08/05/2017 – Project Update and Itch.io Dev Log

Hey there folks.

I will probably be using itch.io’s new dev log page for my game to distribute news updates on it. You can view it here. Note that the page is using a secret URL because it isn’t public yet. I’ll probably make it public once I have some useable art assets. You can now view the page publically, but it’ll be generally unlisted if you search for it on the site.

As for the first dev log post, you can view that here freely.

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24/04/2017 – Working On A New Project

As I decided to write this, the date changed from the 23rd to the 24th. I am currently starting to write this just past midnight, whether or not I finish writing this tonight is yet to be seen (Somewhat likely, I don’t write much for these).

I can’t remember if I mentioned in my last post that I started a new project. If I did, then my apologies; if not, well guess what? I started a new project.

It’s a game, this time a 3D one that focuses more on traditional control methods (PC/Console friendly), and as such has opened the door to a slew of bullshit wondrous new avenues in Unity’s development tools. Well, sort of. The difference between the 2D and 3D tools from a programming perspective is negligible at best. But, I do feel the development toolset lends itself better to this perspective.

So what is the game? I can’t talk too specifically yet, but it’s a bullet-hell game. Which considering it’s a genre I am terrible at, is pretty surprising that I’m actually doing somewhat well in constructing it.

Now, I’m not quite ready to show any gameplay yet, but I assure you it’s coming along well now. I’m gonna talk about how the progress has been so far, and I am deeply sorry that I cannot go into specific detail about certain scene, scripts, or game objects. It’ll make more sense once I start showing the game I assure you.

When I first started it, I ended up over-thinking a lot of the base principals that would construct the game. Everything was very singular and separated, but still required to communicate with each other. This way of development continued for several weeks, and became harder and harder to work with, and made progress incredibly slow. I didn’t get player movement working on that system until maybe late February or early March.

Sometime after doing the player movement stuff, I got sick and had to take a couple weeks off (I may or may not have also been playing the crap out of Nier Automata by this point, but lets ignore that detail). And after I came back to work on the game, I realised something; Everything I was doing was very convoluted and difficult to manage, especially considering how Unity manages hierarchy of objects in the game scene.

Once I realised this, I broke down all of my previous code and bundled up a lot of the objects that I was generating separately into two slightly different objects (And then made another two based on those), and then generated the game scene based on those. This amendment caused a significant increase in my efficiency and made the other tasks for myself considerably easier.

For example, the player movement code that had taken me several days to make and work properly, now worked within a matter of hours and was much easier to obtain the components I needed from certain game objects.

One of the other issues I had was a little more specific to Unity. I found a need to destroy game objects in a scene, but said objects were being collected in a list. However, Unity’s GameObject.Destroy() function only operates at the end of the frame and not immediately. Which meant that the list I was storing these objects in said there were more of them than there were, which actually broke the player movement system.

Unfortunately, the WaitForEndOfFrame() function didn’t work as I had intended, so I had to resort to rebuilding said lists in the Update() method which is expensive. It’s kind of been nagging me, so I’ll likely end up fixing it at some point in the future. Additionally, the bug can still occur if the player is positioned in a specific way, but that’s also something I’ll fix.

That’s about as specific as I can currently get. Hopefully by the time I write my next blog post I’ll have some images and video to post. Although my next post will likely be a Den post.

That’s kinda all for now.

-Adam

P.S. Persona 5 is hella rad.
P.P.S. Nier Automata is also hella rad.

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10/1/2017 – Time To Talk About What’s Going On With My Projects

First off, it’s no longer 2016. Secondly, as always, my apologies for not posting more regularly.

My project, the one I’ve been working on since 2015, is cancelled. You can view what is was here. So, let me discuss exactly what happened with it.

Around July of 2015; I have the idea to make a game, and I figured a platformer would be easy enough. I still had some left over code from Global Game Jam of that year and figured it wouldn’t be too difficult to make something playable relatively quickly. In all fairness, that part went fine. I made something playable in about a day or two. The point after that is where the problems begin.

I figured I wanted to make something with an under-lying story. Told through thing you would find in the environment. Then I thought, maybe put important things like codes and stuff into those pieces of story documents. And then I thought, what if playing the game poorly means you can’t access the real ending of the game.

