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?

Monday, April 18, 2016

Inspirations for Exo-Game

I have been working on Exo Game for a while now. It has been a big learn on project for Unity and how to do things. I still plan on finishing it.

Here are some of the things that help inspire it:

Here is music that inspires me for it:

I've been struggling the most with making the artwork and style. I have a good playable controllable robot and character. I just want them to look awesome and I'm still working on that.

Here are some of my attempts at making this game look better:

There is still some work to do.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Unreal Engine

I have been trying out Unreal Engine to work on a project with some friends that exclusively use UE4. It's been a big adjustment from Unity. This page has been invaluable for it.

I have noticed that quite a few of the tutorials have been outdated already which means they are making big changes. I do like the engine quite a bit. I like the blueprint system but it's still a lot to wrap my head around. I know it's mostly just the learning curve and that I'm on the steeper side of it.

The C++ is interesting and a change from C# but it's not as jarring.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Tanks Tutorial with son

I went through the Unity Tanks Tutorial with my son.

I felt like it would really help him out and give me some knowledge on things I'm not as familiar with. I can tell he really likes to make games and wants to make them. We keep sitting down once a week to try and go through them together. I can tell he struggles with the deeper stuff still and gets bored easily with it.

Tutorials are hit and miss for me when they are video ones but this one had the slides with it. There were only a few parts where we had to watch the videos, the rest was step by step. I wish more tutorials were done this way. Videos are so much harder to search for things for me.

My son loved it, and loves playing it with me. My daughter does too and wants to make games now. I picked up some good knowledge about camera usage that I was looking for. I also dove into the audio mixer which I haven't used before.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Pros and Cons to owning a PS Vita

Now that I've had a PS Vita for over a year I'd like to list some of it's pros and cons. Handhelds usually don't get mileage from my but I play the Vita often while putting kids to bed.

Loads of RPGs.
Persona 4 Golden, Tales of Hearts R, Final Fantasy (pretty much 1 through X-2), Chrono Trigger, Hyperdimension Neptunia, Trials of the Skies, etc.
Remote play.
Getting to play your PS4 while someone else is using the TV or while laying on the ground next to your toddler while they try to sleep is awesome! It's not perfect, and the farther away you are the more lag you can feel, but it's still awesome.
PS1 classics.
There are loads of PS1 classics available to play from the PSN store. Being able to play Resident Evil 2, Metal Gear Solid, Parasite Eve, FF 7 8 9 and Tactics, Suikoden 2, Mega Man X 4 and more while on the go is awesome. It's like carrying a PS1 in your pocket.
Suspend games is one of the best features.
You can pause a game at any time. Online games don't handle this well, but any other game you can pick right up where you left off. I know consoles are starting to get similar functions, but this is amazing to me.
One of the main features of the Vita, but it is great being able to take it with you anywhere. I do recommend a case to protect that beautiful screen though. It's a little too big for pockets, but still fair size.
Holds a charge for a long time.
I'm always surprised at how long my Vita stays charged even in suspend mode. 

Memory card cost is ridiculous.
It was necessary to purchase a 64GB card. It was $100 from Amazon shipped from Japan. This should not have costed that much to procure.
Touch controls are not as fun as they should be. 
This may be personal preference, but the rear touch pad is really hard to use, and touch screen games don't do it for me.

Thumbstick placement.
I feel like the thumbsticks are just a tad too low for my hands.

Physical cards can only be read per vita. 
Buying games used you have to do a couple steps to get it ready to play because your Vita can't read the data of someone else. Kinda weird.
Not enough buttons to remote play every game.
Games that require heavy use of R2 that don't map them to R on the Vita are really too hard to play.