It’s Sunday Evening. I just had dinner and pushed the “Build” button on Unity. I’ve been up since 7am working on the “Animal Friends Adventure” project and have made some great progress. I adjusted some enemies. I fixed a lot of weird bugs and just made some overall enhancements. Steam tells me the last release was December 29 of 2020. Despite the busy few weeks I did manage to get an hour of yoga in with my Russian girlfriend of several years. Though I was too busy and forgot to get my weekly COVID test so she kept me socially distanced and outside on her patio. COVID pandemic really messed with her head and she is amazingly paranoid despite me having gotten the Pfizer shot. But when you care about someone these things are trivial. Ok so why this personal tidbit? At lest you know I am human behind the “all work and no play”.
My mind is a bit burned out at this point of the day. So I am working slower but steady. As you see, I am also forcing myself to update this site more than once a year. Let’s see how long this lasts. As game design and programming goes, every time you think it’s “perfect” a million bugs crawl out of hiding to ruin your weekend.
Today I discovered an interesting bug, but it was quick to catch. Leaving the pause menu to return to the home screen muted the audio. Weird right? Nothing in the path from the button click to the home panel touched audio. So I go to the property in Visual Studio and right click to see references. The call is only in 4 places. The settings screen for on/off and weirdly, the player controller. I don’t remember my logic for setting mute for OnEnable and OnDisable but sure enough it was there. After removing the two function calls it worked as intended.
The snow Fairies got a slight update. Their attack was a bit weird looking. I had a glowing particle for magical snow, but it was hidden under a rock object. I put the rock in because the particle alone was difficult to see. Now it glows around the rock and is very visible to the player and has a cool particle trail as it flies into your face. It took a few hours of play, adjust, play, adjust… but the effect is finally where I wanted it to be in the first place. The plant monster is next.
ADHD moment: I am still proud of myself for writing the AI to the characters (except bosses, they suck). When I started with ugh “The Incredible Adventures of Super Panda” (I named it not knowing there was a similar title) I had a specific need. Level design is challenging as it is. Now imagine having to place waypoints for 3,000+ characters… Even with a prefab and drop, they would still need adjusting. So I used raycasts at various angles to “feel” the environment. They’d also have a “home” position and a setting to wander only so far or until there was an edge detected. This resulted in the ability to simply drag a character prefab and be done with it. Some levels I increased the distance from home but it was all pretty much drag and drop. I converted this AI into 3D and it still worked amazingly well. The ranged enemies are sneaky. They use a series of calls to track the player and shoot. I personally love this aspect because I’ve been shot while jumping over an enemy.
So it’s pushing 6pm and I’m pushing myself to update everyone on the game progress. It really is an exciting moment. I’ll also be moving to the Xbox GDK, having signed a new contract with Microsoft. The UI revamp has gone great, because I learned so much more. My next project will be even better because of all I learned.