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Distraction Levels, Huge. More Planet Making.

Due to some (good!) news I can’t announce just yet, my distraction levels lately have been rather huge, so I’m not getting a lot done.

So I thought I’d do another planet making video.

Planetary Planning:

  • Focus is on the clouds for this planet, so won’t go too crazy with terrain. We are probably aiming to be airborne at least half the time on this planet, so the terrain is a little less of a focus.
  • Need to make sure the player isn’t going to be ramming higher altitude terrain while inside clouds, so keeping things low/smooth.
  • Consider what terrain is good for constant, fast, 1-directional movement.
  • Today mostly tackling a Mars-style, high-speed wind affected terrain using line nodes and noise masks. Check out:

Video

Action! (the video recording software) or my computer shafted me and I lost most of the first take, so here’s a 2nd one, using NVidia ShadowPlay (thanks for the suggestion, Mr @CFantarella).

Flora

I know some frozen rock is unlikely to have much in the way of living flora, but yknow… SPACE! Who knows how these plants live!! Plus, moving grass shows high speed wind nicely.

I checked out some of the fastest moving water/water plants on earth and saw this long flowing and endangered Texas grass:

Also saw a lot of interesting super long seagrass/seaweed, and wondered if I could replicate it somehow. Collisions with long flowing grass probably wouldn’t happen, but at the same time, I’m not sure I care that much. I’d rather the cool looking flowing plants (which probably wouldn’t affect movement anyway) and zero collisions. Indie game dev! Boom! Anyway, this might be a tough ask depending on the scale I go for. I’ll see what I can rustle up.

Things to try:

  • 3D plant models made from Blender. Probably multiple big sheets, to which I add a tiling grass texture, x and y, for rezzz.
  • 2D billboards, but much smaller scale, don’t know if I can even get them to follow the wind direction I want.

Results:

  • Can’t use grass, it doesnt take wind zones into consideration. It just flaps about aimlessly.
  • Made a custom tree and messed around with it for an hour or so to get this:

exo one space grass

The main problem with this is, we can’t really animate it like flowing grass. So it just kinda sways oddly like a tree. Maybe I need to get my hands on a line renderer type of thing… Unsure I’ll keep this.

Tweaking Terrain

Spend another couple hours making the rivers better, the lighting better (now we can see the ground more easily) and the sky/nebulae a little clearer:

rivertweaks

And then back onto the grass again for another hour, and so it went until it was ridiculously late and I got too carried away tweaking things! Looking back at the grass stuff again in that screenshot I think it actually looks alright, hummm. Will see what it looks like to me on Monday morning!

Bye!

More PR + Ice Planet Making-Of Video

Planned Tasks

  • Continue through Game to Market eBook and ensure I have a well-rounded plan to take to my consultant. 4 hrs
  • Upload teaser for EXO ONE to Facebook (mostly to see how many views it might generate) 15 mins
  • Begin Planet 2 terrain (replacing placeholder terrain). Possibly film for Youtube. 3 hrs

PR/Marketing

After going off on wayyy too much of a Kickstarter tangent (though not entirely unrelated to EXO ONE’s marketing), I covered some of the following:

  • Communication channels (ie Facebook, email, Twitter, etc)
    • What to post, when, topic ideas
    • Earned vs free coverage options
  • Kickstarter marketing
  • Read a crap load of stuff that took ages.
  • Watched this video:

Which was in this excellent article by IndieWolverine on Kickstarters: http://indiewolverine.com/2016/02/01/video-game-kickstarter-tips/

Planet 2 Terrain

I’m going to try recording a video of this just to see what it’s like, but may not actually share it (will see!).

Here’s some reference for this planet’s terrain:

I’m going to try essentially replacing this water with ice for this cold world. I think long half-pipe like river structures should work well in combination with the fast moving clouds, especially if they mostly somehow orient themselves to match the cloud direction.

River Heightfields

Ok so I spent an hour making a video and it’s not too bad. Pretty slow, and I’m rusty, and mumbly and so on, but that’s what 2x youtube speed is for ya’ll!

Here’s some screens from it, showing the node setup, the resulting heightfield, scene view and in-game. Again, this was only an hour of work, so it has a little way to go still.

MakingOfPlanet2Height01

Above: River heightmap, created using a simple noise texture, but isolating one small strip of grey value and then applying a curve that turns that grey value strip into a river bed cross section.

MakingOfPlanet2Nodes01

Here’s the very simple node network used to create the river, with the cross section I mentioned above.

MakingOfPlanet2Height02

The heightfield, represented as green for low altitude, red for high (which… is kinda backwards…) :)

MakingOfPlanet2Scene01

The heightfield with a muddy/rocky texture, and snow layered over the top to make it more obvious where the river bed is/isn’t.

MakingOfPlanet2InGame

Much more lighting and material work required to make the river stand out properly, but here’s a quick in-game screenshot anyways.

The Videoening

Wow, I’m famous, there I am, on Youtubes! Listen to me mumble! And don’t forget to 2x me!!

Cya next time!

EXO ONE PR Marketing Planning

I’ll be working with a PR company/individual on EXO ONE’s PR/Marketing, probably in an hourly consulting capacity. I plan to write my own marketing plans and timeline, then get the experts to essentially OK it before I proceed.  I started this process yesterday, and while I have a large number of scattered notes and documents, there is no master plan document anywhere which covers all bases, and which I’d be happy to send to anyone. So I’m continuing to work on it today so that when I’m ready to start working with someone we can hit the ground running.

Just some of the resources I’ve used to gather PR/Marketing advice includes (and I’ll leave you to Google them!):

  • Thomas Reisenegger’s (from ICO partners) GDC talks
  • GDC talks in general. I’ve watched so many they all blur into one
  • Game to Market eBook
  • Pixel Prospectors Marketing Guide
  • Indie Game Girl

Wot I Actually Did Today

  • SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats + how to mitigate and capitalise on them)
  • Elevator pitch tweaks
  • Similar games research, market sizes
  • Identifying similar features from similar games
  • Objectives (sales, timelines)
  • More thinking/research on game naming
  • Assembling some initial quotes from press
  • Reading developer interviews from Game to Market ebook
  • Product USPs and tone keywords.

Fun, no…? I enjoy reading about and learning about this stuff, but don’t exactly like actually doing it!

I probably have another day or half day of this to go before returning to the fun stuff.

Until then…!

Pre KickStarter Plans, Planet 2 Terrain, More Cloud Tweaks

KickStarter

Had a chat with some developer friends last night about my pre-KickStarter plans. The biggest hurdle, I feel, is getting a decent audience prior to launching the KS, so that I can get the important initial momentum.

Have also spoken with some PR/Marketing people briefly, and this is what I’m thinking:

  1. Consult with a PR agency, perhaps focusing on audience building and planning leading up to a KS campaign. I’m told you can often do hourly consulting calls, so I’d hand them my plans + questions on audience building. I’d love to have someone on board full time for a few months, but that is bank balance breaking right now.
  2. Do a trailer
  3. Build an audience using magical PR advice + trailer
  4. Get some professional feedback on my completed KickStarter page prior to launching
  5. Launch successful KS (it’s that easy)
  6. Use KS money for a variety of things from paying myself, to getting musicians, writers, concept artists, etc.

