Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Jan 2018

Greetings. Happy new year and welcome to 2018.

2017 was a pretty awesome year for me. In November Jaywalker VR, a game that I had been helping work on, was finally released. It felt so good to finally ship that game. I worked on it with a close friend named Sam. He has an Oculus rift and a video card to run it, but not a good enough CPU, which I had but not a good enough video card. When it came time to testing it he would bring the video card and headset over and we would install his video card into my PC and hook it up to my TV and we would test it out. It was a fun and great experience.

We also worked on a released an iOS app called Who Dat?: The Celeb Identifier which was a requested app from my wife. She always wanted to know who people were in movies or TV shows she was watching and wished she had a way to just scan their faces somehow and see who they were.

Using XCode was really painful for me. It seemed like the iOS was going through lots of update releases at the time, and to deploy to my iphone I would have to upgrade Xcode and my phone which resulted in several hours of just waiting for downloads and installs to finish. Then when I would pull the code from the repository the folder structure from Sam's machine would not work on mine, so I could make changes but then the folder structure would be wrong on his system. Eventually we just worked from one machine to make it.

This year I'm hoping to release a couple game projects, and maybe a couple apps, just to double my output of last year.

I still run the Unity User Group and brought on a co-organizer Danny in 2017. This helped a lot and allowed us to meet up monthly. We would do a workshop one month and a presentation style meetup the next month. For 2018 we plan to continue this.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Tiled map tool

I've been working on learning and using the Tiled map tool. This isn't the first time I've tried it, but it is the first time I've tried using and importing the map to anything.

I used Tiled2Unity to import it and it creates a big mesh for me. Seems to do the job for now.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Unity Cloud Build

I just did a Unity cloud build for the first time. I couldn't figure out how to get it to build for IOS yet but I got it for windows.

It was not as painful as I thought it would be.
  1. Create a Bitbucket account or sign in with google.
  2. Create a repository
  3. Commit the files to the repository (this took me the longest as I couldn't get the visual studio plugins to work so I had to use the bash/command line)
  4. In Unity sign in to the cloud build service.
  5. Select which source control you use (mine was git).
  6. Enter the URL to your bitbucket repository.
  7. Add the SSH key to your bitbuket repository (these instructions said to go to your account but I found it under the repository settings instead).
  8. Once it all connects you can start queueing builds but there are a few extra password and files needed for IOS so I chose windows desktop and it built quickly.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Basement project finished

I did it. I finished construction on my basement. I now have a nice space to program and game dev in. It feels amazing to finally complete something. I had been working on it for almost a year. I felt like Christmas had come the day we had carpet laid. Now on to the next project.


Passed inspection. Booyeah grandma!

Enjoying the basement with some Robotech.

Drywall mudding.

First time I've ever used a jackhammer.

Day the carpet was installed.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

July 2016 UE 4 and Unity

Hello readers.
I took a little break from game dev as I started a new job recently. July is also typically a busy month with family stuff.

I've been working on a few UE4 and Unity projects.
I showed Exo-Game to a few buddies. It's been one of my learn on projects and it shows. I still like it and put in some time cleaning up some code and trying out new things like making an elevator work.

I've also tried out using an FBX file (like home builders use) for a demo project.

With UE4 I was working on a spaceship flying game. I got a camera to toggle between first and third person.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

TFS for tasks and source control.

I use Team Foundation Server for source control and task board. I've found it helps to have a list of tasks to work on, but it also can be intimidating to see everything.

Backlog view of PBI and Bugs
Task Board view for Sprint 2

I do like that I can check in my pending changes and resolve a task.

Here is what some of those look like in the web portal:
Changeset view
List of changesets

Task view
 I use the Team Explorer in Visual Studio 2015 for the check in and association to tasks:
Team Explorer
Task list view in Visual Studio

With Unity projects you don't want to check in the library folders, you mostly want to check in the .cs files and the scene files if you aren't working on the same scenes. Make sure to set the preferences to use meta files, and force text so you aren't working with binary files.

Saturday, May 14, 2016


Making games is hard.

I made a couple updates to Exo-Game and saw that I had written some code 390 days ago. It made me realize that I still have so much to learn. Sometimes that can be really daunting and overwhelming. Sometimes I feel like I'll never make it. Sometimes I feel guilty because I didn't put enough time into it.

One way I try to combat this is block out time every week where I just work on it anyway. This helps me have some dedicated time to work on projects, while also allowing me to not feel guilty if I don't work on it every day.

Another way to help fight these feelings is to go to local meetups. Luckily here in Utah we have an active game dev community. We have the IGDA, the Utah Indie Games Night, the UDEN, the Utah Games Guild, and the Utah Unity User Group. We have game jams, and other user groups and activities around. Sometimes it just helps to see people working on cool stuff for me. The people here are awesome and friendly.

What things help you stay motivated?