MyI@FarNiche

Building an XNA Game Studio XBox360 Indie Game.

[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.

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July 2, 2014 - Posted by | 2014 [0050] to [00??], The Process |

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