So I really just need to send some emails and see if some of these recommended PR people are available to work with me.

Task Planning

  • PR emails. I’m sure I’ll obsess over these a while :P 1 hour.
  • Clouds tweaking. Pretty important, 1 hr.
  • Planet 2. 4 hrs.
    • Spend a little more time getting the clouds more “readable”. I think they just need to look a little more…clear. I’ll try and define my thoughts below
    • Planet 2 geometry, replacing the placeholder generic stuff with something unique and fun.

PR/Audience Building Thoughts

The reason I’m getting in touch with some PR people is all my tweets, animated gifs, blog posts, teaser videos have amounted to only a tiny following. I need 10x my current numbers at least, pre-KS.  Maybe when I share a build with press, and they start writing about it, plus I release the ‘main trailer’, I’ll suddenly gain tons of followers? Some PR consults will hopefully ease my mind a bit/confirm some of these thoughts, and give me some ideas for how to build that audience, among other things.

Actually perhaps instead of some direct emails to these PR people, I might go in a slightly round-about route of emailing some of these people’s clients, and ask what they thought first.

I’m also punching in all the listed games to check their sales on Steamspy and trying to get a feel for how well they’ve done. Hopefully, I’ll get some emails back from the developers, as it seems like a really wide range of success levels for these games.

Took 2 hours researching these people and researching/emailing their clients.

Getting Distracted

Spending too long braching off reading PR/Marketing articles. Spent maybe an hour doing this, whoops.

Planet 2 Clouds

Somehow it’s 4pm already and I’ve done pretty much nothing :/ A few more distractions today too.

Ok, clouds. They’re decent right now, but I’m going to Move Sliders TM and:

  • Get a bit more depth (try tweaking cloud extinction/contrast) and perhaps just cloud height
  • Tweak edge noise settings so it looks nicer when we are right inside clouds. Changing trueSky’s unit/scale might help here too.
  • One of the least realistic looking things is how the clouds don’t appear to be affected by the terrain below them at all. This might be nigh on impossible to change, but I may also be able to cheat it a bit by maybe
    • increasing ‘churn’ of clouds
    • lowering clouds right onto the ground and increasing their height so you can’t tell as easily
    • make them more see-through(?)
  • Right now the clouds are possibly also too ‘constant’ and I’d like there to be more variation so there’s peroids of more and less clouds
  • Maybe a little more ‘distinct cloud formations’ which the player can recognise as they follow the clouds (to give more of a sense of where we are).

Progress:

Since turning lightning off I realise how broken my code is which auto-transforms us back into a glider if we are holding shift when entering clouds… Need to look at this soon-ish.

  • Changed the sky units, so it’s effectively scaled down but more detailed.
  • Can’t diffuse the clouds too much, leads to uncertainty as to whether we are actually in a cloud
  • Softened cloud edges (better looking close up)
  • Raised clouds off terrain a little so they didn’t look as odd not being affected by it
  • Reduced cloud density (less clouds, more open space)
  • Looking better in most ways, a little worse (legibility at certain angles) in others:

EXOONE-Planet2

  • Might remove certain monoliths that occasionally clash compositionally. Esp now with the reduced thickness/low altitude cloud.
  • Going to call this good enough for now and try not to fiddle with it for many more hours.

1 hour

Quick Look at Gliding in Clouds Bug

While hardly noticeable in the last planet, it’s very annoying now, need to check this out.

Solution, EXO ONE wasn’t gaining enough energy to replace cost of gliding! 15 mins.

Removed a Couple Offensive Monoliths

And their compositionally breaking lines!

5 mins

Short Detour…

Realised I had overwritten my first planets terrain data with the new one, oops. Got it back pretty quick though, 15 mins.

More Detouring

I’m not quite sticking to plans here… Now messing with camera settings, because at night, the lens flares and stuff can look really overwhelming!! 20 mins

Planet 2 Terrain

Having some odd issues right now getting a simple 1 biome terrain working with Map Magic. Must be cos it’s late…! 30 mins.

Going to setup a screenshot for Made With Unity Friday and schedule that to go out, because it’s almost midnight. Will pick up the terrain again on Monday.

Whoring Up Some New Pluginzz!

uNature and Amplify’s screen space shadows look interesting! Might have a play :) Have a good weekend!

Fin!

Planet 2 Continued, Cloud Surfing

Got a little bit of tester feedback over the last couple days, mostly pretty positive, some bugs I already knew about and some I didn’t. Realised I hadn’t really tested what happens if you get stuck under monoliths, so that sounds like an issue for one tester at least. And it seems the ending sequence for the Rezzed build also didn’t work 100% of the time, whoops. The esc/start button works at least, so hopefully, whoever plays it can do that!

Planned Tasks

  • Go back over my own blog post(!) from yesterday and try to figure out how I can light the clouds and environment with two different coloured lights.
    • The problem with using a standard Unity directional light is, that won’t light the clouds. So I have to use trueSkys sun (too bright, never see stars) or moon, which might still be too bright.
    • In terms of ambient, my code currently just takes colors/intensity from trueSky, so I need to be able to tweak this now per planet. In my LevelManager (sits in a planet scene), I might have a bool you can turn on for ‘custom ambient’ which is adjusted via Unity’s Lighting.
  • If I can get the terrain/cloud lighting working well, then I might do some more tests with trueSky’s skybox. I might be able to try an 8192 resolution, but I’m not sure just how crazy that is for memory usage, or if there’s a way around that. Perhaps by compressing it/crunching it or maybe even using one of those texture streaming type plugins. *shrug*
  • Going to have a bash at doing some geometry that mimics riverbeds, so we slide around in half pipes that criss-cross each other. I have an old bit of reference that has stared at me the past year that I’ve wanted to try.

Interruptions

Had a delivery I had to deal with that took me over an hour :/ Late start again…

Lighting Clouds

So yesterday I said…

I’m trying to use trueSky’s moon to give the clouds a bit of lighting from the nebulae, but unfortunately the higher I set the moon lighting, the duller the skybox gets (due to camera exposure). Reducing the atmospheric brightness fixes this issue

Yet at some point I abandoned that for some reason. Trying again.

  • To get the moon lighting the clouds, moon’s albedo needs to be 1 and diameter non-zero, giving me a moon that I don’t want. I may be able to fudge a transparent moon texture in to hide it.
  • Then we over crank the lighting effects on the clouds to receive an unnatural amount of light (from the ‘bright nebula’)

Here’s just a test for colors from nebula hitting clouds, with a highly incorrect blue light on the terrain!

wipPlanet2Nebula3

This is working, I’m able to adjust cloud color/brightness, and with that, they look more separated from the nebula as well, which is good. So I’m moving onto coding in custom ambient levels per planet.

Custom Ambient Per Planet

That was way too ez for a master coder (extreme sarcasm) like myself. Took about 5-10 mins. You can see we have some red being picked up by the terrain, the clouds are kinda half blue, half red (pinkish), which I might tweak a bit still:

wipPlanet2Nebula4

Now that we have cloud color + terrain ambient + directional lighting all working, time to make the nebula look decent. I think this is a task that could potentially take days, and knowing me I’ll mess with it that long!

