Monthly Archives: April 2014

Hey!

This week was pretty exciting.

It started off with a cool email I got from PlayJam, the company that made the GameStick android micro console thing, apparently they want my “Space :D” game on their console!

They’re even sending me my very own GameStick DevKit for free! That’s AMAZING! With that devkit I can make a lot more games for their platform, which means I have another platform to put all my games out on! Yay!

The main reason I really like the GameStick is because they have their own leaderboard and achievement system, something the Ouya sadly lacks as of me writing this blogpost.

Almost all of my games so far have been highscore based and that requires a leaderboard to be interesting, otherwise you’re just fighting your own score, which is fun but not as fun as beating other people online.

“Space :D” on Ouya has its own leaderboard system built in which I made through following some weird tutorial on the internet, it’s a MySQL based leaderboard with no real account stuff meaning you can submit the same name multiple times and can’t update your previous scores. This is really annoying and just feels weird to the players.

The reason I still like Ouya a tiny bit better is because they should technically have a stronger chip in their console, making me able to do more stuff with it although still pretty limiting because the Tegra3 hasn’t really aged well as a chipset. I haven’t gotten my GameStick DevKit yet though so I can’t performance test just yet, the GameStick has a pretty potent GPU though so it might be more capable than the ouya, who knows. I don’t. Yet.

Aside from all that, I participated in the Ludum Dare Game Jam this weekend, I created a small game based around a publicly voted and decided on theme within 72 hours.

Here’s a short gif:

This gif was mainly made to show off the 2D sprite powered particle system, I had to build my own particle system from scratch because unity’s default particle system doesn’t support unity’s own 2D sprite functionality… This makes using it in a sprite-based game very inefficient as it’d need a whole different material and thus cost more drawcalls, so I built my own sprite-powered particle system!

It was actually quite fun to do as I had full control over what features the particles needed, like rotating towards their velocity, scaling according to velocity and more! All for less drawcalls and higher performance than the default system would have!

You can play the game I built here: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-29/?action=preview&uid=15287

This was the first time I made a proper-ish 2D game in unity, and I’m amazingly surprised at how little performance it all costs due to the fact that I only used a tiny texture and a few pixels. Even the Ouya can run this game at 1080p without lagging like crazy, which it rarely does in 3D games, usually have to limit it to 720p resolution because the Tegra3 just sucks at 1080p due to its age. I think this game might be great for the GameStick too.

As for the School project I did very little this past week, but I’ll be sure to finish it off as quickly as I can this week as the whole presentation thing of it is next week Tuesday.

That’s about all for this week, thanks for reading!

 

-ShadowBrain

Hey!

First off, this weeks blog post is a day later due to me not feeling like posting because the first easter day was tiring.

This week I mostly worked on my final school project, and I also got my company officially registered in my country, which is nice to have done!

The first thing I did this week was make the bomb the wizard guy throws have a cool animation thing, so it doesn’t just pop out of his head, gif:

After I got that working properly I made it a bit more interesting visually and got rid of the timer-bar-thing and made it communicate visually through blendshapes making the fuse go into the bomb:

BombFuse

 

Gotta see if I can get some sort of particle thing going for the fuse fire, though I have no idea how I’d get that to follow the fuse, maybe position it on the position of a certain vertex or something…

After that was done I FINALLY got the bat enemy put in, but I wasn’t sure what to do for its corpse, so for now it’s a ragdoll, this might prove to be too resource intensive, but I’ll see about that later:

Bat enemy

 

The bat is faster than the skeletons and goes after you sooner, but it dies a lot quicker and doesn’t do as much damage, I might change this later but I kinda like it so far.

My plans for the game have kind of altered, I’m thinking of doing something where the more times you kill the final boss, the harder the game gets.

After each time you beat him a counter goes up which multiplies health, speed and damage variables within the enemies and the final boss, and, for the google play version, the counter’s value gets uploaded to a google play leaderboard, making people compete with eachother. This system might scale up to a point where it becomes impossible to beat though so I’ll have to see how that goes.

Everything’s still progressing according to plan though so I think I’ll be able to upload an android version by the time the school exposition is, which is the 6th of may.

As for the kart game, all I did for that is estimate some budgets for trianglecount and texture sizes, I also polished up the placeholder head a bit and shaved off a few triangles, here’s a screenshot:

ss (2014-04-21 at 09.32.11)

 

Very lifeless at the moment, but that’ll change once I make the final heads and get blendshapes in there to add emotions and such.