OK, getting a bit complicated, but I still built the foundations for these systems with relative ease, and they actually worked quite well at tracking how the player was doing in the game. For the record, I got up to 500 deaths while debugging.

But then I decided, I should put enemies in the game.
And make it a stealth game.
And add even more types of enemies.
And then have all the enemies swarm you if you alert one of them.
And so on.

Over about 5 months, working almost everyday, I managed to get one enemy type to actually get in and out of alert states and follow the player. Along with a bunch of other tweaks.

Around January, I decided to work on a side project, and that took about 4 months away from this project.

Once I got back to it, I felt somewhat unmotivated to continue, even though I had learnt some new techniques from that side project that I should of ideally implemented into my main project. I carried on regardless, and implemented a new, stationary enemy type. While doing so, I realised the why I was handling AI was wrong, and that I really should be doing some inheritance-based structure for my code to make things a bit easier. Which never got past the early implementation stage.

Then I just played video games because I was lacking the motivation to work on it entirely, and because I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing. The sheer amount of work I had made for myself become far too daunting.

At some point in December, I decided to say “Screw it”, and play video games until the new year. Once the new year came, I looked at what was done, what needed to be done, and what the game was supposed to be; and considered it to no longer be viable to complete within the time frame I had set myself.

And so, here we are.

Overall, nothing significant was made. Frankly when you look it, it doesn’t seem like much. It was my first real Unity project though. But yeah, it looks like something other people would probably make in a couple weeks. As a learning experience, both from learning Unity and in general, I gained a lot of knowledge that will be invaluable for future projects.

Speaking of which; I have started a new project. This time, I decided to actually design what it is supposed to be from a gameplay standpoint, and will not add to it until the base design is implemented and it is absolutely necessary to expand upon it.

I don’t know how long it’s going to take, but I learnt something. Designing the game is something you should do before you start building. Doing things as you go will probably lead to feature creep, and then it’ll just become a nightmare to work on as you add more and more on. Going forward, I’m going to try and avoid that.

The rant on the Xbox One can wait a little longer.

And because everyone loves top-10 lists, here are my top-10 video games of 2016…

10. Senran Kagura Estival Versus
9. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
8. Zero Escape III: Zero Time Dilemma
7. Digimon Cyber Sleuth
6. Odin Sphere Leifthrasir
5. Steins;Gate Zero
4. DOOM
3. Titanfall 2
2. The Last Guardian
1. Final Fantasy XV

Honourable Mentions: Hitman (2016), Trackmania Turbo, Amplitude
Released Games I Wanted To Play or Play More Of: Quadrilateral Cowboy, Redout, Dishonored 2, I Am Setsuna, Dark Souls III, Furi, House Of The Dying Sun

And my top-10 anime of 2016:

10. Lupin III Part IV
9. Keijo
8. Shokugeki No Souma S2
7. Fune wo Amu
6. Bungou Stray Dogs
5. Koyomimonogatari
4. Yuri On Ice
3. Uchuu Patrol Luluco
2. New Game!
1. Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

Special Mentions: Kimi no Na Wa, Sansha Sanyou, Sakamoto desu ga?

Pretty good year for both those things. Now to get back to work.

-Adam

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11/10/2016: Things I’m Doing These Days

That’s a good five months between posts? My bad.

First things first, I released that shitty pong clone I was working on, it took me 3 months longer to make than I thought, and 2 months longer to mention the fact I released it. Either way, you can go play it now. I’ll be making a page on this site for it at some point. Here is the site page for the game.

Additionally, I still intend on updating the site with all the stuff I did at Uni at some point.

Now on to what I’ve actually been doing.

I’ve been working on my game, or at least half-working on it. And when I wasn’t working on it, I was going to the Enterprise Centre to sort out my business plan; which is now more or less sorted, I just need to fix it up a bit more. Unfortunately, my game isn’t ready to show yet, probably won’t be until sometime next year once I get the art ready and have something to play. I intend on releasing a demo on itch.io when it’s ready, so people will be able to give me feedback on it.

As for video games, I’ve been playing the new Destiny expansion, Forza Horizon 3, Dark Souls III, and the Japanese version of Persona 5. I’ll probably give my impressions of them when I can be bothered to do so. Although do expect a post where I rant about the Xbox One in the somewhat near future.

But yeah, that’s what I’ve been doing. See you whenever.