Nebula

Gonna mess with:

  • 8192 resolution, see what memory usage is etc, and how much better the res is. NFI if 8192 is easy for modern PCs or I’m a total idiot for even considering it.
  • Will probably find some public domain NASA nebula photos I can use, then get painting/compositing I guess!
  • Just need to keep that blue/greenish and red color scheme.

So an 8192×4096 is ‘only’ 16mb, maybe not a bad option? That’s with DXT1 compression. However, the end result just looks *so much* like a photograph that it really kills the mood a bit.

Another issue is that I have such heavy image effects that we don’t quite get nice ‘pin prick’ looking stars, and I’m hesitant about adjusting settings (and lo’, it took 5 hrs) for one planet. I’d like the game to have a cohesive feel, and all that blur is needed to hide the non-existent art team I have :)

So I might try for something more like Homeworld did, way back in the day:

homeworld

While they were super smart about how they made these (it’s all vertex colored with a somewhat complex mesh) I’ll just brute force some blurred nebula, because one man art team, and because there’s some pretty amazing nebula photos available that I can press blur on.

  • Found a camera bug, which I think I just also fixed… A tester reported this too so fingers crossed this didn’t happen to the Rezzed reviewer dude! 5 mins!

OK I got overly wrapped up tweaking values there for some time! Maybe because I’m fairly happy with how it’s looking. I’ve got the fuzzy nebula for now, I don’t mind it, it isn’t amazing but I’ll probably come back to it later. Probably took 2 hours. Here’s how it’s looking:

wipPlanet2Nebula5

With these low and numerous clouds, I’m thinking even more that I need to raise the camera up when we enter them, so we can see more easily exactly where we are. Might be even more ‘jarring’ though if we constantly move up and down… hmmm. I might also play with trueSky’s threshold distance, which kinda lets you see through close clouds.

Cloud “Surfing”

I just made a pretty fun gameplay discovery, where you can ride clouds like waves (they’re moving really fast). I’ve angled them a bit towards the objective, and a bit sideways, so you can just look left a little to see them coming in. And it feels real nice when you’re riding along in one. Would like to do an animated gif but I need to at least fudge in an ‘advance level’ key or some way to just Build one level. Perhaps a ‘testing single scene’ bool and a string in the LevelManager for the scene to load…

The other thing that needs ‘fixing’ now is that lightning in this level is ridiculous, there’s so much easy to access cloud you’re just being hit endlessly. This is more fog than cloud, so adding this to the list.

Maybe did another hour of cloud tweaking both visually and gameplay wise.

Fudging Level Loading

Well maybe not fudge… I’m gonna use this a lot, so maybe I’ll try and do it well :P

My current GameManager code goes:

  • if (SceneManager.GetActiveScene().name == “ManagerScene”) //load the start screen
    • {
      • Debug.Log(“ManagerScene is active, loading start screen”);
      • LoadEXOScene(“IntroEarth”);
    • }
  • else
    • {
      • SceneSetup(SceneManager.GetActiveScene());
    • }

In a build, the active scene is always the ManagerScene. So I need to tell it to do otherwise, “if (BuildingForSingleScene)”.

And if we are building to just test a single scene, I wonder if I can grab the active scene name, like an Editor Script or something, rather than me having to type in the scene to build/load each time?

Alternatively, I could instead do some much simpler system where, if I whack a debug key (a number), in the intro screen, it’ll load that planet. Rather than learn editor scripting, this winz for now and doesn’t require any re-writing!

Done in about 30 mins. A few things I’d done earlier, of course, caused other scenes to break and it took me a little while to figure out what was going on!

Lightning, Off

Should be pretty easy. Eventually I might query trueSky to see if there’s a storm added in, but now I’ll just blam in a bool and set it in scene setup. Done, 5 mins. To prep for the animated gif I spent another 15 mins or so tweaking the clouds!

Din Dins O’Clock

Boom!

Animated Giffage

Hopefully can record something that looks good in kinda 15 mins, then render it out etc, might take another 30 ish mins.

That took a while as well! Probably 30-45 mins. I think this is partially a sign that the camera angle and look of the clouds needs some tweaking, as it shouldn’t be so hard to get some good footage…

You can check it out on my Twitter @JayWeston

That’s it for me. Probably not even 6 hours today but feel like I got a decent amount done still.

 

 

Planet 2 Planning and Initial Tests

Planned Tasks:

  • Follow up on some emails for Hyperfocal Design + some back end “coding” 30 mins
  • Writing up some notes on a friends game currently in development 60 mins
  • Planet 2 Planning. What will the geometry look like and handle like for gameplay, what will the colors/lighting be like, etc. 2 hours
  • Initial Planet 2 test geometry/lighting/color. 4 hours.

Hyperfocal + Emails

Took a little longer than expected, 2 hrs total.

Planet 2

If I had the budget, team, time etc I’d probably get a bunch of concept art drawn up per-planet, but I don’t, so I’ll focus on assembling a bunch of art and photos that somewhat capture the look I’m going for.

Here’s what I’m after, considering Planet 1 is mostly ‘nice looking’, bright, warm:

  • General theme is still somewhat ‘nice’, welcoming, but cooler and more alien than planet 1.
  • No sun, night time, visible night sky with intense, nearby nebulae, which lights the terrain below in a combination of red/blue/green.
  • Harsher shadows, lit by EXO ONE’s light
  • I’d like an almost snap-frozen ocean look, but am thinking this may be quite a lofty goal. Perhaps a moon-like surface as a backup plan… Since I’m kinda lacking time and resources, I’ll be doing this a bit. Can I get good, fast results? If not, abandon and move on, maybe return later :)
  • As an object/flora theme I might try placing a lot of icicle/ice mushroom covered objects, which would have the added benefit of being easily repeatable.

Gameplay wise:

  • Similar to first planet, with variations on geometry, mostly pushing more of the voronoi patterns than flowing hills. If I can get them looking anything like waves I’ll go with that. Otherwise it’s moon surface!
  • Lower clouds, possibly touching the ground (will test!) therefore less height but more speed
  • Fast moving clouds moving in opposite direction to goal(?) Play with having to move from cloud to cloud, or avoid them. Former makes more sense considering planet 1 gameplay. One planet may require the player to stay low/behind hills… could be this one.
  • TBD whether we need more aerial gameplay.

