MyI@FarNiche

Building an XNA Game Studio XBox360 Indie Game.

[page 0070] ~ Wiki-yep Titan-well Game-hmm et-al :

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Petri dish, home of the Flagellum.

Yikes!  Plan ahead.  My Titan needs to be completed and submitted by July 18th!  That leaves me nine more days to duke it out with the best of them, good luck to me.  At least I have my wiki started up and is well on its way to being … , something, wiki-ish.  As for my game and the Doctor, who is doing something diabolical with the flagellum of his experimental petri dish hoard, will need to wait till after my Titan has been submitted, to then continue his plot to steal away the Wray Pod from the Plumber.  So be it, stay tuned.

Ok, for some odd reason I’m trying to get a blog for my Google g+ Blogger account going.  Hmm, and what I find is that I keep getting claim jumped, http://farniche.blogspot.com/, for BLOGGER, which isn’t mine, and, has nothing added to it, or so it seems, except some cryptic Copts.  That’s par for the course because when I tried to get my original Twitter account for FarNiche at https://twitter.com/FarNiche in 2011, somebody, (from Brazil?), had already taken that name, and I ended up with Far_Niche.  Who or why that should happen I don’t know, but also that twitter has had nothing written to it yet either.  So how many years of NOTHINGNESS have not been written to the name I have chosen through some very strange logical assertions, so long ago, pre 2008, as FarNiche, go figure.  So anyway I now have Blogger hooked into my FarNiche Google site.

Nope, it’s not over yet.  There is a place called www.wix.com that is a great place to build a website.  They have a most excellent What You See Is What You Get interface.  Actually it is rather amazing, I am very impressed.  I would say just check it out for the fun factor, it’s very nice.  So anyway, yes, it is true, I now have a WiX website for FarNiché.  What I’ll be doing with that site is showcasing my Integration Tests in game form, i.e. as #1GAM games that I build.  The pieces will be auditioned from my asset library and become games from the ideas that inspire me.  But those assets need to be tested somehow, so why not in a game situation.  As this process moves along, month by month, the library should fill up with game tested resources that can be reused to promote reoccurring themes within new episodes as I produce more games, and more game assets.  Eventually some storylines should emerge and build up some character narratives, where those too, can become a part of the library.  All this will be showcased from my newest addition, given herein as my most recent creation.  Thanks WiX website.

So my recent escapade has brought about a tumblr, Wikia and a WiX account, each centered on furthering an aspect of FarNiche.  Tumblr is the closest to my asset library initially as it is the pictorial reflection of “Does this work?  Well, how about this.”  It will be filled with milestone pictures and videos taken at each pieces progression through the production pipeline as each moves towards completion.  Wikia is kind of the same except that it is to be geared more toward a written venue and somewhat more of a hierarchical, node based, idea linked, back and forth, brainstormingish site.  And WiX is the hurrah send-off index, where it all comes together, just before the lights are dimmed and the game hits the stage floor.  So WiX is where the building stops and the playing starts site.  Then there is the game itself, but that is outside the scope of what I’m trying to explain about these newest three sites.

Now I can get back to my Titan, seriously.  And how do I get on with creating what I have started.  You’ve guessed it, delays, nothing but delays.  First install service upgrade Substance Designer v4.1.1 to v4.4.0, Substance Painter v0.4.0 to v0.8.2 and Substance Bitmap2Material v4.1.1 to v4.2.1, very nice.  I guess it is better to be slightly inconvenienced and get more functionality than to buy a one trick pony and then call it a day.  The only problem here, and this hints back to the actual idea for the Titan Contest, is that there are no real, in depth, exhaustive resources to explain exactly how to use this Substance Suite of tools.  Even Digital Tutors was rather scant on the video content offered and I’m not even going to check Safari Online Books, nobody will have written a book about the latest upgrades that I had just installed moments ago.  So I guess I will become the scribe, for this, here and now.  It looks like it’s time to muck it up a bit, save once save often, have a backup naming convention like you wouldn’t believe to bring the hammer down on this baby, oh yeah, right to the mat.  Because if it isn’t broken, it still works.  And that’s how that’s going to get done.

