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rllmuk
A nice cup of tea

The Game Development Thread

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Crikey, I've not posted in ages. I did do a little more work on Road Bastard, but hit a point where I wasn't sure about it. It's a fun little thing, but it wasn't quite grabbing me enough and introducing things like physics to all the cars broke so much (all the cars sliding and spinning about in a fun manner stopped happening, so I'd need to put a lot of work in to get that back, for example).

 

But then I got side-tracked by playing My Time At Portia, and thinking about another project I've had at the back of my mind for a long time, but always dismissed as being too big. Harvest Moon in space. However I gave it a go - re-purposed an existing backburner project (a Moonbase simulator) - and quickly switched it across to being a farming game. After a few hours I realised that much of it seems fairly simple - the game is largely about inventory management, and time. You take something (a seed) out of your inventory and put it in the ground, you wait it becomes something else (a crop), you harvest it and store it before selling it or cooking it or whatever. The big problems here are surmountable - I'm going to need animated characters for the player, and critters etc. but it's stuff I've done in the distant past to a passable degree (I just have to learn to use Blender to get there (admittedly from the little I've used Blender in the past I hate it with a passion, but apparently you can beat it with a stick to make it behave like Max a bit more which should help a lot). There's also going to be a lot of GUI work, which will require a lot of learning (something I'm not fond of unless it's in very quick snippets). But I have soooooo many ideas for this it's untrue, so this is the most enjoyable thing I've worked on in ages (and I just keep on jotting down random new ideas for cool stuff).

 

Anyway, too much waffle. Here are a couple of quick screenshots - the first was the quick implementation of farming into the old Moonbase prototype (those space radishes had been planted, then grew through a few stages to become crops (not yet harvestable - that will come soon)). The second is a bit of a graphical overhaul (not necessarily final), but it's where I'm at now). I hope to get a blog post up soon, because it's moving fast enough that I'll soon be playing catch-up if I don't make a start.

moonFarmer01.jpg.650392649ada95bb62f83f623a2641a6.jpg

 

moonFarmer02.thumb.jpg.f0d30770c28017fb9e72fa0038533a7a.jpg

 

The major problem I've got now is thinking up a name. It's a game based on Harvest Moon, where you farm on a moon. I'd love to call it "Harvest A Moon" but I'm not sure that will wash...

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This is the first week where I don't have progress to post; while I did manage to spend a few hours starting to build up a meaningful demo level (and on the way creating a little more in the way of background tiling and tweaking the camera logic to more gracefully handle vertically-oriented levels with a low horizontal resolution), there's nothing I can really use to demonstrate any of that usefully.

 

Hopefully next week I'll have time to finish up the demo level (and begin ironing out the remaining kinks in robot movement that I've noticed in certain edge cases), and thus having tomething to show!

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Don't feel bad. I've been suffering from a terrible cold these past weeks, and as such I did not write a single line of code for either of my projects.

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Does anyone have any UE4 landscape experience? I want to make a landscape from Google maps data or a heightmap from map data. Basically just to try out real sized places.

 

I found this but its a lot of plugins and random maps. Just wondering if anyone knew an easier way?

 

 

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I have started work on a new game idea for mobile devices.

 

The premise is that you need to swipe up/down/left/right on the rows and columns to make a word that has been placed in the grid and has its letters highlighted.

 

For example in the image below the word 'above' has been placed in the grid and the letters have been randomised and it is up to you to swipe the rows and columns so that it places the letters in the correct position to spell out the word 'above' in the grid.

1251041841_Screenshot2019-04-18at20_06_47.thumb.png.5596dc9840de6fd0d59cffab4df1cca9.png

 

To vary the gameplay I was going to have different sizes grids, different grid layouts, different length words placed in grid, multiple words placed in grid and some special tiles that will change how a person should go about playing that particular level for example a bomb tile that has a number on it and if the row/col that the bomb is on is moved X number of times the bomb tile will explode and the player will lose the level.

 

Obviously there is a lot more to it than what I have explained but any feedback positive or negative will be welcome.

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Working on some stuff for uni in UE4, it's amazing how quickly you can get stuff up and running following a few tutorials:

 

CxhQ1GG.png

 

vYIePuT.png

 

GWjNXqI.png

 

VtKzZyx.png

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I’m doing games production at confetti in Nottingham, though at the moment I’m just using Virtus tutorials on YouTube to try to customise my stuff.

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Here's a quick blog post update for my Harvest-A-Moon game. Lots of it is about inventory, but underneath that there's a load of gameplay I just flung in stupidly quickly. OK - there's lots of tidying up to do to make it even remotely functional or fun, but to echo what's been said just above - the tools we have now just let you create soooo very easily these days, it's truly magnificent. 

 

http://www.bearcatgames.com/Blog/?p=205

 

I was meaning to get the inventory system up to basic functionality, but got side-tracked by adding all the tools (as mentioned in the blog). But in particular I had to dabble with the fishing rod, because I love a bit of fishing in games (and this will be fishing on an alien world - so the possibilities are endless). I think I need to get this done to a very basic level, and then revisit it as a treat for when I don't really fancy working on anything else (a pet project within the whole thing, if you like). (I also need to get around to creating a proper main character, because whilst little blue astro-boy down there tells you you're in space, he really doesn't look like he belongs with a fishing rod in hand).