Here’s the Pinterest board I made for “Planet 2”:

https://uk.pinterest.com/jayweston/exo-one-planet-2/

1hr

WIP

  • Initial new scene creation – cloned Sagan4 and renamed some things. I feel like this is a terrible way to do it but don’t really know any other way! I think if I ever accidentally apply prefab changes to something I shouldn’t, I can potentially stuff things up across multiple planets… Doing prefabs for every planet seems crap too, because if I want to change something for all planets, the changes aren’t made everywhere… Thoughts??
  • Putting some placeholder terrain in, then setting trueSky to night time.

wipPlanet2

  • The tough thing here might be generally making a great looking nebulae skybox… I’m going to look at how trueSky’s is done.
  • I’ll be replacing trueSky’s lighting with my own to simulate the light of nearby nebulae hitting the planet.
  • Pasted in a nebulae from my reference quickly to check out the quality level etc. It’s pretty low for a 4096… probably not worth trying to do any detail apart from large scale color variations.
    • Could explore other options such as high res nebulae billboards in the sky, but for now I think I’ll go for the in-built, mostly easier method.
  • Just from this test it’s now super obvious I should keep the red tones lower, otherwise I quickly return to a ‘sunset looking’ color scheme similar to the first planet.
  • I’m trying to use trueSky’s moon to give the clouds a bit of lighting from the nebulae, but unfortunately the higher I set the moon lighting, the duller the skybox gets (due to camera exposure)
    • Reducing the atmospheric brightness fixes this issue
  • Differentiating visually what is nebulae and what is cloud seems harder than I’d thought! But haven’t spent long yet on this. It’s just going to be tricky if I want to use a ‘low res/color wash’ style nebulae. This is made harder too when I’m wanting to use a foggy, low cloud layer. They both look quite similar. Not even worth showing!
  • This part of development just always seems to take me ages moving sliders. Can’t get away from it I suppose… It’s fun and I enjoy it but it takes ages figuring out good settings.
  • I’m now trying a more ‘iconic’ looking nebulae, rather than ‘a bunch o nebulae clouds’. So it’s obviously not terrestrial cloud… Thing is… All nebula is cloudy up close :P
  • Here’s the sorta detail level we get from a sharp 4096, 16bit skybox:

wipPlanet2Nebula1

Not great! I’m just currently slapping in high res NASA nebula to see what looks good or not! Starting to wonder if I’m going to have to bail on the skybox idea.

Breaking for dinner. That took me about 2 hrs of playing around.

More Nebulae

Again the Nebula for some reason just seems to look like red clouds in the sky. Unsure why. Perhaps because so often when we see nebula they are very finely detailed? Or it’s the Milky Way, which is super faint to the naked eye. I could also just be pushing the color too hard…

wipPlanet2Nebula2

I’ll sleep on it!

Tomorrow, Per Planet Ambient

There is no light color coming down from the red nebula, so tomorrow I might either play with some reflection probes or per-planet ambient settings, so I can add in some red/pink light (using the above screen for example). Will help give it that colorful red/blue effect I’m after.

Bye-bye!

Kickstarter Thoughts, Rezzed Build Sent to Testers, Next Planet Soon

Didn’t follow my usual task planning/breakdown/real-time notes as per the last few days. Probably because I spent half of today procrasto-pondering what to do next.

Kickstarter plans

I spent a few hours thinking about Kickstarters, PR/Marketing, trailers, then shared the latest build, wrote some emails etc. I have a few friends in game development whose opinions I really trust, so I’m going to talk through my plans for 2017 with them and see what they think. I wrote a pretty lengthy email, which doubled as a way for me to get my thoughts straightened out, and it’ll ease my mind if I get some positive feedback on that.

I’ll be thinking about my timeline from now until a Kickstarter launch and how I can get a big enough audience to support a successful Kickstarter. Currently, I have a grand total of 52 email/newsletter subscribers, 100 Facebook fans (TBH, I bought some likes on this to play with some ads and look at some other Facebook features that required 100 fans!), 830 something Twitter followers and 16 Youtube subscribers! Not huge numbers! I believe I’ll need around 5-10x these numbers prior to launching a Kickstarter, to make sure I don’t waste my time.

I’ll probably do a trailer prior to the Kickstarter, but I’m not exactly holding my breath that this will help all that much, as the teaser last year fell a bit flat with 1200 views. On the other hand, I’ll have a playable build to share with press at this point, which may spur a lot more coverage than the teaser, which was overly light on gameplay footage.

Sent Out Build to Testers

I just shared the Rezzed build for EXO ONE with a fairly large handful o’ testers as it’s such a stable build, and I’m fairly happy with the energy system etc, so looking for hopefully a lot of feedback on it before legit starting planet number 2!

Planet 2

This will be almost the opposite of the warmer first planet, and I look forward to sharing my first steps of the creation of this dark, super cold planet! It’s been ages since I’ve started a new scene and started working on a new planet so I’m super keen to get stuck into it. Probably lots of screenshots coming soon!

Short blog post for today but that happens if I haven’t done much! Unsure whether to call today a big procrastinating, lazy failure or ‘necessary down time for thinking’.

*Shrug!*

Daily EXO ONE Dev Log. Controller Menu Support, Final Rezzed Version

It’s the 19th in Australia, and the deadline is the 20th in the UK, so I have kinda 1 1/2 days to go. Need the controller support 100%, so that’s number one priority!

My fall-back if I fail this will be “mouse and kb only”!

Task Planning:

  • Controller menu support: N hours? Never done this so no idea.
  • Not even going to add yesterday’s minor tasks
  • Testing with controller and mouse/kb 1 hour

Dear Google, “unity navigating UI controller rewired”

Found a few links, looks like the event system is what I’m dealing with:

http://answers.unity3d.com/questions/883220/how-to-change-selected-button-in-eventsystem-or-de.html

Since I’m using Rewired there’s a bit I’ve found that looks like I need to setup some actions for UI:

http://guavaman.com/projects/rewired/docs/RewiredStandaloneInputModule.html

Yikes, just started and realised I also need to control drop down menus. I have a bad feeling :) AND! I still have some terrible dual Event Systems happening (one in each scene). After this I’m going to have to do some serious tidying. I barely know what an event system is so yeah… bad feeling!

Rewired Event Systemz

Looks like I need to:

  • Setup Rewired Input Manager and Event System
  • Add new controller actions for UI and maybe a new controller map/category

Ok so I’ve set it all up and I’m pushing controller sticks and d-pads but nothing happening. Kinda dunno if we can even control UIs in another scene or not… I have Rewired in the Manager Scene and the UI to control in the IntroScene. Reading more!

Seems if I click a button then move the controller stick I can use it, think I just need to set a menu option as active to start with, which is annoying as it’s in a different scene!

Moved some stuff into the Manager scene so it’s easier to reference, now we start with the NEW GAME button selected, and can select menu options but not Action any buttons. 1 hr so far.

Action button working (typo!) as well as drop-down menus, amazingly. Refactoring a bunch of stuff now that scripts and objects were moved around. Getting there! 30 mins

While testing this, I realised that if the game will be in a noisy hall and/or someone isn’t wearing headphones or doesn’t wanna listen to the story, they’ll think the long intro is a bug, or boring or whatever. Anyway, adding a button to skip the intro narration! Functionality already exists for debugging so… 5 mins.

Ack! Gross code! Again I need PlayerControls in my manager scene, but really can’t right now, no time! Maybe I can whack something into the Event System to handle this for now, nfi!

Trying to just ‘whack in’ PlayerControls in the intro scene but bad things are happening. Functionality already exists 5 mins ehhhh? Whoops again! 30 mins later and I’ve mostly got this working using some if(introStarted) and if(gameLevelStarted) in PlayerControls. All works, except if I hit New Game, and the intro starts, with the mouse it’s fine, but the controller seems to ‘double click’ or something, causing us to insta skip the intro. Can’t see anything in Rewired to cause a button press to be down longer or anything, might fudge a delay into introStarted for now. Done, 5 mins.

