Be a Browncoat

I watched the Unity Keynote from GDC and damn they displayed some amazing work, from The Heretic to the BMW car to Call of Duty: Mobile. I’m not a fan of FPS games like COD, however, that Activision chose Unity to create the mobile version of COD says a lot about the power of Unity. I have noticed that ever since Unreal went free a few years back that Unity has stepped up their game (haha) and has added impressive new features. The Heretic impressed me the most, the realistic human model, woah, and the glimpse into that world, so kewl.

You might be wondering what this has to do with Browncoats, well partner let me tell ya. In Firefly the Browncoats were a badass group of independents who resisted Alliance rule, so much so they went to war to maintain their independence. Even though they put up a hell of a good fight, ultimately they lost. In several of the episodes the Browncoats displayed the dogged determination needed by any indie shop to compete in today’s game dev environment. Unity can do amazing things and when a team has enough time and money the results knock your socks off. However, what can I, a solo game dev, do? I can wear my browncoat and run, and when I can’t run I’ll walk, and when I can’t walk, I’ll crawl, and when I can’t do that I’ll find someone to carry me.

Odd Jobs – Devblog #2

I have lurked around the gamedev community for years now and I always heard how hard it is, well hells bells that’s true. In the past week, I struggled with finding the time to work on “simple things.” Every week, my wife and I plan out the upcoming week and since we started this ten weeks ago we have consistently gotten better at both allocating time to our projects and getting closer to finishing all the planned tasks. Like the saying goes Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Goldilocks Sandbox

So last devblog I discussed ProBuilder and how I wanted to test it out, well I did exactly that this past week. I created what I call my Goldilocks Sandbox environment, a small, medium, and large set of enclosed rooms with hallways connecting the small to the medium, and the medium to the large rooms. I went against my normal and jumped into this task and then quickly became frustrated because I didn’t have a basic level of understanding. I mean I had watched a Brackeys video like seven days earlier, that should make me an “expert” right. LOL. Ok, then I took a breathe and a step back and found the docs and then jumped back in. Now I felt like I had a bit of a clue, well enough anyways that I built the layout I wanted. I even added a set of stairs because I felt comfortable enough with the tool. The stairs look great, however, I need to figure out why my character leaps up about 230 meters as soon as I step on them. I already created a card to recode the GridMove and I planned to work on that this week.

Game Dev Videos on the Horizon

I also looked into OBS Studio last week and created a plan to learn it. You might ask yourself why did he create a plan to learn OBS instead of just learning OBS? I often found myself wandering down the deep rabbit hole of Wikipedia and hours later looking up from the article on nuclear fusion and have said, “Just one more link!” I believe xkcd captures this sentiment perfectly. Basically when I have a plan I stay focused on my task, but without that plan I go SQUIRREL! all over the place. Kinda like this paragraph, what does this have to do with OBS Studio, nothing except for the tangent I went on.

Anywho, I crafted a plan to learn OBS Studio and in the coming weeks I plan to start recording my gamedev sessions. I don’t know if I want to do tutorials, gamedev vlogs, live streaming, or whatever else, but I do know that I want to do something. What types of videos do you like?

Keep on questing!

7 Comments »

  1. Even though it has been over 16 years, the pain of Firefly’s cancellation hasn’t subsided 😦

    Thanks for linking the Unity Keynote. I found these stats interesting at the 27:37 mark:
    -45% of the top 1,000 mobile games are made with Unity
    -33% of the top 20 PC and console publishers use Unity
    -70% of the top 10 current games on iOS and Android are made with Unity
    It just shows that Unity is an excellent tool for getting great games made, we just have to learn to utilize its capabilities.

    As to creating videos, maybe a mix: some tutorials to keep aspiring devs hooked and some vlogs to create a following for your game specifically. I would watch both!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Effing Fox! Such a stupid mistake to cancel Firefly. After capturing those images I ended up watching two episodes last night because I got sucked in. It’s rip for a reboot and I’d be ok with a reboot, we would get to explore more of that universe.

      One of the big things I heard from the Keynote was that Unity builds tools and services that work with many engines. I feel that’s a sign of maturity and real commitment to the gaming industry. I mean it’s easy for a company to build tools and services that work only for themselves but that promotes lock-in. /me stepping off soapbox now. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I would love a reboot, but I don’t think it’ll happen any time soon. I heard a rumor that Fox approached Whedon saying they were interested in rebooting Firefly, but Whedon turned them down. I can’t say that I blame him especially the way they’ve treated the IP over the years.

        I found this https://imgur.com/gallery/IQVYZMp the other day and laughed and felt sad at the same time. I recently heard that the reason Wash and Book died in the movie is because Fox wanted sequels to the movie but the actors weren’t onboard so Whedon helped the actors out. This also says a lot about the relationship between Fox and Whedon.

        Like

    • The player prefab had a RigidBody component with gravity checked and I moved the character through direct manipulation of the its transform component. The RB had a mass of 200, a drag of 0, and an angular drag of 0.05. So when I moved forward onto the stairs the physics engine tried to move up the stairs but my code tried to keep it at floor level and that’s how I learned to fly. I wanna say that if I gave myself a drag of 1,000 I stopped and levitated.

      Based on my limited experience with Unity movement, I have to say it seems to prefer smooth movement over grid-based movement. Although last night I had an hour and played around with Rigidbody.MovePosition (https://docs.unity3d.com/ScriptReference/Rigidbody.MovePosition.html) and get some promising results. I still move right through solid walls (the collision is detected), have a rotating beam move through me (no collision detected), and fall over at the drop of a hat, it’s a start.

      Right now I’m in that fun “let’s break everything so I can learn” stage.

      Like

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