Oh no, I’m a noob, in Maya LT hold down the ALT key in perspective mode for orbit, track and pan, duh.  I must have been off and gone doing too much site building.  Hm, I forgot.  Ok, let’s start with something simple, like finding the files that I’ll be working with.  Got one, the Titan base.  Ahh the bad news, now that the SunBase is in Maya LT it can’t be exported as an .obj file unless it has a polygon count under 65,000.  Sad delay, back to the original in ZBrush.  So I open ZBrush and find … was it a .ztl tool or an .obj import?  Time dates of file modifications are a good thing.  That one looks good, the belly cage.  I think I’ll just start a new folder and run with the best assets I have from this point on, the rest are archive fodder, just like Bob Hope, “Thanks, for the memories …”

This is going to be a long trail ahead.  I have an .sbsar file which is the Contest Substance Template. I have my Titan imported into Maya LT.  I have Hypershade loaded up to accept a Substance file and now have the template .sbsar file loaded into Maya LT.  The first thing I notice, after getting the correct settings for the view port to show the Substance on the Titan, is that the texture is not covering the Titan very well because it is not a flat object.  The UV’s are not correct, that is, the UV’s don’t match up with the corresponding pattern of the texture of the given template.  Woe is me, that which I have espied with my most curious orbs.  I know what I would like to happen.  It’s just a matter of figuring out how to get where I need to be using what is requested, and that is the problem.

With the upgrade of Substance Painter I am able to import my Titan for the first time.  Previously I was only able to get the Plumbers’ Wray Pod imported and then, once the Pod was painted, I couldn’t figure out how to export the paint job nor the .obj, i.e. the Wray Pod.  One nice thing about Substance Painter is that it now has a “New” file and a “Close” file protocol to open and close the current work space and project.  Things are either open or closed and the program resets to its default parameters in between.  It sounds silly to be happy about something like that but Substance Painter is a work in progress.  I also know full well, how difficult it is to get everything “tidied up” in between as an onslaught of new projects are requested for input and processing.  My next problem here is that the model mesh needs to have some kind of UV mapping along with the .obj file, or at least that’s the way it seems, so far, so I’ll oblige.  All right, I have a different UV setup and found that I can paint in Substance Painter with symmetry on so, supposedly I only need to paint one side, but, with the UV’s I’m using that doesn’t seem to be the case right now.  My Titan is a very “odd” shape and the UV’s are from ZBrush, where they do have some different choices.  It might make sense to map them out myself, but we shall see.  So once again, file Close and Discard.  Back to ZBrush to delete the UV map and try a different setup.  2048 Packed UV Tiles?  That’s an oldie but goodie.  And I was right about the wacky world of naming conventions, it’s like looking at some old dinosaur lineage map of failed evolutionary bloodlines, no that doesn’t work, nope not quite right, well your good for extinction, hmm try again, and so on and so forth … until it works.

Or until it doesn’t.  Let’s play crash the programs!  I Win!  One might think that I’m trying to punch a little over my weight class, but naw, not me.  That’s one thing that Windows started to fix just before XP.  That is, it would, change the way the Registry was implemented when the boot registry reads and stores a new set of start up points.  So that was just before plug and play too, I think.  So anyway, this is all experimentation and I wouldn’t be happy unless I would see this as me playing demolition derby with all of these programs running at the same time.  Maya LT, once to the mat, ha!  Now back at it.  I don’t know what it is but ZBrush really seems to build these Titan’s small because in Maya LT my Titan is a pip-squeak and fits in one tile of the default grid, Mr. Big Stuff.

Ok, I think I’ve got a heart beat.  I believe I have seen something that looks like a paint job on my Titan in Maya LT using the Substance plug-in in HyperShade that gets its information from an .sbsar file, that I built in Substance Designer.  It’s getting close to “Yippee!” time.  Just a couple more tests to make sure.  Back in Substance Painter, I have my Titan mesh imported while choosing “New” and then my file.  One good thing is that I have my Titan split up into a couple of different pieces now, just so I can move them around and meet the 65,000 polygon count limit as a series of .obj files.  So now I have an .obj file loaded up that was not only an export from ZBrush but then also from Maya LT, and now it is in Substance Painter, pretty cool.  And so after a little bit of uncrashing Painter painting, I save my file and then take a look at what kind of file type it has left behind, and whoa, a whole slew of files that I don’t even know what they are, at least most of them.  So now for the big test, to close and reopen, maybe yikes in stead of yippee, … to be continued.