Ok, main menu just needs the drop down items to be red when selected and we are done. Boom!

Rewired for In-Game Menu

I think the main thing for this will just be that I have to tell the EventSystem to select Resume every time I hit Esc/Start, so we can cycle through menu options. I’ll cross my fingers anyway. Here’s what Rewired says to do:

void SetSelected(GameObject selectableObject)

{

// Set the currently selected GameObject

EventSystem.current.SetSelectedGameObject(selectableObject);

}

I think I can just grab

EventSystem.current.SetSelectedGameObject(selectableObject);
and force it to always be Resume? This isn’t a complex menu or anything…

As usual, and probably because my code is a terrible mess, to cut a long story short, there’s lots of broken things happening. The starting menu appears in the tutorial/planet scenes, somehow the ingame menu is appearing in the Intro screen on restart and more! It’s 130 so taking a lunch break.

Lunch

2pm restart. Wondering if I should be trying harder to write good code right now instead of panic rushing stuff. Have a feeling I’ll be working a couple of late nights…

40 minutes in and things are a little cleaner, but still these problems:

  • Restarting doesn’t turn the Quality/Res/NewGame Canvas back on
    • If I manually turn it on and try and press New Game there’s a bunch of null refs from unrelated stuff.
  • When we restart, we can hit escape and the in-game menu appears… 10 mins

Slowly moving everything into sane places in my code, mostly in SceneSetup and LoadEXOScene places instead of just blammed in dumb places with similar function names in an attempt to confuse myself as much as possible.

CofffeeeeeeEeEeeeee! 10 mins

Ok things are looking good! The restart() loop is working fine now except the narration isn’t restarting properly.

My First OnDisable() Ever

I swear, first time I’ve ever done one… to try and handle resetting vars for Restart(). #unitytips4pros

Seriously the fact I’ve never used this is so ridic!

Shortly followed by me writing this comment to myself in my code: //we never disable this script YOUUUUUU!!!

My Dumbest OnDisable() Ever

void LoadTutorialLevel()
{
OnDisable(); //weeeeeeeee!
GameManager.instance.LoadEXOScene(“LoopFacility”);
}

Yeah, I’ll rename this, lol, maybe “ResetVars()”. I’m just being stupid. 45 mins later we can restart and still hear my amazing, self-voiced Aussie-accented narration!

Now the question is, can I restart from ANYWHERE. Testing!

Testing!

  • An asteroid annoyingly blocks the monoliths blue beam, it’s distracting!  Fixed 2 mins
  • Restart works like a treat except once we’ve completed the game/demo, the narrator (and all sound) isn’t restarting.

Watch me Learn!

After we fire the player off at the end of the demo, I mute everything, so…

void OnDisable()
{
MasterAudio.UnmuteEverything();
}

Boom! Task complete dare I say? Now building and testing with mouse/kb and controller.

Test Build Notes

4pm

  • In the build, the dropdowns for Quality and Res are switched around, and resolution was 1180 or something… uh oh! Fixed in 30 mins
  • Ok now it looks fine but I can’t use the interface at all… Can’t change drop downs without them ‘staying’ and obscuring other interface, and New Game doesn’t work at all either. Fixed in 30 mins
  • Even while debug says I’m changing quality settings, the game is definitely just using some middling quality setting. Who knows when the last time was that worked… Anyway fixed in-editor, Fixed 15 mins
  • Getting hit by lightning in tutorial, lawl…  This fixed itself??
  • In the build, we can see menu options but instead of the intro/earth scene in the background it’s pure black. But in editor it’s fine……….!!!!!!!! NFI why the differences. OK maybe being hasty, it’s because in editor I have both scenes open already, so testing with just Manager scene loading first… Fixed 30ish mins.
  • Narration pauses too long in intro, players might skip in 2 seconds  Fixed 2 mins
  • If I leave the intro to complete, I get a bunch of rewired errors – check to see the difference between skipping intro (which I’ve been doing endlessly) and letting it run
    • Odd, further testing didn’t replicate the bug… Fixed

Second Round of Testing Notes

Just played through with the controller, striking out stuff that’s too hard basket/not critical:

  • Low player/environ vol in tutorial
  • Voice intro dull sounding? Muted? “Wrong” mixer settings?
  • Mouse pointer stays till we use controller
  • Fully open tutorial door, we can hit it accidentally
  • Narrator vol is messed up if we go in clouds. Only adjust mixer if narration not happening. Fixed 5 mins
  • Controller > start. Resume. In game menu stays open.   Fixed 10 mins
  • Controller > restart, lost focus on Intro Menu. Need another one of these EventSystem.current.SetSelectedGameObject(selectableObject); Fixed
  • After restart, skip intro, no player or environment volume in tutorial scene
  • Can’t see some lightning bolts hitting us, usually the first one??

Dinner O’Clock

Breaking for dinner at 630, then probably do another hour or two since I’m running out of time. Also just re-read the closing date for LeftField, seems the 20th is closed, dunno if I can submit on the day or not so…

Committed. 815pm

Now to add the EventSystem.SetSelectedObject to the main menu/new game button in case of a restart… I can’t seem to figure out why I can’t get the New Game button to start selected/highlighted on Restarts, which is unfortunate… It may be something to do with the mouse taking focus away from it, like if I ever move the mouse… However I just tried not touching anything, and that made no difference. The Rewired Event System confirms that it is actually selected/highlighted, and I can just press Action to start a New Game, so it may not be highlighting correctly or using the wrong color for some reason. Might Google this.

Found this: http://answers.unity3d.com/questions/1159573/eventsystemsetselectedgameobject-doesnt-highlight.html
The WaitForEndOfFrame coroutine was a winner. 15 mins.
My other worry is if someone knocks the mouse and takes focus away from the menu… I may need to have something that detects mouse or joystick usage and uses that.

For the joystick, perhaps “if selected object in the event system is null, and if any joystick axis/button down, set new game as the selected object”.  Mouse doesn’t need that come to think of it.

Re-activating Menus with Controller if Focus Lost

Was pretty happy with this code, which appears to have worked first go, can now move the mouse off menus/click off menus so they deactivate, then move the d-pad and the menu will come back. Only downside is, controller axis doesn’t do that yet. Gonna try for 5 mins. Wow, things work! Here’s my amazing code, which is mostly other peoples amazing code and plugins!

930PM, going to do another Build Test.

Third Build Test Notes

  • Can’t select resolution with controller.
  • At end of demo, the mouse pointer was sat on a button, and no Controller input would budge it… Maybe “if Controller input, lock mouse cursor”? Then, if mouse movement, unlock? Same happened just in the normal in game menu but multiple buttons would get selected. I’m sure there’s a better way of doing this but for now… HACK ITTTT.

Trying to fix the lock state stuff by detecting mouse or joystick inputs, annnd it also worked pretty well:
Hmm, I think I need a wider blog theme so code it more legible!

Lightning, First Strike Sucks

And is invisible. Pretty important player’s realise quickly they can get struck so fixing… 10:15pm

First I will build, zip, upload, since this could be used now I think (still needs more testing though).

I fired off a bolt in secret at the start of the level, lol. Worked! 30 mins.

