15/11/2017 – UI Design and Flashcarts

Hello again.

I’ve been busy working on the new game, so I haven’t really had much to discuss for this blog. Again, if you want to keep up to date (Or mostly up to date) with that you can check out the itch.io page. But the last couple of weeks I’ve been working on a sort of content creator which lets me make stuff for the game without having the code everything. Unity’s UI is decent enough for the job even with a few weird bugs and specifics. It does remind me how much I hate Unity’s hierarchy system because it doesn’t let you access the children of an object without jumping through some hoops.

Anyway, UI design is difficult when you only have so many tools to work with. You have to jerry-rig it a bit and try and mash different UI components in a way that kind of makes sense. In the system I have, there’s a thing where I define what happens on each specific lane, and to do that I originally had the idea of using tabs, which Unity doesn’t natively support so I had to build my own version of it. Then I realised that for later parts of the game, there would be so many damn tabs that you wouldn’t be able to navigate it. So I settled on a drop down menu instead.

Persistent data was another thing I thought about. One issue was keeping data contained in input fields to stay, which I solved by just toggling which containers of game objects that contained all the additional menu stuff would be enabled at a given time. The other issue I made for myself was whenever I generate new waves, lanes, or lane sequences; it would delete all the information that was there, and put fresh new objects there. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get around to fixing this issue though.

In the grand scheme of things, pretty small stuff, but surprising in what it does to the user experience especially considering how convenient everything is nowadays. Stuff really needs to work and be presentable. You can’t just do one or the other.

Moving on, I got a GBA Flashcart. This one.

I haven’t given it too much of a test drive because I’ve been busy with other things, but I can at least say it works. I have a 4GB Micro SD loaded into it, and considering how small most GBA games are, I don’t think I’ll be replacing it. The good news is that I can now play Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance without the game deleting my save because the battery on the cartridge died.

There’s other stuff to talk about but it’s mostly anime and games, and I should probably save that for The Den. Whenever I get around to a new one of those. I will say (And I sure hope I didn’t previously talk about this) that I read the book Masters of DOOM. And if you haven’t read that book, you should. I found it very difficult to put it down. Excellent read.

That’s all for now, till next time.

-Adam

About Adam Lutton

Game Designer / Programmer
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