-Adam

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20/05/2016 – Mobile VR 2: Electric Boogaloo, Uncharted 4, and Dealing With Boredom

Hello again.

So that previous mobile VR headset, well turns out that the lenses were fucked. On the inside of it, the plastic was corrugated, so everything I looked at was blurry as shit no matter what I did. So I ended up replacing the thing entirely. Now I have the VIGICA RIEM 2.

This headset actually has a magnet switch (Albeit on the wrong side, so I had to switch it), lense adjusters, suction cup grip for the phone, and generally fits better. But most importantly, the lenses are smooth plastic.

It certainly an improvement over the previous piece of crap I had. Actually it’s so good, since I start using it, my previous complaints about getting motion sick have been minimal at best. So I imagine the clearer picture helps a lot with that. Additionally, it’s Google Cardboard compatible out of the box, although the model I have didn’t have the QR code, but luckily someone had generated one.

That being said, I still can’t see the point of it outside of being a head-mounted display. A decent one at that, but only that.

Now. Uncharted 4.

After the disappointment that was Uncharted 3, I didn’t have that high of expectations going into 4. And after playing a good chunk of The Last Of Us and despising it for it’s animation systems and combat, I really thought it was going to have the same issues.

Thankfully, Naughty Dog have learnt and improved.

Pretty game is pretty.

Pretty game is pretty.

The gameplay systems have been improved where combat is concerned. Gunplay is relatively tight (Although they decided to reinvent the wheel and change how aiming and recoil is handled AGAIN) and enemies a little less bullet spongy. Additionally, other than maybe 3 areas of the game, you can use stealth to get through all your encounters. You could do this in Uncharted 2 as well, but the systems have been significantly improved here with indicators showing when an enemy sees you and so on. And should you want it, you can turn these features off.

The dialogue is good, general quips are still pretty interesting and the interactions between characters works in a believable way. The main two villains aren’t great. The main guy is kind of an arsehole in a “I’m a rich guy who wants to become famous, despite already having fame and fortune from my parents” way, which OK, it works but come on. The other is a woman who just seems over-powered for SOME REASON, but ultimately does the “You guys are crazy I’m out” thing right at end of the game. And frankly that just makes her existence seem pointless.

My biggest problem with the game is that it’s not very memorable. No particular events stand out in my mind like Nazi stuff in Uncharted 1, or the train level in 2, or the desert scene in 3. This might change as time goes on and I think about the game again, but who knows.

The in-game graphics filters are great.

The in-game graphics filters are great.

Well, that’s my two cents on that.

The other game I started working on is near completion now. Just needs some adjustments and extras and it’ll be ready for release on Android.

It should of been finished weeks ago, but unfortunately I’ve been having a problem with keeping myself motivated. I’ve barely been doing anything. I just sit in my chair and browse the Internet all day sometimes and listen to the same songs I’ve heard before and then complain about how bored I am. I can’t even be arsed to go through my staggering backlog of games. So if there’s something I can give Uncharted 4 credit for, it’s making me motivated to do SOMETHING other than slowly dying in front of two LCD monitors.

Now that I’ve gotten past the mental block, maybe I’ll actually be productive again.

And I’ll call the Enterprise Centre soon. I sent them an e-mail a few days ago but never got a reply.

-Adam

P.S.

I’ll be updating this site with stuff I’ve done from Uni soonish. I need to clean up this damn room first.

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28/02/2016 – Mobile VR

This is my first post in 2016.

Right, well, first off; I am still working on a game. It’s not the same game I was working on the last I made a post though. That game is currently shelved until I finish the one I’m working on. And the one I’m working on is basically an advanced Pong clone, because I wanted to make something for Android. Surprisingly, I’ve learned a lot more about using Unity with mobile platforms and more of the APIs it has.

Regardless, you’re gonna be waiting a little longer for a release. I’m kinda busy sorting out paperwork, which is almost done.

But onto the main topic; Mobile VR.

I recently got a Mobile VR headset, a DESTEK 3D Virtual Reality Headset. I got this one partly because my phone is small, and I prefer the sturdiness of plastic rather than cardboard. Thing is, this isn’t Google Cardboard. It has a NFC sticker on it, but not the QR code the Cardboard app asks for. You can still run it though.

Add it to the other pictures of white guys with VR headsets I guess.

Add it to the other pictures of white guys with VR headsets I guess.