Well, it loads back up, but the mouse movement is a little clunky right out of the gate, and it has some “Computation in progress …” dialog box in the 3D Mesh viewport and in the UV Map viewport.  Ok, their gone now, about as long as it took for me to click around to write this down, maybe a minute.  It’s back to painting, and after another save, I’m looking around for something to export, like what do I get out of using this program.  So the best thing I can come up with is in File/Export all channels, so I guess I’ll try that and see what happens.  And it says that it will Export a 128, 256, 512, 1024 or a 2048 set of Diffuse, Height, Roughness, Metallic, Normal, Specular and another Diffuse, maps, ok, let’s try it.  The question is where will they be exported to?  So I click Export and I get a SaveAs dialog so I can choose or create another destination folder and I can name the file.  So is that one name for all of the selected files?  Hmm says I and hmm says the Substance Painter Export document progress bar but it looks like it is trying to figure something out, but what, I do not know.

I don’t think I needed all seven of those files, but its a test run, but it is also getting closer to the deadline of my Titan Contest.  Ya live, ya learn.  Wow, my Internet Explorer has stopped working.  Another beat-down.  Send information?  Sure.  So my quad core was running the CPU Usage in between 50 and 75% and it took about 13 minutes to cook out something, so let’s go see.  Well then, the above mentioned seven files each at a resolution of 2048×2048 for a total of 3.96MB, that’s a pretty small footprint for those dimensions.  But what do they do and where do they go and of course, what can I use them for or in?

All right, from what I can recall, I’ll never need all of those files at the same time because there are three different schematics that are used in Substance Designer and they are made up of those seven file types.  So some combination of those seven export types will be needed but never all.  Now I reopened Substance Designer and started a “New” substance and gave that substance four of the seven files and then built a new .sbsar file.  Let’s see what it looks like in Maya LT.  Ok, now we’re getting somewhere.  That looks pretty good on the same Titan version that I painted on, but what if I use a different version of the same Titan, like one that has been run through Decimation Master in ZBrush.  The toughest part about that is remembering which version alpha-number that would be.  That’s the one, 6,616 polys and 221KB, and yes that looks to be it because instead of having all quads the mesh has a lot of tris, oh well.  Oh no, the mesh seems to be missing a lot of painted tris, and that could be due to the UV’s that were used, nope didn’t keep track of that.  So I’ll try to reUV that decimated Titan with the same UV pattern of the Titan I painted in Substance Painter, which has 33,166 polys.  Yep, research, of a sort, kind of.

Decimated down 10%, and it is, 3,316 polys.  All right, new UV’s and following the same strange naming convention for what ever reason.  Now back into Maya LT with you.  Nope, that does not seem to work.  The UV’s don’t match up with the different patterns of the decimated character mesh.  So as it stands, with all of the pieces of my Titan thus far I should be able to get the pieces I have painted and assembled in Maya LT, because although I can’t export an .obj file over 65,000 I can export and .FBX file out and the Titan max size is 100,000 polys for the Titan and 10,000 for the optional base.  Well I know it works and have an idea of what I can do and what needs to get done, but I need some sleep.  Nighty Night.

Good morning, or I should say good afternoon.  Inspiration and “strike while the iron is hot” does not make for the perfect 9 to 5 office hour day.  And it takes a few minutes for this little box of tricks to wake up from its “sleep”-ing state and get all of the programs up and running again, up and at ’em.  So what’s my game plan, what do I need to do to get the required files finished, packaged and out the door.

Well, let’s look at the files that I have from ZBrush.  That is really bad, working till it works and then with my last drops of consciousness, I named some files, so now I have no idea of what the names mean.  Documentation is my friend, my more awake self says to my barely.  But that’s neither here nor there, right now, for once again, it’s time to glean out the best and throw the chaff to the fire. One more new folder, one more new Project Name.

