Roll That Ball!

I've gotten a bit more time with Unity's tutorials (https://unity3d.com/learn/tutorials). My ball now collects pills. Great.

For a for quick ten to fifteen minute video, I'm going through them reallllly slowly. I'm basically taking notes like a college lecture. SUre everything can be found on the Unity Site, but writing helps me remember without have to go back. I'm also trying to not just copy what they are doing and actually understand the code behind the scripts. 

I'm also getting a more detailed idea of what I actually want the game to be. Had a brilliant idea that I may set this game apart. It's gone less Final Fantasy and more Animal Crossing in my head. 

Alright sorry for the short update. If you want some non game development news, I'm in the middle of also learning a new language, and looking for a new job to get me to New York City, so I can live with my fiance. That's pretty much why Unity has become a one night a week project. Oh, I'm also trying to get my cholesterol levels down. Busy, busy, busy.

Namaste! (I'm learning Hindi)

-Chris, Game Design Initiate

 

A Week of Contemplation

So most of the work done on the project this week didn't involve programming or art. I've neglected talking about design here, and the importance of it. I've designed a few table top games, mostly for my personal DnD crew, to add new experiences into our campaign. What I've realized is game design is probably the hardest part. It's not something as tangible as, say, coding a ball to move. Does it Move? Yes or no. "Is it fun?" is soooo subjective. We can all agree when a ball moves. Ask what game is fun on the internet though and you can start a small war.

Thinking about what makes a game fun, what is the goal of this game has kind of been my focus this week. I started by asking myself a few questions.

The first question: Is there a story I want to tell or do I want the player to tell his own story?

There's stories I want to tell, and there are worlds I want to create so you can tell your own. Great, so I want to do both. I'm just starting however and I think the open world may be the tougher of the two to make. The more systems interacting with each other, the more chances for chaos and bugs. So maybe the focus behind telling a story is the way to go for my first attempt. Verdict: STORY

Second Question:   What systems (ways for players to interact with the world) am I going to try to tell this story with?

First I'm leaning towards RPG. I've been a huge Final Fantasy fan since the original Nintendo, I've played every single one, even the MMO's. When I think giant epic story, that's where my brain goes first. They are a bit like movies though, you have a course you are traveling through in this world, there's going to be a big final battle, you'll kill the big bad guy. Those things are set the second you start playing. What's a fun way to spice that up? What if the big bad changed depending on you? The Shadow's of Mordor Nemesis system was a thing of beauty. That might be something we can borrow some systems from. 

All my current story telling is being done at DnD night. My players don't have dialog trees but they do have social interaction skills and alignments that go towards making their decisions. Maybe this is something that can be worked in to the game to give the character you play more personality.

Combat. Is combat even a thing in my story? Probably. I love the idea of a Gone Home, or Undertale, games where there's no combat or  where all conflict can be resolved without bloodshed, but I don't think this is going to be one of those games. So what will it be like? Turn-Based and quick, like Final Fantasy X. I don't want players to watch a meter charge, or set an auto attack and walk away. I want them to be engaged strategically, but no twitch combat. Like I said, RPG. I do think each combat will be a special thing, and not a random encounter. You can murder everyone in the world if that appeals to you, but I'll have consequences. 

Well, that's probably enough of my ramblings. Hopefully you were able to ask yourself some questions if you are designing your own game.

ART!!!

So, in addition to programming, I’ve also been working on the art. Pixel art of course, cause I’m a guy in my thirties with fond memories of the SNES. So I’ve been using ProMotion NG and the cheapest wacom tablet I could find. For wacom practice and painting time relaxation, I’ve used Krita.

 

Will I do my own art? I used to be amazing at creating stamps in Kid Pix… in 1992. It’s a lot of damn work. I’m not really sure. I will have to start contacting artists to see if all that work would be worth it. I was able to create a decent texture for grass with ProMotion and a little tutorial, and I’ve signed myself up for some Udemy class on Pixel Art.


Chris - Kid Pix Pro

Oops... Sorry for the delay

Happy 2017.

 

So, personal goal, an update every Sunday. Stuff like game development updates, personal thoughts, tabletop updates. Trying to keep myself engaged with the site, and the whole development process while managing the rest of life. Yes, it’s also Monday, but it’s a holiday, so to me it’s a Sunday.

 

Anyways, got a bit distracted by the Holidays. Some work has been completed. I’ve been going through the Unity tutorial for the ball rolling. I highly recommend starting here. It’s a good tutorial where they get you familiar with the tools, and recommend proper organization.

 

Now the feels. Man…. when my ball moved from something I did… holy crap. Good feeling. This one's short, I have to wrap this up to work on the Unity project some more, study some Hindi (I’ll explain that another time), and find a new job in NYC.

 

Hoping your 2017 is productive, interesting and positive.


~Chris, Game Design Initiate

The Beginning

Hi, lets talk about getting started in Unity...

 

Actually I guess I should describe why I chose Unity instead of another system, like Gamemaker: First,

From my research, I saw the coding was minimal in Game Maker, which is good, but I really want a lot of control on the project that I think diving into the guts of game is the only way to get. I’m not afraid of coding, I have a few years experience with it, and despite having to wipe about 5 years of dust off from that part of my brain, I’m not as worried about it as, maybe, I should be. Will this be a terrible choice? I guess you’re going to have to keep checking back with me on this. 

Another reason I chose unity is my personal game* is going to be a bit complicated behind the scenes. RPG systems I imagine, are more difficult to institute in a game than other more actiony games. I may be entirely wrong in this. Doing a bit of research, it looked like Unity offered the most flexibility, over other systems like GameMaker. I also haven’t seen any RPG’s made in Game Maker, meanwhile unity has some very impressive ones.

 

*Oh sidenote, when I say personal game, the game I really want to publish is also not the game I’ll most likely make first. I want to get a lot of experience behind me before I even start tackling it. I’ve got several ideas for other games, that are different and hopefully fun.

 

That is about the extent of why I picked Unity. We’ll see as I start to learn the systems and get familiar with the coding and interface if I’ve made a mistake or not, but I don't think I have, pretty confident in my choice. 


-Chris, Game Design Initiate