Friday, August 31, 2012

New Project Day 1 of 7 Recap

After deciding to do this week long project yesterday, I jumped right in and started getting my hands dirty.  I'm using Unity3d to develop this game, I've been using it for 3 years or so now so I have a pretty good feel for working with it.  I also decided to make this an iOS/Android project.  If you want to ignore this wall of text, there's a movie at the bottom showing my progress.

I spent a bit of time mulling over what type of game to make.  7 days isn't a lot of time, especially when working more or less alone on this project.  I eventually settled on making a puzzle game that focuses on tapping and swiping.  Tapping and swiping are fun gestures to use on your phone, so I figured that would be a good basis to start from.

I started out making a system to lay out a grid of tiles to represent the puzzle pieces.  Once I had a grid layout working, I began working on some basic input so I could tap to select a tile and then tap another tile to force them to flip position.  To add some life to the tile movement, I used Prime31's GoKit Tween Library to animate the translation and scaling of the tiles so they felt more interesting.

Next I started working on the drag selection and line drawing system.  This turned out to be fairly involved to get working, especially the line-drawing part.  I initially tried using Unity's built in line rendering system, but that exhibited some annoying deformation when the line changed direction, resulting in an non-uniform line...ewww

Luckily I came across a blog with some solutions to this particular problem.  I ended up implementing a custom line rendering system using the Unity'd Graphics API, which worked wonderfully.  You can see the results in the movie below.

That's it for the 1st day recap.  Today I'll be working on adding the ability to unselect a tile when dragging, adding some constraints to the drag system, and beginning to create a backend system to track each spot on the board.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

New Short Project Intro...I Guess

Today I decided to make a new game and ideally finish most of the heavy work on it within a week.  To help keep myself honest and on track, I also figured I may as well blog about the experience.  I'm not 100% sure what the game will be, however I'm leaning pretty strongly to doing a simple 2d tile-base puzzle game.  Mechanics for that are relatively simple to create, and there are a lot of cool game variations possible.

Why am I doing this?
My last project Shatter Crash took a little over a year to complete from start to finish.  I still enjoy playing the game and tinkering with it; however working on one project for that long, and as 1 part of a 2 man team, got exhausting.  Doing something short and focused on a tight set of core mechanics will be a breath of fresh air.

What are my goals?
Mainly to have fun and help get myself re-grounded and re-focused.  Finishing off Shatter Crash took a lot of energy and became a grind at the end.  I also want to focus on making something deliberately small in scope and laser focused on a core set of small features.  I tend to feature creep quite a bit, so this is also practice on keeping things small.

Obviously I don't have much to talk about right now as I'm just starting to get things ramped up.  I plan to do at least 1 entry a day to talk about and show off my progress.