So what do I need for this Titan Pipeline.  First an idea, what is my Titan, how is it envisioned, what is its purpose, how do others perceive and acknowledge its existence.  Is it built for rampage or salvation, does its very essence promote safety or destitution, is there any escape from its clutches or will there be a way to elude its powers.  That was what I started off with.  Then came the idea that was rolling around in the back of my head for some time now and is from my large prototype game and faux GDD.  I see a powerful Titan that cannot be fought, it can only be reconciled to the fact that “It Is” and that is all, for when it “Is Not” those who can only imagine its existence, when the exacted truth in believing “It is not”, will become the failure in their own existences.  Those who once thought “It is” but now believe “It is not” perish, as the Titan that protected them “Is not”.  So in a way they are all a part of the Titan although the Titan exists without them, something akin to “If a tree falls in the forest, does it make any noise.”, or the same for lightning, an exploding volcano or the crashing of the waves on the shore.  So my Titans’ story is that of Spatial Perdition where it protects us from the Universe which we can see, as we see through the invisible powers of the Titan, but we have now grown to this point as slaves to its protection and have been diluted so as to believe the Titan is everywhere and we can go everywhere as if the Titan will follow us around and protect us, everywhere.  And so this is “The Titan God of Spatial Perdition”, where it protects our home planet Earth but not the moon.  It is made of Iron, but it is its mass that holds us close and its magnetic field that protects us.  We are stuck in the belly of the beast, and yet we live on.  The backstory, the Titan.

In ZBrush I started out with some humanish monster in mind that had eaten the Earth, but then realized that I needed to show the cage that we are locked in as we live, generation after generation.  I carved out its belly, and therein went the Earth, then the cage, to surround it, that shows signs for no escape.  But the moon is also there, outside of the cage, to show another place, somewhere that can be escaped to, although it is nothing like home.  But now things start to get technical like the 100,000 polygon count and the main gist of the Contest, using Substance so the judges can see different implementations of the Allegorithmic products.

The Titan Pieces: Earth, Moon, Belly Cage, Split Body.  And then in Substance Painter, [Paint editor] Invalid scene, all meshes need to have UV coordinates, nice warning, back to ZBrush for some UV’s.  Finally, after a long smash, boom, bam fest, with a couple of program crashes, and only two reboots, I have the assets needed that were requested.  Now to package those, just the way they like them, recheck to see if they all work, recheck the naming convention that they are looking for, and then .ftp that little folder off and hope that they like my Titan.

All done, that’s it I hope my Titan is good enough, but I can’t figure out how to make it any better.  It’s a blob of iron, that, for the Mythos detailing for “believers” to engage with, it needed a humanistic attributes, so a body.  Well, I will just need to wait and see, maybe the storyline will help.  Now back to my One Game A Month game and my video game asset library.

The Allegorithmic Titan Page.

G’day.

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July 19, 2014 Posted by | 2014 [0050] to [00??], The Process | Leave a comment

[page 0069] ~ Flag-e-llum :

Updates: –  : XBox Live (on the XBox) , FireFox Flash Player 14.0.0.125.
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This months theme, is FLAG.

For purposes known only to the Doctor, the theme FLAG has become misconstrued, and the prescription has become transcribed, translated, misunderstood and will be further known as Flagellum, a possible cousin of the Cilium,  where it is found that the more silly, um, the better, but I can only guess as I digress.  Back to it, I just installed the latest version of Unity(v4.5) and am continuing my pursuit of animation.  What has come to my attention is that there are more new things to discover inside of Unity that pertain to animation.  The first thing to do is to run through some topics I haven’t crossed paths with before in Unity and within its site: Tutorials/Topics/Animation, Mecanim Example Scenes and Unitys’ Mecanim.