There’s a bunch of VR apps to mess with, but I only messed around with Cardboard and the YouTube apps, along with the Unity Demo App for Cardboard.

It’s not a bad effect, it takes a moment for your eyes to adjust to it, so you can get a screen-door effect sometimes. A lot of the apps I looked at required me to stand up and move around to see things, the only stuff for sitting down VR were side-by-side video players. I’ll get to the point with that, it’s kinda shitty. I felt like shit after like 5 minutes and had to lie down.

There’s already plenty of information on why that happens, but I feel not making me stand up in the middle of my room, spinning around like a spastic; would of helped minimize the nausea I had. I seriously hope those developing apps don’t have the intention of designing them in ways that fucks with people’s sense of balance or world placement. Maybe they’ll get the message after a few videos of people smashing into their living room objects.

As for the headset itself (Minus the phone part, obviously), it’s mostly comfortable. That is providing you don’t wear glasses like me. In that case, expect them to become embedded into the sides of your nose. To be fair, it did come with extra padding, and I used that to ease up on that issue, but be fair warned regardless. The lenses are fine, mostly clear. There is a weird blurring, but I’m not sure if that’s the lenses, my glasses being dirty, or my poor eyesight without my glasses.

So in general, I like the idea of VR, but less like the idea of people not taking into account how people’s bodies react to it. Then again, Mobile VR and something like the Rift or Vive are very different machines. If you want to develop the mobile stuff, consider slower things where you turn have to turn around as much. But holy Hell does this stuff make my stomach turn. I’ll keep at it to see if my body can become accustomed to it and not be sick as a dog after minutes, but fuck man.

Either way, if you wanna buy into it, Google Cardboard is cheap and supports any phone/tablet display from 4.7″ to 6″, with some of them going larger.

Now I just need to stop goofing around and finish these things I start.

-Adam

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ADMAN’s Gaming Den – 22/11/2015

Time for video games.

I’ve been playing stuff on and off recently. I occasionally hop back into Destiny to do my Dailies and whatever quests I feel like doing, and trying to grind to a high enough level so I can do the hard mode version of the King’s Fall raid.

I recently started Ryu ga Gotoku Zero (AKA, Yakuza Zero) and I’ve been enjoying it for the most part. Although it being completely in Japanese doesn’t help. At the same time, I’m not quite as drawn to the side material like gambling or pool like I previously have.

Kiryu’s new fighting styles are welcoming though, especially Rush which is an extremely fast paced fighting style, which is what I’ve been wanting more of since I played Akiyama in Yakuza 4.

Yakuza 5 should be out SOON (I hope).

Finally, I played Danganronpa Another Episode, which is a pretty damn cool game. As a shooter it works fine, the enemy variety and weapon mechanics make it worthwhile. The story is pretty weird. Unfortunately Junko doesn’t take over an AI or become some kind of transentient god; she’s not really in it at all. Instead, it’s just Komaru and Touko fighting their way through the city to make children stop killing adults. Which… Makes sense.

A friend of mine considers the story in those games to be nonsensical, and to some extent I agree with him. On the other hand, it doesn’t bother me that much. The amount of mind-fuckery is amusing, and the style the games have is just kinda awesome.

The ending cutscene was long though, holy fucking shit. I had to pause it at 2am after watching it unfold for the last hour, go to bed, wake up, and I still had about 40 more minutes to sit through plus an end boss. The game is still good though, worth playing.

That’s all. There’ll be a regular blog post within a week or so.

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05/10/2015 – This Thing On?

In case anybody was wondering what I’ve been doing the past few months, it has been a mix of Destiny, MGSV, Yakuza, PC maintenance, and working on a game.

Oh yeah, I’m working on a game. Given progress so far, I should have something showable within 4 months provided everything doesn’t set on fire. Also, I bought out a separate domain for stuff, not sure what I’ll do with it yet.

I’ll try and post more.

-Adam

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06/07/2015 – Back Home

I have finished my University degree and now I’m back home.

Currently I’m looking into self-employment and doing some programming related projects on my own. No game development yet, but the time will come. That being said, I’ve mostly been playing Destiny, gotta get my Hunter to 34.

I just felt like making a post seeing as I haven’t put one out since the coursework period. It feels fucking great to be out of the education system.

-Adam

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Meanwhile at the lab…

 

Deadlines are coming up.

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