Reviewing feedback

Got some feedback on Robbing HUD from two of the people that agreed to test it.

There was some really useful feedback on the balance as that was one area I really wanted to get some feedback on as I was very much just playing to test if things broke when I played it.

There was also useful feedback on the overall difficulty.  I always wanted it to be challenging, but seems it might be unfairly challenging.  The difficulty apparently ramps up too quickly and the maths quizzes become undoable in the allocated time.  In addition to this information wasn’t clear (such as which jobs would earn more/less money).

Now I’m trying to decide where to go with this.  I intended the game to be a quick simple project just for the sake of having something out there and I could tidy up a few bits and get it out quickly.  I always ended to release it as a set your own price kind of game so I wasn’t too concerned about it being ‘perfect’ (or near), but perhaps I should consider spending a bit more time just tidying up a few bits so at least it plays better.

On the one hand I don’t want to labour too much over what was intended to be a rough quick project, but on the other I don’t want to ignore the possibility of improving things after dedicating a bit more time.  Think I may try and do a half-way between those two things, just need to figure out what that half-way would contain.

Just gone through and listed 12 changes I would consider (others are worthwhile, just not in the scope of this project).  Seven of them are small changes that will be implemented and now I’m just trying to figure out how much time the other five would take and what exactly they would entail (as they’re not simple “change this to this” kind of things but additions of features or significant changes of existing ones).

Microdecisions

While working I’ve been musing on ‘microdecisions’.  With this current project I’ve tried to really think it out in advance – plan each stage, possible action, script needed etc but of course as you go through you realise something you hadn’t fully considered, or something doesn’t work as planned and all that.

I do like just grabbing a scrap of paper and scribbling it out and resolving it, just a shame not everything is document.  I would like a project one day to be fully documented so I can look back at the history and hopefully learn from it.  Or I may never want to look at it again!

Punderbar

Figured out a puntastic name for the side project I’m working on and really pleased with myself because its so bad its good.

You play as someone that is hacking people and stealing their money and its all done through Unity’s UI system (replicating a computer) so it’s going to be called…Robbing HUD.

And yes I know it isn’t really a HUD but its close enough and I’m pleased!

Now just to finish it…

AI AI AI

Trying to get enemy AI working is proving to be a huge headache.

Trying to piece together different states and get them all working is more complicated than I thought it would be!  Re-wrote it and that helped a bit, but still having problems with the pathfinding system.  If there’s more than one enemy the target point goes off and I can’t figure out why.

Wish Unity had a 2D navmesh system built in.  Looked around and tried some assets but not having much look.

I’m Outta Here

So I finally quit work.

I’ve been mulling it over a lot lately.  There was a day (maybe the first day…) at work just after I got back from Greece at the end of last month where people were explaining problems and issues and all I could think was “why should I pretend to give a shit about this”.

So after a lot of thinking and talking to that colleague you speak to about these kind of things (good old work friends) I decided I knew I wanted to leave by the end of May because that’s when things get awful and busy.  I knew at the earliest I wanted to leave at the start of February so my last year of my 20s would be away from that place.  So with my three month notice period I had to hand it in some time between November and February, so I thought I would get to November and just quit when it felt right.  I lasted until mid-October.

I’m going to stay until February 5th (Friday before my birthday) and I’ve given in an excessive notice, but I just wanted to say it and boy did it feel good.

So yeah, I’ll be focusing full time on this game thing.  Let’s see how that goes!

To build or to buy?

After a few weeks off (because of working overtime and holiday) I’m back to working on my game.

Currently trying to get an enemy patrol system working and while I’m sure with perseverance I’d be able to get it, questioning whether I should just buy something from the Asset Store.  On the one hand its good to learn, on the other hand perhaps I can learn from picking apart.  Part of me is always worried I’ll find something coincidentally without really knowing what it does.

Week off reflection

This week I’ve been off work and tried to make progress with the video game project I’m working on.  As Sunday is drawing to an end, unfortunately, I thought I’d reflect on the things I’ve managed to achieve:

  • Set up a prototype
  • Got the player moving (although I have at the moment taken an open source script for that)
  • Got the enemy moving, rotating and shooting randomly
  • Got it so that if the player is in sight of the enemy when it shoots they get money deducted and an icon briefly pops up
  • Player must pick up an item before they can exit (item disappears on pickup)
  • Player must pick up all items before they can exit, although at the moment it’s a hard-coded number.  Would ultimately be a proper count of how many items there are in the scene
  • Player can exit and character is destroyed
  • Overarching timer running while the game is active.  Not doing much now, but will come in handy
  • If a player gets shot too many times it calls the police
  • If it keeps happening it calls another policeperson
  • If it happens after that its game over and timer is stopped
  • Began work on the Design Document.  Managed to get a fair bit done in terms of story, structure and mechanics.  Need to sit down and factor in the creative side (art, music etc) at some point
  • Tried to arrange a meeting with people involved.  Nobody has responded yet but let’s assume they will…

Obviously still a lot to do, but I’m happy with the progress I’ve made thus far.  Unfortunately as of tomorrow I’m working 12 days in a row and then after that in Greece for 4 days (less unfortunate) so won’t get too much time to spend on it in the coming weeks.  I want to get a basic inventory system in place, a UI to display the money the player has and figure out exactly how I’m going to structure all of the different enemy types.  Oh and the design document.

Enemy Movement Test

Started working on a game idea I had. Got the enemies up and running in the sense that they can:

  • Move in a random direction (vertical, horizontal or diagonal) at a random speed
  • Rotate randomly
  • Spot the player (although nothing happens at the moment)

Obviously still more needs to be done as ultimately they’d need to do something when they spot the player, not bump into each other/map boundaries etc but it’s a good start.

Felt like uploading the video as it looks kind of weird. Or I’m easily amused at the moment.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHB9kX9refs]

Anger leads to prosperity…hopefully

About two weeks ago after a shitty day at work I did what everyone in their 20s does – moaned about it online.

I posted, somewhat flippantly, on Facebook that I was sick of work and asked who wanted to open up a game studio. I’d been working on getting myself to a position whereby I could leave work to make games early-to-mid next year but really I was just ranting.

However, a number of people responded and seemed interested so now I might just do that…

Obviously it’s in the early stages but I’ve asked for people to give me details about what they’re good at, interested in, availability etc and the next step is to start generating ideas. I’ve got ideas of my own of course, but given there’s this greater than anticipated interest I thought it would be good to draw from that and see where we go.

Who knows, it could be the start of something great!

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