Whoop, I just did it again.  “What is a WIKI?”, I asked myself, mostly by accident, but I did have that thought rolling around in the back of my head for a time now.  So instead of digging into Unity animation and my needed walk cycles I am reading a book, actually cheating by having TextAloud read to me from Safari Books Online, Wikis For Dummies.  I guess that would mean that I am learning one more language, “Wiki Markup”.  No, I will not be installing a huge configuration, like MediaWiki, onto a server farm for millions of users, but there still are some choices of which “wiki” will best suit my needs, what ever those may be.  The way it looks most wikis are using  WYSIWYG to get the markup job done these days.  But in any case I need to know just what a wiki is, how it is to be used, what it does, how it is meant to function as a dynamic definition platform and what can be expected as others will be open to have the opportunity to “contribute” to my wiki site.

All right, I think I have it narrowed down to two WIKI providers, “wikispaces” and “wikia”.  At first I thought that wikispaces would lend itself extremely well to what I was looking for and for what I thought I would like for what I wanted to do.  At $5 a month, in wikispaces, I wouldn’t be bothered by any advertisements and I could customize the face, the wall paper, the skin of the site as I would like.  So like most of my “other” specialized utility sites, Tumblr, Twitter, WordPress, where they all had some customizable attributes, the free wikispaces wiki with embedded advertisers did not provide any customizable attributes.  So my second thought was wikia, well actually my first and second thoughts were MediaWiki and TWiki.  But those two were of the type, “Please install our wiki software into your server farm and keep up with the best security practices available,  … yeah sure … , and other jargon … , and on …”, type of wiki’s.  I have come to see now that those are wiki software packages that build the wiki farms, not the homestead itself that one would inhabit.  This meant that where my first and second intended choices would become heavy on the technical maintenance side for what I would need and would like to accomplish right now, my real choice to opt for the less “engaged” site, now, seems to be more appropriate.  So my viable second choice is, wikia.

Wikia sites have a little button on their wiki pages that will grab a random page and throw it onto the screen.  This is what I found to be very interesting because there are many types of wikis on many assorted subjects utilizing many styles for different purposes.  So after an hour of, hmm, that’s nice, that’s … mm … different, I got a pretty good idea of not only what is out there by how it is represented but also for whom I might build a wiki, i.e. my wiki for others to enjoy.  That idea would afford to others points of entry where their changes come about through their utilization of the subject headers.  I could then allow for portions of my wiki site to be sublet or “wiki hosted” out.  My wiki real-estate, the intended theme of my site, could then be enhanced by others without the worry of those additions contorting the directives of my site, its main idea, thus keeping the site from getting completely bent out of shape and redirected.  Of course, this wiki of mine is all about the gamification of games, the games that I build, where the whole topic surrounding this wiki site is Game Design and Development.  So right now, I’m leaning towards wikia because wikispaces seem to be geared more towards solitude and academia, which isn’t a bad thing, but I need to move my little Niche wiki further into the limelight for others to be able to find and be able to contribute to and edit easily, sooner than later.

And “wikia” seems to be taking the lead in my choices.  On YouTube, there is a Wikia University that show some of the features of wikia, and the Safari Dummies book is also a big help in this decision making process.  Another aspect of this gamification addition of mine is that this wikia wiki will fit in well because it fits the motif of some of the sites I’ve signed up for at One Game A Month, like NewGrounds, Kongregate, IndieDB or GameJolt.  So somewhere in between all of those “Hey, we might host your game over here”, when I finally finish my game, sites, I will also have some backing for the game apart from the game site that it is hosted on.  So as I build I will be able to use a wiki to consolidate my game parts into some assemblance of order, which is something that is sorely lacking within my set of web and accompanying sites, at this time.

But the main argument I have found is that wikispaces would be the perfect match, if I were building a closed environment wiki, the cloister wiki, with what I am trying to accomplish with my wiki.  But the other side of the argument is, a wiki is exactly not that when it is opened up to suggestions for others ideas and becomes conducive to changes because the very essence of what a wiki is, is that it is an editable platform, within reason, by anyone, with interests that pertain to the essence of that wiki.  So having it not be exactly what is thought to be needed but at the same time having it become purely not not that case, as it would become a simple and purely internally generated help file, but through its very nature of it being a wiki and therefore, it is by definition not static, it then becomes exactly what is needed.  Logical Weirdness, that’s what you get for handing off the reins, of the wiki, thanks Ward Cunningham.  So a wiki can have structure, but because it is a dynamic reversioning tool, it has a chance to delineate towards something slightly different every time it is visited, or so it would seem, to the administrator who intended a course of purpose for the subject held by the wiki.  There are also protections that are available so as to keep the pages un- or less- editable and thereby capable of maintaining a good portion of the intended structure.

