use many assets from the asset store for many of our props. What I hope we don’t miss out on is having our character created. Hector and I made a lot of progress in class today on the level design and figuring out how we are going to lay out the game course for our character and include as many stand in objects as possible. George and Lizzie worked on the terrain environment while Ken and Peter continue to work through our programming challenges.
Enjoying life… I’ve always lived by the principle, work hard, play harder. I do this everyday with Jessica, my partner for life and my best friend. Jessica and I are constantly challenging ourselves and seeking out new ways to improve who we are. I’m writing this because I was just thinking about how much I’ve learned in life by doing. There is no doubt we can work hard indoors at our computers and Isolate ourselves ourselves on our own private island. But every moment that goes by outside your four walls is an opportunity lost. You may think you have everything you need. But true life experience and the knowledge that it brings can’t be found online. Real social experiences and real life adventures is what it’s all about. These things lead to sharing it all with someone else. Don’t let your life become an island that you believe gives you everything you need. It can never replace the experience, satisfaction or knowledge you will find from seeking out real adventures. They will only expand your game making tool box to draw from. A great person in life to share that with is what it’s all about.
Learning how to plan out our level has been a real challenge. It’s amazing how I can see a level in all of it’s glorious perfection. Every mechanic working flawlessly and every art asset polished up to a photorealistic perfection. Unfortunately, Unity has not designed a neural transmission mapping system that takes what I think and convert it to something the game engine can understand. One of my biggest challenges in Unity has just been manipulating the 3D environment. I know that I’m new to this but even watching the pros, moving around a 3 dimensional space with a 2D input devise just seems to leave me wanting something better. So I asked Steve this week if he knew what the best 3D input devise was. He told me about the 3D Connexion and said that this is what he would use. So after doing my diligent research, I found that this is it. This is the pro 3D input devise that CAD engineers and architects use. So that was easy. Ordered! That was an absolute no brainer. So why am I the only one? The base 3D input model is less than many students have spent on their gaming mouse at $99. And I’ve told everyone that would listen about the 3D mouse. They all think it’s amazing, but still… $99 is just too much money. What the F#$*, are you kidding me? Hopefully some will have a change of heart when they see how great it is when I bring it in.
Today Hector and I decided to change the level layout. Others on the team where a bit apprehensive about a major change this late in the game but our decision turned out to be a good one. We simplified our layout and but the end of the day it was done and better than ever. Now everyone is pleased with the decisions we made. I think that moving forward I’m going to need to give everyone daily goals, I feel like some of our team is not being productive. Peter and I have been keeping in touch, to fair, Peter has really been on top of everything and I would definitely give him a 5 out of 5. I’m excited for class on Tuesday. I feel our momentum building and my understanding of our team is revealing itself regarding peoples capabilities. If we can keep up this level of productivity we will have a fully functioning game that we are proud of by the end of the semester.
I went in twice this week on my days off and I’m so happy that i did. It was some of the most productive time I’ve had to spend in Unity. I’ve talked to Lizzie and she agreed to step down from the lead position. I think she’s a little overwhelmed and I think feels relieved that I’m asking to take over. Just as with CSG110 I’m going to create cards in Psyberfire for people to do. This will help keep the project focused. I can say enough how much I love to be in the Unity engine. I wish I could spend every hour of class mastering and learning how to do everything. There is nothing more frustrating than knowing what you want to do but not having the knowledge to do it. The only thing I want more to master Unity is to master Unreal 4. I will have my new laptop soon and will be spending every free second “without getting in trouble with Jessica” that I can.
I’ve been spending a lot more time working on our game outside of class. We lost our animator so I’ve assigned James to create many new assets. I’ve also been able to find many new assets online and have incorporated an entire building to our scene. At first we suspected that adding all of the high resolution assets had brought our frame rate to a screeching halt. But as it turned out, our conveyer belt re-spawning and killing off each section of the conveyer belt system was the thing most taxing to ur game. So that night I did some research and created a script and custom texture to incorporate a scrolling texture. That did the trick. It not only looks better and solves some visual issues we where having, it also dramatically reduced the load on our system and increased our frame rate. Our game just keeps getting better. Hector and I spend a lot of time on this game outside of class. We are committed to make it the best it can be and see no challenge as too great. And although we’ve had to pivot on our creative idea for steampunk, we have been able to keep most of the games spirit and original layout.
I just keep learning more and more in Unity. I’ve collected and added in most of our sound effects and music. I’m experimenting with the 3d sound space and created a script to trigger sound based on the movement of an animated object in the game. For our game that is the moving blades and crushers. I’ve also added more aesthetic fixtures, lighting including a lens flare. I was also finally able to create the proper script for a heat distortion effect. Something that I thought would help sell the feeling that the molten metal is hot. Hector and I continue to work well together, offering each other helpful feedback and encouragement. We where both asked to work on a game by some 2nd year students. I’m excited to work more in Unity because I learn something new every time I’m in it.
Worked on polishing and fixing bugs this week. Of course there are things that I would have liked to add but we are just out of time. ‘m glad I had this learning experience though. It has taught me a lot and I will know how to do things better in the next game. Demo day is next Friday and I’m excited to share the game we’ve created. I’m proud of what we’ve done with what we’ve had to work with. I haven’t heard from anyone on our team regarding any bugs. So either we don’t have any or no one has play tested the game. Next Tuesday we will do some final polish work and bake on some last minute lighting. Other than that we just have to create the playable build.
Game complete and demo day was a complete success. I am very proud of the game we created. Hector and I poured a lot of time and thought into it and I believe that it shows. Of course I have bias, but I think we developed the best looking and most complete game that was presented. And i know why. We had a clear focus, we put most of the time in the game outside of class and we where able to effectively pivot when needed and kept our game in scope. Other than that, what we had was a deep commitment to make a great game and loved to do so. All of the other games presented where incomplete games developed with an unrealistic scope and in one case a barley developed idea that could have been produced using powerpoint.
Only available for PC at the moment