Gaming Your Way

May contain nuts.

first post in ages - and a jolly short one too.

I guess you won't remember me (nGFX) as for ages only Squize has done all the posting. Not that I have been lazy, but there hasn't been a single line of interesting code on my side, nor something mildly game related.

I've been coding some large scale foto archive software. To sell our really vast collection of black/white press fotos (180 000 of the 1.5 million negatives should be available in the end) and coding the backend and the frontend (with lots of ajax). Right now last bits and bobs of the user handling needs to be done and there are still a good number of negatives to be scanned (alas, thank fuck I'm not in charge there).

fotoarchiv_00.jpg

Ok, back to something game related at last ...

While Squize is churning out flash games like mad, I've jumped on the Unity train (of course) and been tinkering with it for a while now. I've started with porting the dungeon creation code over to C# and played with dynamic maps, which proved to be working just nicely. In order to get more out of this project I thought it might be helpfull to get deeper into Unity with smaller game.

A remake of one of my games seemed a good idea, I've got the AS2 code to look at and knew how the game should work (and added some minor additions). So here's something I've learned besides the usual "oh damnit" ...

Unity's animation editor is good enough to make things easier, but don't trust it on time critical problems.

The game involves things moving along tracks - so my first idea was to save some code and use animations for that. I wanted to use a container that I can just move from tile to tile and let the "car" move inside it from the start of the tile to the end of it, then an animation event should be fired, telling the engin to move the "car" to the next tile and start the correct animation.

I did a few tests (of course) and it seemed to work, so I did all the animations (straight tracks, junctions, ramps and so on) which roughly saved some 500 lines of code (compared to the flash version) - oh lovely - same game, less code, I was on fire.

Of course it didn't work.

I tested it locally, online in a browser and all went well until I noticed that the timing can get off the track and cause visual glitches. These showed themself as "jumping" car, where the car jumped ahead one tile for a single frame and then continued as intended. This happened every time I started a level - but not always at the same time (hence I didn't see it in my tests).
After a good night of debugging, tracing (or Debug.Log()) I found out what happend.

Unlike flash the "timeline" in Unity doesn't sync visuals and code - and in fact Unity has no "timeline" - point taken, lesson learned :| .
So this happened (and caused the glitch)
1. [engine] sendMessage -> [car] "goto next tile"
2. [car] move to next tile, rewind animation, play it
3. (glitch might occur)
4. [car] sendMessage -> [engine] "done, give me next tile"
...

Because the code isn't tied to the visuals, the code in 2 can be executed, but the visuals from the animation might start on the next frame, hence the container is moved to the next tile, but the animation is still on the last frame (at the and of the track) ...

... I ended up coding the movement in the end ...

Editor scripts can do a lot of damage (or just be utterly helpfull)

In order to get the levels into the game I needed an level editor, but was too lazy to write one - so I decided to dig into editor scripts in Unity, which allow you to do all kind of dangerous things.
I wanted to be able to drag my level into the Unity editor window, grab it and save it to a file (which works just wonderfull). the first big "shit" came when I added a function to clear the level from screen (so I could do a new level) and carelessly allowed "DestroyImmediate" to delete from the asset window (and not checking if the GameObject I want to destroy is a child of my Playground) - oh well.

Anyway, you can easily add you own menu entries, access files or manipulate your current scenes with editor scripts.

And now some screenies ...

Project Hellstrom

hellstrom_00.jpg
The ponytailed lady is just my scaler model, in the end I guess it'll be 1st person.
Right now you can walk around a dynamic generated map (with temp mapping) - A LOT of work left to do.


ToyGame - the game without a name yet

toygame_00.jpg
Inside Unity's editor, the first level in progress ...

toygame_01.jpg
Playing level 1, just crashed 2 toys ...

And with this I descent back into the hell that is js/css and html ...

nGFX





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