Still kinda hard to see the sphere covered in lightning too, gonna tweak that some more as well. The way this plugin works, it’s almost hard to have the settings ‘middle ground’ instead of it looking like it’s off or ONFIRELIGHTNING-APOCALYPSE.

Last Thing(?), Sound Levels

Some weird sound stuff happening, I dunno if I reset anything properly from scene to scene. I think I need to look at MasterAudios Dynamic  Sound Group stuff to see if we are adding new sound groups endlessly or something…

Uh, lightning going off in tutorial again somehow? I did that hacky lightning so it’d go off only on the first planet… also for some reason I can hear wind now… This problem seems intermittent! Leaving it…

The reason we can hear rain in the intro after a restart is, we enter a cloud, hear rain, then restart, and rain isn’t turned off. I OnDisabled() the shiiiit out of it!

Again, the lightning + inclouds sounds appearing randomly in the tutorial is really bad. Gotta investigate at least 15 mins.

11PM

Added some extra things (sceneIsExterior) to try and shield lightning from going off in the tutorial… MasterAudio must also be firing InClouds to get the sound I hear as well, but nfi how it’s fired. There’s no clouds in the tutorial level! HumMmmMmmm

Oh, and the drop down for resolution…

If I can’t get this, no big deal, who has a monitor that isn’t 1920p?! Well the odds someone does for Rezzed just for my game is 0!

Abandoned! Can’t make sense of the code I copy pasted ages ago!

Final Test

Seems to work, ran 2 full games with mouse/kb and 2 with controller, no problems.

Did one more and still feel like sometimes the sphere doesn’t transform into a glider when entering a cloud with 0 charge with glide button held…! Noticed that it costs more to glide than we can recharge, which might have been the reason? But it only seemed a problem on first cloud enter… Tested a little more, still unsure, good enough though – you often get hit by lightning in clouds anyway I guess(!).

Tidying start position so we definitely roll down the hill the right way… And there’s a bit of geometry you can snag on the tutorial.

Zipping and submitting now and calling it a night once that’s done. Now past midnight!

Phewwwf. Maybe I’ll submit then get up at 9-10, do some more tests just to make sure, and I can submit another updated one if I need to.

Daily EXO ONE Dev Log. 2 Days till Rezzed Submission.

Two days to go until I submit this build to Rezzed Left Field. I think I could probably do some testing today and submit, but with two days I think I’ll spend all today tweaking stuff, tomorrow doing maybe a touch more + testing, then submit.

Planned Tasks

Rolling over some tasks from yesterday

  • Wormhole fx don’t show in tutorial
  • No wind buffeting sound in clouds
  • Lightning tweaks (received new developer email with a fix)
  • Player starting position is crap, we start rolling backwards toward the camera. Starting on a hill would be best.

This shouldn’t take too long, I might tackle these, then I have an email to write for Hyperfocal Design that might take a little bit, then I’ll have a playthrough of a build with mouse/kb + XBox controller and see where I’m at, if I’m going to ‘call it’, etc.

Realtime Notes:

Making notes/observations/new tasks as I go:

Wormhole fx fixed, 5 mins

Trying to tweak the sound for wind in clouds but nothing happening – not sure if my fault or plugin’s! Doubt I’d get a fix in time if it’s the plugin, though, so going to have to find some other way.
Now just trying to track down how and why the wind buffeting sound is being held so low while in clouds.
And still trying… really baffled why this sound effect doesn’t go to full volume in clouds anymore!!

The reason I’m still on this is because people often tell me that getting in clouds is one of their favorite things in EXO ONE, and I think the sound is a big part of the whole experience, so I really wanna make sure this is working!

30 mins

Wind Buffeting Volume

When in clouds, Group Master Volume goes to 1 (great!), but the Variation volume only reaches 0.5 (boo!).

An event in Master Audio tells this sounds “Group” to go to 1 volume over 1 second when in clouds, and 0 over 1 second when out. Yet the variation is 0.5… Shouldn’t the variation stay at 1 at all times? I don’t know!

Checked that the sound distance/fall off was correct, check!
Turned off ducking, no effect.

Finally got it, it was a Bus Control volume setting, I think I was possibly confusing this control with Group Control! Ugh!

Since I’ve just realised this I’m taking the opportunity to adjust some volume levels I wasn’t happy with.

1hr

General Volume Tweaks

While tweaking the inclouds stuff, noticed:

  • Holding shift to glide doesn’t transform us (visually?) if we have 0 charge, then enter clouds (which gives us charge). Needed to release then press again…
  • General sound and music volume sounds good now, but Narrator gets drowned out

Adding a new Mixer group for when narration plays, should be pretty easy… Umm, I take that back! I kinda need a bit of a system to handle this as all I’m doing now is transitioning between Mixer Snapshots based on if we’re in clouds or not, and this would have to work with that… And it might need a priority system, so if we change to a Narrating Snapshot then enter clouds, we don’t just change everything back… Or for now I could fudge in some stuff into my inClouds SnapShot transition code that checked if narration was happening, and if not, transition… Umumumummmm…

This has taken a couple hours so far messing with volume levels. It’s almost there, the big thing is just that narration is drowned out… Well, I’m just going to go for the hackiest option of lowering all volume levels except the Narrator, so my game will be kinda lower volume than usual… No wait! One more thing I’ll try quickly – in the NarrationOn/Off functions, I’ll try setting all Buses lower volume during narration, then back again afterward…

Ok, implemented that, not toooo hard, still can’t seem to hear any volume adjustment happening on certain sounds though, which is annoying. Unsure if it’s just MA not updating in realtime or I’m not understanding something… It’s good enough, though.

1hr.

Lightning, Round 2

According to the lightning plugin devs email he just missed a file, so trying again.

Whoops, errors, still no good! Moving on!

5 mins

Player Start Position

Since EXO ONE has a procedural terrain, this will probably change, but I’m not changing terrain for this build, so I can just move the player to the top of a nice fun hill and let players drop down.

That was pretty simple, 5 mins.

Glider Transform in Clouds

This isn’t happening, at least the visuals aren’t. It’s total rubbish to have to release your finger and press it again to glide in clouds/after getting hit by lightning… The only thing I changed recently was the execution order of the Player, PlayerControls and PlayerRend scripts, so that might be related.

Realised this was caused when I changed Glider Transformation from a button held to button pressed system. Works well when you have charge, but if you have zero, then gain charge, but you don’t release and Press the button, nothing happens. I need to use one of these kinda bools I think:

if(!doingThing) {doingThing = true}

… to stop it firing every frame I hold the glide button, which I kinda hate cos I feel like they’re so messy and require a million bools, but not sure how else I’d do it.

Lol, I even found duplicate if(glideButtonPressed) code, I am amazing!!

This is actually a bit of a bitch of a problem, as I can’t just do:

if (PlayerControls.instance.glideButtonHeldDown)//need this for auto transforming when at zero charge and we enter clouds
{
if (!glideButtonHeld)
{
glideButtonHeld = true;
TriggerEXOTransform(EXOONEShape.Glider);
}
}

… do I have to go in and set glideButtonHeld false when we reach 0 energy? My logic brain hurrrrts! I wonder how many programmers read this and laugh? luls (no one reads this :).

