[My Dev Journals main page]

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April 24, 2016

Sunday has arrived. I generally get more time for my game dev projects on this day than any other so I expect to make some great progress today.

Completing The “Spooked” Behavior Of  The Wimpies

Yesterday, I made some great progress on getting Wimpies to “see” the player and react by attempting to “run” away.

I wanted the enemies to scatter out more.

Just came in from mowing the rest of the lawn. It’s a warm day out there! 82 degrees. Now it’s time for me to start on some game dev.

First thing I did was add some variation to the Wimpies escape vectors. Next, I looked over the code and tied up a loose end here and there. Tested and…

Hey, yeah I am happy with this. One thing I wanted to test was a simpler alert system. So instead of a Wimpy warning only its nearest neighbors now a Wimpy warns all of the other Wimpies regardless of distance (well some distance obviously but all within a certain distance of the player are alerted). I actually like this much better. And the code is much simpler. A win-win.

The important thing here is the player will be chasing these things down and blasting them. I just want it to be a little more interesting than to have the enemies simply standing around or otherwise acting like a bunch of cows. Of course, much of how satisfying it actually is depends on the weapons, hit FX and death sequences.

I think I will take a short break now and when I return make it so the player can actually shoot these things. I’ll work through the hit FX and death sequence. So at that point it will be a very basic playable early alpha.

But yeah time to make this thing actually playable… to a tiny degree. 🙂

I started on the update to be able to damage and destroy the Wimpies. That led to the creation of a ParticleObject and ParticleManager system in addition to updating the existing code for the Wimpies and Projectiles.

That’s all I am doing today. I think I will just have to accept progress on this project will be slow and steady. I always intend to focus on it more but it is just the norm for me. Generally from April through September I don’t spend much time working on this stuff. I love being outside too much! However, around October I start spending more time on game dev with November through February being the time I get most of my work done.

 

April 25, 2016

Finished up a simple particle FX for the Wimpy being destroyed. Basically anytime you shoot (and hit) something a few particles will fly out from point of impact. When you obliterate it, many particles fly out.

Now that I had a chance to really test the combat a tiny bit I definitely need to work on this part. It is very easy to move past an enemy when trying to target it. I wanted fast turning to be in the game but perhaps it is a bit too fast. Also it may be the projectile is simple too small and I may find that I need to get rid of the visible player projectiles and use the crosshair area itself to determine if an enemy is hit or not. Also, I must keep in mind these enemies are small and would be more difficult to target due to that.

I think what I will do first is make the change to register a hit based on the crosshair itself instead of the projectile. We’ll see if this makes it easier. Need to get this part right because it is a core mechanic.

Oh yeah! This definitely makes a nice difference:

This is enough progress for today.  Tomorrow, I will move on to another enemy.

 

April 26, 2016

Tonight, I spent just a bit of time on refactoring & cleaning up the code again. Then I played around with the Wimpies reaction to the player’s presence. Why? Because I noticed it was not working as I expected. It was fine as shown in the gif movie however when running around on testing the Wimpies facing different ways they did not always turn to the opposite direction (with some very slight variance) as expected.

The reason? Well, all of this time I could have sworn Unity returned the actual angle in degrees when examining transform.localRotation. Turns out it does not. So it was actually a fluke that it was working at all. Very odd considering I have used transform.localRotation in my past Unity projects and everything worked fine. Maybe it was the combo of Unity API methods I used, maybe something changed between Unity 4.6 and Unity 5.x or maybe there is just a difference in what is returned between 2D and 3D (I find this less likely).

Anyway, the solution was to use transform.localEulerAngles.y instead of transform.localRotation.y so keep that in mind if you ever run into a similar case of wondering what in heck is going on. So after making this change yes everything finally worked as expected. Which makes sense because I had designed and programmed this reaction relying on having access to the actual angle in degrees. 🙂

I won’t bother showing another gif for this because it will basically look like the same thing you have seen over the past several days.

 

April 27, 2016

Tonight, I only spent a bit of time thinking about the project. Basically, what exactly do I want to do next. Do I really want to go on to another enemy or do I want to maybe do something else such as making the Wimpy randomly drop some resource item, etc.

Generally, I make out a list each week of what I want to accomplish and then I stick to that list to guide my efforts. So far, over the course of this project I have not done that. Why? I just wanted to try something different and basically just randomly develop using the overall concept & design as my only guide.

This has worked quite well so far but I think I may return my habit of making a weekly task list of objectives to accomplish. We’ll see what I decide tomorrow.

 

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