 

mfFish01.thumb.jpg.b89576affefb176b69a63c91268a3c38.jpg

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Harvest Luna is probably less dodgy, but Harvest A Moon is certainly funnier. Love the idea @MarkN, and enjoyed the blog. It'll be a special day when all the code comes together enough to do your first harvest, after watering for days. Get that gameplay loop done early because it'll make it feel substantially more complete. 

 

Speaking of rllmuk works in the genre:

 

scrn1.png

scrn2.png

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On 17/03/2019 at 20:56, Wiper said:

This week has primarily been asset creation; new tilesets, new sprites, new overlay objects.

 

 Really like the aesthetic of your thing. Looks very consistent across the board, it's pleasantly chunky and is readable. 

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1 hour ago, Rob Rule said:

Harvest Luna is probably less dodgy, but Harvest A Moon is certainly funnier. Love the idea @MarkN, and enjoyed the blog. It'll be a special day when all the code comes together enough to do your first harvest, after watering for days. Get that gameplay loop done early because it'll make it feel substantially more complete. 

 

Speaking of rllmuk works in the genre:

 

scrn1.png

scrn2.png

 

Harvest A Moon is purely a working title right now, so I'm happy sticking with it. I've got ideas for the real name, but most of them have been used in one way or another, so I'll keep bouncing them around for a while to see if I can find a new angle.

 

It's a strange game to develop - at the moment I'm just throwing mechanics at it really quickly, implementing them rapidly, and then moving on. I do have a time-skip button in so the plants go through stages of growth and can be harvested, but that entirely misses the point of what makes the genre so compelling, so right now I'm trusting that it'll feel good played properly (I've no reason to think it won't, but who knows...?) But my goal right now is to get the basics of creating/mining/foraging items and then handling all the generated items in the various inventories nicely, because that seems to be a lot of what the game is (it sounds really dull to dissect a favourite genre like this, but the game is about building something great out of an unpromising start point, and that's largely about accruing new stuff, and combining it, and for that I want a really robust set of inventories).

 

What's the game your pics are from (sorry for my ignorance)? It looks really charming - a proper country village feel to it.

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Just my project.

 

My advice would be to (pretty much an echo) get as much of the core stuff done, like inventory, day/night and crop cycles, and then, as you're planning to, reward yourself with minigame stuff like the fishing on the side when it grinds a bit too much. Make added content super easy to insert and modify at a later date because once you have a crop system, with a few value tweaks you can very quickly add 20+ variations and then your players have choice. Fences? Make just one kind and move onto creating and completing the next feature, with the option to diversify later, on the days when you just want to beautify and create more options. You'll get a huge jump in depth once those core systems are done and you then take a year to add 60+ fish, trees, that kind of thing.

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54 minutes ago, Rob Rule said:

 

 Really like the aesthetic of your thing. Looks very consistent across the board, it's pleasantly chunky and is readable. 

 

Thanks! I wasn't hugely confident of the way it looks, so that's reassuring to hear :)

 

I've been quiet the past few weeks, though I've been working on the game on and off; my free time has been more limited in recent weeks (work, social engagements, language learning...), so I've only been able to fit in the odd hour here and there. I'm hoping I should be able to get some done tomorrow, as I'm travelling down to London for work and staying overnight; that should leave me with a good few hours of train travel and a night in a Travellodge with nothing better to do than work on it.

 

One thing I'm quickly concluding is that I need a better workflow for level design; at the moment it's an extremely manual process, and I think I need to come up with some sort of tool to at least automate basic things (e.g. associating specific collision masks with specific tiles in my set; creating a randomised brush for my texture tiles). No real idea where to start with that, so I see a bit of research on the horizon.

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8 minutes ago, Wiper said:

 

Thanks! I wasn't hugely confident of the way it looks, so that's reassuring to hear :)

 

I've been quiet the past few weeks, though I've been working on the game on and off; my free time has been more limited in recent weeks (work, social engagements, language learning...), so I've only been able to fit in the odd hour here and there. I'm hoping I should be able to get some done tomorrow, as I'm travelling down to London for work and staying overnight; that should leave me with a good few hours of train travel and a night in a Travellodge with nothing better to do than work on it.

 

One thing I'm quickly concluding is that I need a better workflow for level design; at the moment it's an extremely manual process, and I think I need to come up with some sort of tool to at least automate basic things (e.g. associating specific collision masks with specific tiles in my set; creating a randomised brush for my texture tiles). No real idea where to start with that, so I see a bit of research on the horizon.

With anything level-based it's worth considering making a full-on level editor, and planning on getting it up to release standard. It sounds like a lot of work, but an awful lot of it will be massively beneficial to you - to streamline your own work flow. There will be a bit of extra work exposing things to the user that you possibly could have lived without, and then a fair whack beyond that making it properly user-friendly and good-looking - but if you commit to it early on, you benefit from its development with much easier level creation, and then at the end you have a great additional feature to your game.

