Building an XNA Game Studio XBox360 Indie Game.

[page 0077] ~ Reading The Tea Leaves :

Updates: – Substance Designer 5.0.3, Substance Painter 1.3.4, NVIDIA Driver v352.86, FireFox 38.0.1 .
DownLoads: – Unity5 v.0.1f1,  Unity5 v.0.2f1.

So there was this sale on Unity Assets and instead of reinventing the wheel, I gave some thought about where this game creation adventure would best lead me next.

BIG Environment Pack and BIG Environment Pack Vol.3 seemed to offer the most scenery for my nearly barren maps created thus far.  After installation, both are working well and have added a lot of content and context to the different biomes that I had set out to express.  Initially, I used stratification layers mapped to my terrain height map using a texture/diffuse/albedo color gradient map.  Now, on those layers, I can add from the two packs which include: Skyboxes, Grasses, Plants, Flowers, Bushes, Trees, Rocks & Stones, Underbrush, Out Buildings, and Misc Props to name a few.  This should be more than enough to flesh-out the places that my RPG characters will be running about, in and through.

And … , that brought up another thought, and another search, and another sale item that caught my eye.  Apex Path was also seen soon afterwards on sale, and after looking around at other AI offerings, this also seemed to be the best and most robust package for my needs.  This content is used to build intelligent paths for moving objects in the game, usually bipedal characters.  I’m sure I could configure the, as yet to be created, animals that will roam through the Flora and Fauna to add to the Biodiversity I’m seeking to grow.  But what I find intriguing is that the creator also built many Apex Path Video Tutorials that explain each function with a use case.  The written documentation that explains the script elements comes in a .chm HTML Help and PDF file format also.  The code is well formatted, commented and easily understandable, from a prior C++ students point of view.

Then, while watching some of the videos, it came to my attention that the creator of Apex Path, while scripting, was using something that looked like Visual Studio Community 2013.  So that turned into another search and find mission because I had become accustomed to using VS Express 2010 to build XNA games and am familiar with the interface.  I have also realized that the MonoDevelop IDE, installed with Unity, for writing scripts perpetually uses an exceedingly annoying brace placement to enclose its function body.  One is at the end of the function definition in the first line.  The other at the end of the empty function body on the second line.  Most preferably, line zero is the function definition with a single opening brace on line one, then lines x to y are the nested/indented body logic ending with an outdented brace, by itself, as the last line.  But every time a new code page is created in MonoDevelop I need to move the first brace back under the function definition so the XML region format, the collapsible sidebar grouping lines, align to each other and match as an enclosing set of paired braces.  It is still aggravating just talking about remembering it.

So once again I installed VS Community 2013, and also found Visual Studio 2013 Tools for Unity (download), and Visual Studio Tools for Unity (documentation), yet to be installed.  This article Microsoft partners with Unity to bring full Visual Studio integration was what set me off in this search, and I’m glad it did.

Well, bang goes my XBox LIVE Indie Games Role Playing Game salvage idea.  Once again Microsoft has proven industrial bureaucracy is the “Middle Man” whose fingers are always in the proverbial pie where nothing is sacrosanct about sustainability and only brings a dreadful demise, a dead end to a lineage, a pruning shears to another branch.  Just like Visual Studio 6.0 w/ service pack 3, Unsupported and then Non-supported with the Y2K troubles, and so the start of the dot NET Framework.  And again like Windows XP with the cutoff date of, “Please use before but don’t use beyond April 2014”, done, “These are not the drones you are looking for, move along : ‘Move Along’.”  So anyway, “Error initializing Games for Windows – LIVE.” in “base.Initialize();” is what happens at the beginning, the start of the debug run, a dead halt.  Apparently the compiler needs to call that function, somehow, lest catastrophic failure of said build process ensues, and it does, so it doesn’t, oh joy.  In layman’s terms, it will neither build nor compile and subsequently it will not run the game, “NONE shall pass!”  Soooo … seeing all that is left are code pages from the husk of an ungrowing kernel of programmed wheat solution, the (RolePlayingGame), I will very briefly glean through the last remnants of what was thought to be of some help, my supposed next step in recreating an RPG.  This old technology may still have a trickle of use yet but my venture in recollection seems to have quickly turned into a Bob Hope song, “Thanks for the memories” and a sigh.  Next idea?

As for my desired RPG venture, it looks like I will be doing some more research about another add-on, Dialogue System for Unity.  This asset adds the capacity to have a written storyline incorporated into the game.  Heroes and NPC’s are given a way to converse with one another so the story, beyond the hack and slash, can solidify with character buildup and story arcs where recollection of an Avatars previous interactions can sway the storyline.  This guides the players through story specific waypoints set throughout the game as quests.  A menu system that uses the new Unity 5 canvas model drives the Graphical User Interface which affords for the building of selectable dialog messages within the game.  So for a Role Playing Game this will also become another, “Don’t reinvent this wheel either” kind of investment.  I think this might be the case for many of a few more things to come, in the future.

Then, the lynchpin of the above Dialogue System, the selection logic that drives the next decisions, the next conversations to be had, is, or seems to be, a companion application to the afore mentioned add-on.  And as of now, it may or may not probably not, but at some point in time may also be available through the Unity Asset Store, but at this point in time is not , called Chat Mapper.  Chat Mapper uses the Lua language to build conditional scripts that direct the conversation through triggered choices through the given menu options built with Dialogue System.  So one is the faceplate on the screen and the other is the conversal automation, the part that configures what is said next.  But these last two will be seen by me some time off.  I need a Hack & Slash before the niceties of civil discourse can evolve.

In other news, the BETA program is over and the full release of FL Studio 12 is finally out!  Maya LT 2016 is also out and the upgrade has many changes, so more research.

Once again, that is all.


June 5, 2015 Posted by | 2015 [0073] to [0???], The Process | Leave a comment