Well then, I now have a wikia wiki going by the name of, yes, you guessed it, FarNiché.  And after trying to pound the weeds down, the advertisements, and flipping over the soil, their templates, which can not be done with too much success, I noticed that the advertisements will go away when editing a page.  So all that is needed, is for the work-a-day editor of the site, me, to just become buried on the inside of the site by doing the revisions.  I’ll just keep working on this newest site of mine, which, while working on the inside should knock down the eye ruckus on the outside.  And that just about wraps that up.  I have a new wiki on wikia that follows the same design scheme of my Home website Research section, where now all three, my tumblr site, my Wikia wiki and my Research section all have the same wall paper theme.

That’s about as good as it gets for now.  This wiki idea has panned out, but at the same time, it has eaten up the time I thought I would be using for my Titan and this months game.

Here it is, links to my FarNiche tumblrFarNiche wiki and FarNiche Research.

Oh yeah, before I go, one really cool thing I got from the Wikia wiki place is a “Favicon”, Fav: as in (favorite) when you make a web page an internet favorite saved to your favorites folder, an “icon” as in an (.ico) like a real live icon, that you need to provide yourself, of course, that is in front of the web address or is shown in the favorites bar of the browser.  So its a “Fav” – “icon” and now, all three, my wiki, tumblr and website all have the same Favicon.  I had to dig pretty deep for that one, about back to 2001-2003 there abouts, which is a duel icon, a 16×16 AND a 32×32 picture of a computer base unit with a monochrome green screen and keyboard all built into one icon file.  Yep, it was a hat trick but I pulled that one off and out of one of my old Visual Basic 6.0 programs that I built way back then, woo-hoo!

Back again soon,

G’day.

July 9, 2014 Posted by | 2014 [0050] to [00??], The Process | | Leave a comment

[page 0068] ~ Look Ma NO HANDS! :

Updates: – FireFox v26.0 to v30.0 :  .
DownLoads: – Unity v4.3.4f1 to v4.5.1f3.

A quick change of plans.

The Plumber looks up at the volcano and wonders if he should try the assent alone.  He could write a note and leave it behind for the Doctor, a seasoned mountaineer, to follow him up later on.  The weather, from all of the previous reports, was to be clear, cool and dry.  But his main base camp, the landing site of the Wray Pod, was some distance from this initial way point.  Leaving it to chance that the Doctor would make it to the Wray Pod on time to then make it over to this first base camp began to seem a little too chancy.  It was in an obscure location and the only feature that marked it out was that of a large tree.  But it was the most expansive and open range at the base of this Island Volcano.  It would be nearly impossible to miss.

The Plumber thought on.  He looked at his map, his tools, his supplies, all his gear.  He could do it alone, probably.  It would be rough, initially.  It should get easier, eventually. And it is nice out now.  The Plumbers thoughts kept rolling through the deck in his head.  “I need to get there.”, he yelled, “I know it’s still there.  It’s got to be!”  Finally the Plumber dug through his backpack for his phone, “What kind of signal will I get out here?”, he mumbled to himself.  “I’ll probably get that Doctors’ answering service, fat lot of good all that will do me now.”  “Where IS that damned phone?  I know I packed it in.  It’s got to be here, … somewhere.”

There must be more nefarious means in the works.  Something is not quite right.  The Plumber finally comes to the conclusion that the Doctor is going to be late and that the journey forward is no longer an option.  “Discretion is the better part of valor“, he thought.  To carry everything back to the main camp would be less foolhardy than to carry it all to the next unforeseen camp, leading him into what he believed would be his impending demise, up the dead volcanoes’ face, alone.  So leaving a note for the Doctor pinned to the tree mentioning that something was amiss but he will speak no further of it in this note, the Plumber loads himself up with everything worth carrying back and heads off to the main camp, his Wray Pod.