The bool name for this is definitely misleading as well, but again in the vein of get shit done, this will do. I just did what I said above, it is foul but it works.

Here’s an insight into my code (probably terrible):

30 mins

Just realised lightning seems even worse than it was, I can’t even see it. Perhaps this happened when I was trying to update it?

Lightning Round 3

I feel like this happens a lot somehow, I finish doing things, then they change magically and I need to re-do them!

Done! 15 mins.

Lunch Break

Got up a bit late so just 15 mins.

Pulling Up

Feel like I need to tweak the glider pull-up mechanics some more too. It feels good when we are moving toward the ground or parallel to the ground, but you get punished by trying to pull-up when already going up (in my attempt to stop ridiculous heights). It could also help if perhaps EXO ONE doesn’t move in the direction it’s facing (its velocity) but instead zeroes out Y. This way you couldn’t hold forward and endlessly fly upward. I might try this first as this might be an easier fix with a tweak to how I handle pulling up.

This is taking too long, I’m trying to actually model a glider with my rather simple physics code by hacking things together. It gets close but I don’t know if I’m going to manage anything decent in time. I’m going to give this another 15 minutes then admit defeat for now.

Thought I’d try and record a video in the Unity Editor but I have yet to own video recording software that doesn’t crash everything(!)

Calling this done for now even though it aint!

30 minutes

Build Testing

Going to play with mouse/kb then XBox controller, and make notes on anything that sticks out as super broken.

Notes in order of importance:

  • RestartLevel from ‘demo complete’ is broken with a black screen
  • Unpin terrain to avoid the ‘snow bug’ in terrain (Map Magic/RTP issue)
  • Tiny draw distance (not being set correctly?)
  • Pull up costs no energy vs jump, which does.
  • Music too low. Are we returning to max vol after narration?
  • Alien signal too loud in intro
  • Sphere not lit in tutorial
  • Hud arrow in intro shouldn’t be visible.
  • Can’t glide and pull up from ground?

Plz Restart, Level!

Blarrrgh! What happened to you, RestartLevel!? Time.timescale = 1 yet we seem paused, and having trouble getting the damn black fadeout image off. If we restart anywhere else we still break everything… RestartGame() also no longer working, help me jebus! watafak!

Here’s another example of something that was working and now isn’t. Maybe this is just common? I feel like I need a better methodology for figuring out the cause, and probably some way to code things that doesn’t make them so susceptible to breaking in the first place! Having a lot of trouble with this, 30 mins + in.

Notes:

  • Clicking restart level seems to properly unload and then load the scene we are in. New intro starts to play but nothing happens from here. Game manager needs resetting or something?
  • Looking at the LoadEXOScene code (it’s garbage) and have nfi what the problem is
  • shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit
  • trying to build incase build is different to editor… (hail mary) … Nope!
  • OK, Debug.Logs, EVERYWHERE. This has taken me hours now for something that was working before…
  • Looked back through my tasks from yesterday and can’t understand what changes might have done this.
  • We seem to be staying in our Orbit state during the intro, after restarting… And my debugs tell me the player in orbit isn’t moving.
  • Checked Time project settings and while I swear to gawwwd it said 1 before, it just read 0 (paused), which is hopefully where my entire problem is.
  • OMG it’s working again, wtf! I have no idea why the timescaling decided to stop working but I’ve fixed it. Now on to restart()ing
  • Restart works but the intro text stays if we Restart right away…fixing

So now we are back to square one after most of the day spent redoing what I thought I’d completed already, and the menu > restart or reset level still doesn’t work. I think I may just need to get the black overlay/fader image to go away and this might be done.

RestartLevel is now working, but not RestartGame();

So many hours, 4?

Double Manager Scenes on RestartGame()

It helps sometimes to look at the inspector, #unitytips. So first guess, I don’t actually unload the Manager scene, then load another…

Whoops: //SceneManager.UnloadScene(SceneManager.GetActiveScene()); //can’t unload an active scene!

Where was the warning/error on this? I didn’t see one!

Rewrote my previous terrible code with some less terrible stuff, works!

20 mins

Remaining tasks:

  • RestartGame from ‘demo complete’ is broken with a black screen
  • Unpin terrain to avoid the ‘snow bug’ in terrain (Map Magic/RTP issue) 5 mins
  • Tiny draw distance (not being set correctly?) 15 mins
  • Pull up costs no energy vs jump, which does.
  • Music too low. Are we returning to max vol after narration?
  • Alien signal too loud in intro
  • Sphere not lit in tutorial
  • Hud arrow in intro shouldn’t be visible.
  • Can’t glide and pull up from ground?

And after testing, let’s add a big obvious one – controller support for menus, yikes! I’m a professional … game … makering … guy! Cross fingers I can actually pull this one task off in one day!

Tomorrow will feature getting RestartLeve() working from the demo end, plus controller menu support.

Daily Dev Log. Social Media Optimizing, Debugging Jumping

17 Jan 2017

Planned Task List

  • Answer a couple of Hyperfocal (my bread ‘n butter biz) emails. ~30 mins
  • Do a little Facebook ad research ~15 mins
  • Write an intro email to an Aussie games journalist ~10 mins
  • Build EXO ONE and check it actually works (was testing in-editor) ~10 mins
  • Take deep breath and try to fix the jumping problem for the 10th time. Jumping was never an issue until I rewrote some code to make things clearer/better. Surprise I made it a little worse at the same time! This could take all day, but I might admit defeat at the 2-3 hour mark (because Rezzed Left Field games event deadline) and move on to other tasks like yesterdays:
  • When reaching the end transport monolith, some tidying up needed for sounds etc.
  • Add escape/Start menu so players can restart the game
  • Numerous small things like HUD appearing when it shouldn’t, old text that makes no sense in intro, etc.

Realtime Notes:

Stuff that comes up as I go:

Facebook Ads Research

My Facebook ads research: https://www.quicksprout.com/2017/01/16/15-advanced-facebook-advertising-techniques-that-you-probably-didnt-know-about/

Social Media Post Timing
I always thought posting social media at 9am was the optimum time. Just saw this, though, which is kinda arguing against that. This is for facebook, but possibly applies to other social media:

image10

Pages to Watch
See how often other developers post on Facebook and their level of engagement using “Pages to Watch”. Pages > Insights > scroll down. Requires 100 followers. Ugh, I have 70 something. Going to just buy 30 so I can mess with this.

Video is huge on Facebook
I’ve definitely noticed this last year, and need to start uploading videos there instead of just posting links to Youtube.

image09

I thought those 3 were the best points, but check out the article yourself.

Email

Contacted a local journalist (something I do way too infrequently) to see if he was keen to check out the game. I always ‘feel the fear’ of contacting people, mostly because it involves putting yourself and your game out there to be potentially ignored. But that is life or something! In the email was the ‘elevator pitch’:

“EXO ONE is an exo-planetary exploration game where you float, fly, roll and glide with complete freedom across a multitude of surreal, alien worlds.”

Thoughts?

