The joys of submodule-ing in Unity

So Robert Yang posted a decent guide on how to ‘sub-project’ your Unity projects so they can share a common code-base easily. This does what it needs to do pretty well, you can easily add to and maintain your own framework, and build individual games on top of it. This, as he warns, comes with some complications. You have to juggle different build/player/editor/project settings, each game’s /Resources folder will be included with every build, and you need to manage an ever-growing script base. I manage my shared code a different way, though the magic of Git submodules.

Screen Shot 2013-04-10 at 9.52.51 PM

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STATUS UPDATE XMAS 2012 EDITION

What do real-life game makers do with all those games that never seem to get finished? Do they just release them and hope no one notices? Or are they just so amazing that from the moment they touch the keyboard they produce pure gold? Mine sit on my hard drive, reminding me how unproductive I’ve been recently.

But! But! I have an excuse! A recently started full time job, of which I can hopefully show some results soon. It doesn’t quite take up all my time though, so here’s what else I’m working on: Continue reading STATUS UPDATE XMAS 2012 EDITION

New game : “Find Yourself”

In September I was offered to take part in an art show my neighbour, John Clendernen, was curating. The theme was “Self”, and I made a game alongside photographs and videos from other artists. I enjoyed the opportunity to make a game that could be left alone for most of the time, since games at galleries don’t actually get played. I focussed on making a compelling atmosphere, with interaction limited to scrolling the camera around in a simple hide & seek mechanic.

I was surprised to find people actually taking the time to beat the game. So surprised, in fact, that I hadn’t bothered to test the end-game logic, so the game at the show was un-completable.

Luckily I’ve fixed it up a little since then. You can play around with it either on the web (although on my mac it has a really cool character render glitch), or download for Windows/OSX with gamepad support.

There is no audio since it was intended for a loud gallery environment. Controls are in the readme, but don’t expect any deep mechanics. Find Yourself sits firmly in the ‘passive game’ camp.

InputVCR v1.2 available

Good news for anyone using InputVCR, it’s been updated to be better and easier to use! It has had a major rewrite, and is unfortunately no longer compatible with old recordings or many access methods. In return, it is far less fiddly to use and has much better documentation.

InputVCR is a helper package to make recording and playback far, far easier. Use it for ghost players, puzzles, demo playback or even delayed multiplayer. Try the terrible demo to see a basic example.

The new version is up on GitHub (always the latest) or on the Asset Store (also includes an example setup, and a handy script for smoothing location updates)

Thomas Pynchon Makes a Video Game

Now I have no idea what Thomas Pynchon, author of hot messes like The Crying of Lot 49 and Gravity’s Rainbow, thinks about video games. But unlike many novels, I think his could be twisted into some damn interesting games. (Note: I am far, FAR, from a literary expert, so please excuse my scattershot analysis. I haven’t written anything about a book since 5th form, so pretend I’m just playing to Pynchon’s style or something)

NOT ACTUALLY THOMAS PYNCHON. But he MIGHT look like this, he's a famous recluse
Thomas Pynchon (c 1991)

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Unity and Replays

Replaying actions in a game is a surprisingly common feature. There are match replays of course, but recorded actions are also used in cutscenes, ‘ghost’ players in racing games, and a variety of puzzles, like those for Clank in Ratchet & Clank:A Crack in Time. Many engines support at least a limited ability to record action in-game, as opposed to recording a movie, the demo command in Source for example. Unity, however, does not.

One of my current projects is heavily reliant on character replays. I’ve written several replay methods in past projects, and knew how much work it ended up being. I never want to have to go through that again, so decided to roll my own, generic, adaptable record/replay system for Unity. It went…OK…

(For anyone interested, but not enough to read about it, the script is on Github)

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Hypno-vision : “To the Same Tune”

[youtube=http://youtu.be/_dscAAvHvMQ]

My most wonderful ex-flatmates at the House of Oops are taking part in the 2012 Bushwick Open Studios. They’re an loft and workspace, providing a creative, relaxing environment to artists from all over the world. I stayed there during 2011 while I lived in New York, and had a lot of fun at the last BOS. This year they invited me to put something forward for the show alongside work by more than 50 others, and although I didn’t have anything new that really suited it, I managed to whip up an audio-visualiser that can at least look nifty in the background. ‘To the Same Tune’ was inspired by my time in New York, a city so full of energy it can be overwhelming. Continue reading Hypno-vision : “To the Same Tune”