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Started to teach myself how to use Blender now that the interface and controls have been improved in the 2.8 beta, does anyone have any good resource or tutorials that they know of that I can follow. I am pretty new to the whole modelling scene so beginner tutorials would be preferable.

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Thank you! I've barely worked on it the past few months - late March through to the end of May are always the worst time at work, and this year has been the most unpleasant I've been through in my six years at the company by some margin (all of the standard end/start of year demands, plus my team being down to three out of five staff, plus us going through a restructure; great fun) - I've just not had the brain space to work on it afterwards - hell, I've barely had enough to even play games.

 

With June things have finally calmed down, and I even got to take some leave last week, during which I destressed and made up for lost gaming time with far too much Total War and Spider-Man, and I'm finally feeling myself again. I even argued with people on the forum about games, so clearly I'm back in my traditional mindset ;)

 

I'm planning to get back into things this weekend, and I've plenty to do: I need to work on getting a series of levels together, polish up the physics some, and maybe think about adding in a title screen. Which suggests I should probably also pick a title...

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So, with a bit of time and headspace to work with, I spent much of Saturday putting together a simple intro and title screen for the game (also making a few tweaks behind the scenes, and adding a few cable tiles to make it clear which buttons and switches affect which doors and forcefields etc.); this also means I've finally settled on a name for the game: Escape ROM. It's a terrible name. I love it.

 

 

Obviously it's pretty basic (why yes, I did just massive scale up my robot sprites!), but I think it does the job!

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16 hours ago, yakumo said:

What is the best unity course for a complete beginner?

 

I found this Udemy course to be very good when I did it in late 2017, though I was only a beginner at Unity rather than programming in general. That said, the course does assume you're an absolute beginner and will take you through those fundamentals. You can usually get the course for a little over a tenner.

 

For what it's worth, I almost landed a job using Unity last autumn (I withdrew late on in the process for other reasons, but had been invited for a further chat when I did), and tomorrow I start a short contract primarily as a Unity developer. The course was good enough to give me the experience and confidence that I could do those jobs.

 

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34 minutes ago, Fry Crayola said:

 

I found this Udemy course to be very good when I did it in late 2017, though I was only a beginner at Unity rather than programming in general. That said, the course does assume you're an absolute beginner and will take you through those fundamentals. You can usually get the course for a little over a tenner.

 

For what it's worth, I almost landed a job using Unity last autumn (I withdrew late on in the process for other reasons, but had been invited for a further chat when I did), and tomorrow I start a short contract primarily as a Unity developer. The course was good enough to give me the experience and confidence that I could do those jobs.

 

 

Thanks that sounds really encouraging. At the moment I'm in limbo and I want a different career at this stage of my life, I always wanted to make my games and combine my background of graphics into something more useful.

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2 hours ago, Fry Crayola said:

 

I found this Udemy course to be very good when I did it in late 2017, though I was only a beginner at Unity rather than programming in general. That said, the course does assume you're an absolute beginner and will take you through those fundamentals. You can usually get the course for a little over a tenner.

 

For what it's worth, I almost landed a job using Unity last autumn (I withdrew late on in the process for other reasons, but had been invited for a further chat when I did), and tomorrow I start a short contract primarily as a Unity developer. The course was good enough to give me the experience and confidence that I could do those jobs.

 

Do you have examples of you're work too?

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BTW I made a mistake thinking unity was ue4 and not two different things doh!. Can I ask as someone who has no knowledge of programming is one better than the other?. UE4 seems more 3d focused but can you do 3d and isometric as well?. Not sure which to learn as time is my enemy.

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Gah, this all makes me wish I had time to try making a game. The closest I've come is a randomly generated rogue-like dungeon crawler that I put into my work's website as an easter egg. Sounds fancy, but the 'dungeon' is just an html table! I've put it into a jsfiddle if anyone fancies a go. I can beat it quite easily, but I'd be curious to see how it plays for someone who doesn't know the ins and outs of the enemy weaknesses and damage types.

https://jsfiddle.net/GokouD/t198p6vo/3/

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On 16/06/2019 at 20:22, yakumo said:

BTW I made a mistake thinking unity was ue4 and not two different things doh!. Can I ask as someone who has no knowledge of programming is one better than the other?. UE4 seems more 3d focused but can you do 3d and isometric as well?. Not sure which to learn as time is my enemy.

 

Unity is more versatile, and uses more modern C# code. It’s easier to code in, and can support a much wider variety of games. There are many free resources to use, but not many built in.

 

UE4 can get a game up and running very quickly, assuming you want some sort of shooting, driving or melee combat game. It’s quite limited in terms of doing other things easily, though if you learn to code you can do a lot more. It includes a visual tool that allows you to use code functions without writing actual code. It is very easy to get something to look nice, and there’s a lot of resources included. There’s lots of paid resources. It uses more complex C++ code, though some people think learning that is impressive.

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