Testing Build

Building and checking that it works first of all… Here’s some notes I took:

  • Quotes ” ” in tutorial are all over the place, just gonna remove
  • Debug warning text shouldn’t be showing in tutorial, but is. Prob related to recent addition of Energy Explanation stuff
  • Wormhole fx don’t show in tutorial
  • Jump bug almost seems to be happening more than usual :/
  • No wind buffeting sound in clouds, probably due to tweaking sound levels yesterday.

The sound and music levels are a little off still, but I sense a huge time-sink ahead if I start moving sliders. Slider moving is truly my bane. Maybe if I have time I’ll return to this. Now, jump buuuug!

Took 20 mins.

Jump Bug

Kicking this off at 1130am with some Hyper Light Drifter music by DisasterPeace :)

Playing in-editor to watch when jump count debugs fire off, to try and get an idea what causes one jump to work and not another. It feels like an issue with FixedUpdate, but the way I handle the jump controls, it should only fire for one frame. Removed a line of hacky looking code and tested again, seems to be working. But I’ve thought I’d fixed it before! Will carry on testing it as I do other things. Took 10 mins.

Related to jumping, the visual effect for jumping in glide mode is broken, so working on that now.

Glider to Jump Transformation

Only I could make something as simple as a ball transforming into a flattened ball so hard! Really keen to get a programmer’s eyes on this to get their opinion on my logic/methodology. A friend of mine has offered, so I’m really looking forward to seeing what he thinks.

I think my logic skills are just so bad that I have trouble visualising how to handle all the cases of ball transformation, from sphere to glider, to jumping sphere, jumping glider and back… Typically when I’m stuck like this I just kinda start trying thingz and seeing what the result is. Probably hence how slow I am!

I just adjusted script execution order to hopefully clean up conflicting timings… I think this is probably a bad solution, but surprisingly that fixed it! The reason I tried this, was that in my code ‘tidy up’ prior to holidays, I split the player code out into 3 scripts, and now a few things happen “at the same time(?)” in Update(), whoops. In the future, if doing this, I probably need to do less bools and more calling of functions in the separate scripts, instead of in Update(), using bools to trigger when stuff happens. If that makes any sense…?

30 mins

End of Planet/Level Tidying

Mostly I need to just properly end the ‘demo’ if it’s shown at Rezzed. When you reach the transport monolith and fire into the sky, some sounds go stupid and I need to stop that. I’ll also bring up text with ‘demo over’ and then a menu with Restart Game and Restart Level. Come to think of it, since I should add this for testers and for the Rezzed build in general, in case something breaks, maybe I should make a ‘proper’ little menu screen with these two options that’s available at any time using Start/Esc. Unsure how long this might take, should just need to call my level changing code and make the menu/options/on/off etc… I’m going to wildly guess 1 hour. 12:17pm

So far so good, have a menu in my ManagerScene I can turn on and off with Esc/Start button, displaying the two buttons, but can’t seem to make a click happen. Hopefully there isn’t some dumb code blocking rays somehow…

Ah, nice, found this: https://forum.unity3d.com/threads/cant-click-ui-buttons.431042/ which explained how to use the EventSystem to check what rays are hitting. Nailed this in 2 seconds and restart level is working with a couple nul refs, which don’t seem to be hurting anything too much…!

Kinda happy with how my LoadEXOScene(string levelname) works, as I was able to easily reuse it for the menu level loading/reloading. Added something so Esc can’t be hit in the start menu (level can’t be restart from the start of the game!), and testing now in a build.

A few things,

  • No mouse appearing on esc/menu in build, due to 3rd person camera plugin hiding it
  • There’s an errant escape Input somewhere that’s still quitting when I hit esc/start.
  • Narration continues while paused (leave this for now, doesn’t matter)
  • Need an Exit button for testers/in case the game bugs out and people wanna completely close and restart the game.
  • Need an Exit menu item on start screen + actual game exit code
  • Realised I need a better RestartLevel() because there’s 2 levels (I was cheating and just loading the first planet).

Time: 1:25pm, looks like I might need another half an hour, so might take twice as long as my hail mary guess.

Having a break, now that I’ve completed a few of the above. 1:50

Break O’Clock

Back at 230 with sweet caffeination after dropping in at William Chyr’s Manifold Garden stream.

Finalising Menus/Exiting

Just realised since my Start Screen scene is separate from my Manager Scene, I can’t just drop in my GameManager script to OnClick to Quit, which is annoying. I guess I should maybe move all of this into the Manager scene, but not right now! Added some duplicate Application.Quit code :P

Things taking slightly longer here as I’m trying to test Editor/Build specific stuff like Quit and mouse pointer lockstates, which for some reason seems different in editor vs build.

I’m getting very tempted to move PlayerControls into the Manager Scene, as I now need to ‘re-write’ some more stuff to handle hitting escape when the player isn’t in a scene, ugh. Will need refactoring though… Must… not… do…! OK, no quitting allowed during the intro for now! Boom!

This is turning into an even larger task, lots of stuff I didn’t realise I’d need. Here’s the remaining tasks for restart/reset:

  • After restart level and restart game,
  • Menu remains
  • Game stays paused
  • Other UI remains.
  • Need to probably eventually make a state for this?
  • For some reason mouse pointer doesn’t appear when hitting esc in tutorial scene but does in first planet.
  • While testing in tutorial, noticed some more broken text/prompt stuff, eep!

3pm now. Might take another hour for this, if I was to double what I actually think it’ll take!

Added Resume() which is called after level restart, and a resume button, so those things now work. On to Restart now.

Wrote a new Restart() function similar to my LoadEXOScene() one. Task now blown out to most of the day :/ 4PM

Getting close now, fixed all the above and Restart() is working with only one problem, music continues after restart.

Boom, done!

Check out this amazing menu (lol):

Capture

Certainly good enough to go, IMO!

Lightning

I was having issues with getting lightning visually depicting how much charge a player had, which led me to email the plugin developer for this procedural lightning. I’ve got a response so I’m going to try his tweaks to see what they’re like, so I can respond before end-of-day. I kinda try and prioritize stuff like this when most developers are in a different time zone, I don’t wanna wait too long between emails. Committing first, though! 430PM

Broke to make food… Now 530. About an hour then I’m done.

Updated lightning plugin as the author’s changes didn’t work, suspect this is the reason. Still getting errors, so emailed the author back and moving on.

Other Tasks

In order of importance that I can complete in 45 mins or so:

  • Tidying sound etc for level ending
  • Wormhole FX in tutorial isn’t turning on
  • Wind buffeting sound in clouds is gone for some reason
  • Player starting position is crap, we start rolling backward toward the camera. Starting on a hill would be best.

For now I’m just muting sound when you touch the monolith and fading to black, completed in 5-10 mins. Buttons don’t look great on black though… And the pointer is invisible… Fixed, 5 more mins…

Ugh, now for some reason my Restart code isn’t working! Perhaps because it’s about 40C in my office right now! Ok phew, it was just because I changed the file/folder names for some scene files…! My rage levels have risen the temp even farther now and it’s dinner time.

DEV COMPLETE. 6PM.

This is working out fairly well. Either I’m getting more done, or am more focused or I just remember now what I’ve done, either way quite liking this! I wonder how boring and incomprehensible it is to read, though? :)

 

 

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