Gaming Your Way

May contain nuts.

Let's start all over again - or "how to handle all that weight"

Ok, the last bit of the headline was a cleverly placed quote from someone who took Mass Effect 2 way to serious, but hey it still fits.

Our little toy based Unity game has made some nice progress over the last few weeks (with just a few scattered coding session inbetween all the other  stuff that needed to be done). I'd go as far and say it is just a few 100 lines away from becoming gold (yep, in more than one way hopefully).

toygame_00.jpg

So the the release date is coming closer - at least that is what I thought till Friday...

And now the pretty headline kicks in. Why on earth do I want to start all over? The reason (and once I learned to handle all that weight) is quite simple:
It's a grown game, it started off easy, but then lingered it's way through some fails (talk Unity animation system and events) and a "second" floor and ended in the tab system that should showed informations as well as the ingame help.

There was quite a loud "damn fucking shit" from my side when it finally dawned on me that Unity's UI system (which, honestly is dog shit) does only handle click events and is missing the "over, out, down and up" states I've came to expect from flash. So my idea of using a rollover event on the tabs to focus the camera on an object failed badly. Before I even started to code it (the idea was to show each moving toy as a tab, then if you move the mouse over it's tab the camera would zoom in on the toy to show it in closeup - pointless but neat), plus from time to time help tabs should be added that can be ignored or read. Oh, and while I'm at it, hints to be shown on rollover for the built in level editor became quite impossible too.

Next point on the list of "things not easy to add" was "scaleability", read new decorational elements, backdrops and styles that could be bought by players so that we can earn a quid (to pay the servers for instance).

A few hours later, with a few sheets of paper used as external memory, I swallowed the bitter pill and decided to start all over again. Starting with a new map system, new "landscape" features, a more flexible decoration system, the level editor (and a way to save these levels on our severs), deciding an a service for micro transactions and, and, and ...
The tiny little game grew up, causing a lot more thought and work then I ... thought ...

Either I start again, or drop it, but I do believe that (oh did I mention I'm doing an overhaul of the visuals?) it might get some fans playing it on Facebook or through our website ...

And now: Day 1 of the development diary (oh come on, I doubt I'll ever be able to write about it every time I code on it. Just that much: next time I think I'll have a quick look at MT systems for Unity right now I'm looking into UnityTokens and Dimerocker (and if you know some else don't hesitate to post a comment).

nGFX



Comments (5) -

  • bas

    9/6/2010 3:19:21 PM |

    Brave people like you are paving the road for us less adventurous coders. And when I finally get my hands on Unity, I'll be reading blog entries like this one and be very thankful. - Until then I'm wondering why you left the comfy zone that is Flash, you must be crazy :-)

    Good luck mate.

  • nGFX

    9/6/2010 4:42:48 PM |

    Well, the flash zone is comfy, but also very, very crowded. And there is still the air of adventure in Unity :) - but of course (and I believe this is the better reason) I could be plain stupid in a non-coding kind of way ...

    <olli/>

  • tom

    9/9/2010 6:26:06 PM |

    Hey Olli, long time no speak, nice to see you´re alive and well =)
    Haha, i giggled seing your headline and intro for it, for those less in the know:
    http://www.potatocows.com/?p=109
    Yeah, i probably took ME2 a bit too serious there maybe, sometimes happens when i get passionate about something :)
    Nice you´re trying unity stuff, too and yeah, i agree, the gui and events sides are definately some of the weaker sides of unity. Good luck with your game :)

  • Jordan

    9/21/2010 9:33:42 PM |

    I have felt that development pain before. IMHO dimeRocker looks to be the way to go for Unity on Facebook. Good luck with the re-code!

  • nGFX

    9/22/2010 7:54:23 AM |

    Thx Jordan. I think Unity Tokens might be my choice, not because they have the "better" service, but the better games on their showcase site.

    To be honest, the games I saw using Dimerocker (and tried to play) are "not very good". That the service is only "free" when publishing through the DR-Arcade on FB doesn't make it any more appealing too (and I'm not going to go the "studio" route for the first game).

    @tom: thx too and yep I'm quite well.

    <olli/>

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