 

That’s about it for this week, next week is gonna be the start of crunch week for me, have to see if I can get both of these games done to different degrees, Cave Runners needs to be pretty much entirely done, the kart game needs to at least be playable, so I’ll see!

Thanks for reading!

 

-ShadowBrain

 

 

Hey!

This past week I’ve been busy with the exams, any off-time I got went into the karting game.

I worked on some position tracking stuff, determining the player’s position within the race, as well as some drifting related stuff, here’s a gif showing some drift stuff without any fancy effects attached:

DriftTest

 

I also figured out a name, which consists of the “franchise” name and the sub-title explaining what the game is about, and developed a first version of a logo:

ss (2014-04-13 at 09.09.17)

 

Let me know what you think of the logo/game through twitter or facebook if you feel like it!

Aside from that I’ve implemented ads into my free android game (Space :D - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.ShadowBrain.SpaceShooter) and started to try and make some money.

I’m also in the process of getting an actual one-man company started, really excited to take the leap and see what happens!

I’m planning on getting this kart game out on android and ouya to start with, thinking of maybe looking at PSVita as well now that Unity is working on getting Playstation Mobile support, which allows building games for the PSVita without requiring a devkit, which is great! I’d just have to find a cheap 2nd hand PSVita to test it on, but I’ll figure that out once Unity’s Playstation Mobile support is up and running.

May 6th is a pretty big deadline for me, my school has the open house thing I talked about in past blog posts then, which basically means free publicity for my then-brand-new game company, so I’m trying to get an alpha build up on the Google Play store of the kart game, but I also have the school project thing to finish. I’m thinking it’s totally doable, but it might become a bit of a close call if I take too long getting the alpha ready.

My plans for the alpha is to be a sort of preview of the full game with slightly less polished art and only about two or three tracks, hope it’ll attract some fans for when the full version’s ready which I’m hoping is gonna have Google Play Realtime Multiplayer in it, as well as about 8-10 tracks and characters, plus a few kart variations a-la mariokart wii, where they have 6 variations for each of the 3 weight classes kart-wise, and the karts get a skin based on which character rides them.

That’s about all I have for this week, hope my whole game company plan pans out well enough for me to keep making my own games!

See you next week!

-ShadowBrain

Hey!

So I missed the last 2 (I think?) weeks. It was mostly due to having my final Game Art exam, which still goes on for another week+, hence why I missed a few posts.

I did do some stuff though! For instance, here’s a treasure chest I made a small animation for:

TreasureChestAnimation

 

I also made another test track for the kart game I’m working on on the side:

ss (2014-04-06 at 09.26.36)

 

And I remodeled the kart racer guy to make him a tad better looking, the old model (On the right) was made quite a while ago for a different project:

ss (2014-04-06 at 09.28.02)

 

And I also made the shader work with the alpha of the texture to mask what parts are recolorable, making stuff like this possible:

Coloring

 

That should prove pretty useful for any other upcoming characters.

Furthermore I also put a head modeled after my own I made a while ago on there as a small style test:

ss (2014-04-06 at 06.35.23)

 

I don’t think that will be the final style as the head has about two to three times the amount of polygons the body does at the moment, but it looks alright so I might go with a similar style.

I’m probably gonna experiment some with the karts themselves next, thinking of making them slightly less cliche-kart-like karts. I’m thinking maybe bumper cars or something.

As for my final school project, I have untill May 6th to “Finish” it, I don’t think it’ll be as grand as I initally planned/wanted it to be as I just ended up working on it a lot less than I would’ve liked to, but I’m gonna have it very decently playable by then for sure. The May 6th deadline is there due to my school having an open house type thing then, where all courses present their final projects. It’s gonna be great!

The last thing I did for my final project is animate the boss a bit, he’s rigged but the skinning on him is pretty rough and the animations are quick drafts and the environment is barely presentable, but here’s a gif anyway!:

 

That’s about it for this update, if I skip next Sunday it’s because I’m busy doing more stuff, this whole  blog posting business is pretty hard to keep up!

 

-ShadowBrain

(PS: I might try to get an early alpha version of the kart game up on google play before my deadline’s here, so stay tuned if you’re interested!)