Yep, it’s true.  I did not get my Doctors’ animations set up in time and so the story line needed to change and align itself with the new narrative.  This will become a short game of hide and seek, again.  Hmm, and a new version of Unity is now available, so, sure, nothing but delays, let’s go for it 1,149,250 KB of new Unity!  But I am not going to install this until I get this months game finished.

The way it looks, the Plumber has a little bit more life in him than I was first lead to believe.  He has not injured himself, yet, and has come to the conclusion that he must get back to his ship and find his buddy the Doctor before he runs off and gets hurt himself.  So instead of having the Doctor rescue the Plumber, which of course he can’t because the Doctor has no animation cycles, the Plumber will need to hoof and fin it back to his own ship.  And that is the game, for the Plumber to find the Doctor and his ship, hint: they are both in the same place, above water, on a small green Island, not on the volcano island.  And yes, there is no penalty for breathing underwater.

So then, to find that all is not lost, I will see if I can figure out how to get the Doctors’ stretching routine into this game.  The Doc needs to keep busy while waiting for the Plumber, right?  And I have found a file for the Plumber, an .FBX file that has the four animations, idle, walk, run and jump set into one timeline that amount to a total between 0 and 165 ~ 170 seconds.  So each animation looks to follow one right after another.  From there what I would guess would happen is that Unity would read the .FBX file, and from the given scripts that I have yet to build, those blocks within that timeline would be read when that script is called.  Hmm, I think I’ll be using the Doctor but he will just stand there in his T-Pose by the ship waiting for the Plumber to return.

Well, it’s not like I didn’t get something done this month, but as for building a game that becomes more reliant on my own assets to form the plot and draw the lines of the story arcs, it may be just a little longer.  So far I have my terrain, a ship and the Doctor, the Plumber isn’t quite on loan, more like a transitional employee, but he will soon be on his way.  It would seem that I would or should be cruzin’ along a little more quickly seeing that I’ve been building with Unity since February.  But it isn’t just the game engine, it’s all of the other mechanisms that need to work together and the biggest part of working together is the “being on time” part.  The Doctor said he would be there but then, … nothing.  Eventually he showed up but, woopty-doo, he didn’t do anything to move the story along.  He could do his exercises at home, back in Maya LT, but when he was out on the road, in Unity, nope, pure stage fright, nothing to add.

And that is were it all stands.  First, my terrestrial environment is still on the undone side.  I can fall off the edge of the game map without warning.  The player becomes unrecoverable and unresetable so that is not a good thing.  But, I do like the smooth shore lines and the depth of distance falloff.  The fog adds a lot to the sky and the distant mountains horizon.  The size of the map for the Hero seems to be big enough to not know exactly what is around the next corner.  The skyboxes also work well enough and can add up to at least half of the background.  For the foreseeable future my games will be outdoor survival-like games.  I have also tried to use a different sky map for each of my games where I have had a terrain built for, in Unity, thus far.  The Wray Pod was a practice ship from my one month trial of Maya 2014 and Digital Tutors from a “this is how this works” tutorial.  But I built that ship in a version of Maya where they were using mental ray shaders, I think, and were using techniques that didn’t quite pertain to my indie game toolset.  It was more of a how to build a semi-realistic cartoon animation with higher resolution models.  So that one was exported as an .obj file that went into Maya LT and ZBrush for some finish work.  That’s what I ended up with while building my Wray Pod, puddle jumper, island hopping transport, heroes’ base camp.  Maybe I could talk the Plumber out of that ship and give it to the Doctor, somehow, but that’s a different story, for later on.

That wraps up this months game.  I have only built four games in Unity.  This will be my fifth.  I seem to have a grasp on what I would like to happen, and my Cadre of One, The Doctor, will soon be out and about, looking for more recruits, to boldly go where no Cadre has gone … well, no, actually, to boldly go to the next FarNiche, that’s where it goes, sometimes something like that of the last Niché, before.

Again, this months game, The Island of Doctor Merlot and my Titan Concept.

G’day.

July 2, 2014 Posted by | 2014 [0050] to [00??], The Process | | Leave a comment