Saturday, October 27, 2018

Melbourne International Games Week 2018: Unite Melbourne, GCAP and more!

Oh wow, what a week!  

This has been a fantastic week in Melbourne, with so many inspiring events, great weather, lovely people, and big news.  MIGW is comprised of a bunch of events, including:

  • Unite Melbourne 2018
  • GCAP Conference 2018
  • Freeplay Parallels 2018
  • PAX Australia 2018

I went to some networking and drinks events and parties, but I made sure I didn't go too crazy, or stay out too late, and even after the whole week, I feel good!

I went for nice walks on my days off, taking photos of Merri Creek, and trees and flowers, and listened to a great podcast with Robin Hunicke and Kelly Wallick about lots of things, including how interfaces and algorithms of stores need a big refresh from a new direction.

I took about 500 photos over the week, and thought I'd upload a snapshot of the week through a selection of my favorite 150 photos.  A lot of the photos are of the talk slides, because I'm a conference nerd.  :)  

You can find them on Facebook here...

Here's a handful of the photos from the MIGW18 album below.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Audio Visualization - Koch Fractals

I completed another great Audio Visualization tutorial by Peer Play about Koch Fractals.

Here are my personalised results, using a song I recorded a few years back.

This has been really fun and interesting.

I'm really excited to dig into this more some time, and making a more customised visual composition choreographed to a specific song.

One day!

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Audio Visualization - My first experiments

Today I followed a cool Audio Visualization tutorial by Peer Play, to learn the basics of how to get an application or game responding to audio in realtime.
Peer Play's tutorial can be found here, and you can support him on Patreon to continue his interesting tutorials and works.

My video shows the major steps of going through the tutorial, and my resulting experiments.

I'm using some music by Guney Ozsan (tracks from the game Rad Skater Apocalypse that I made), and some of my own music as well. :) 

I've always wanted to play around with music visualisation, so this is really exciting! :) 

I might try to incorporate elements into my next game, whether it ties directly with the gameplay, or just spices up the menus or something.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Quake: Underwater Jam - "Bad Day at the Research Facility"

Recently, the Quake Mapping community ran a map jam with the theme "Underwater", so I decided to join in, using the great new editor called Trenchbroom.

This is the FUNC_MSGBOARD release thread, where you can download the maps, and read people's comments, etc.

Get your fingers wet in these 9 awesome water themed maps by:
  • Bloodshot 
  • Giftmacher 
  • ish 
  • JCR 
  • muk 
  • nyo (Nyoei) 
  • Pinchy 
  • Pritchard

My map is called "Bad Day at the Research Facility" and is a Half Life / Science themed map in an underwater research facility that comes under attack during your first day at work.

The map features the voice acting talents of Brendan Barnett whom I frequently work with because he is amazing.

The jam went for 25 days, and in that time I did about 135 hours of mapping, which was pretty intense!

For me, the main purpose of doing the jam was to get more practice creating levels, and investigating the Trenchbroom mapping workflow, for research to improve my own tools and processes for my next Unity game I'm working on.

On this front, it was a fantastic experience, and Trenchbroom provided a template for many great ways to work, and I'm hoping that tools in Unity like ProBuilder will help build fast, cool looking, fun levels, with some approaches I've nabbed from Trenchbroom.

Here's a bunch of screenshots from my Quake level, "Bad Day at the Research Facility".

We start off in a lab, performing some routine tasks for our boss who speaks to us over the intercom.

The large staff locker room.

Through the vents we go.

Heading towards the central elevator.

The warehouse has been overrun with ogres.

The final scramble up the central elevator.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

ROMERO - Dev Video #10 - Post Processing V2, Explosions, Stealth

OK!  I've upgraded the project to Unity 2018.2, and gone through and cleaned up the code base, and upgraded things that were either deprecated or dodgy.

Post Processing V2
I've deleted all the Image Effects of old and moved to Post Processing V2, and it's great!

You can set up a Post Processing Volume, which can be applied to the gameplay camera globally, then have another global volume for "Slow Mo" effect, which can be "weighted in" as needed, using a lerp.  Quite easy once you get your head around how it's all designed to work.

I went a bit crazy with the effects...  just a bit.  Added lots of bloom, grain, vignette, and dirt on the lens.  Shall tone that back in due course.  ;)

Reworked my explosions so they are triggers instead of colliders.  (It was super stoopid before).  Now enemies get hurt if they touch an explosion trigger, and take damage based on how far they are from it, and also a killing explosion will add force to the player based on direction and distance.  (Feeling like I'm getting better at working with Vector3 math these days!).

Upped the stealth values so they come into play properly again these days.  Player can now hide in the shadows, but once they trigger an enemy's attention, their alertness values go higher, and they will now spot you in shadows, and you'll have to run away and hide for a bit to lower their alertness levels back down again.


Cleaning up!
So, I'm feeling pretty good about having cleaned up the project, ready to start on some new features.  There's still some things to clean up, like...

  • Making the enemy pathfind smoothly even if you are currently out of reach - they are a bit jerky at the moment, sorta stuck between two states.
  • Making the drone fly around with drone sounds, and tilting into movement, and rotating smoothly at all times - generally making them look and feel more physically believable.
  • Turning the effects down to a reasonable level!  :D

What's next?
Looking further into the future, my design goal are to...

  • Play around with another 3 or 4 systems / tools / mechanics - get a core set of things into the sandbox that feel fun, and work together nicely, and create something a bit more unique.
  • Then build a single level that really puts all those elements to the test, together, in context.  Give the player an objective, and have it balanced to be a challenge to use all your wits and abilities to reach that goal.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

ROMERO - Dev Video #9 - Putting it all together

A quick video showing some highlights from putting everything together in the level.

I added some collections of glowy screens / window-lights.

So there's the baddy cyborg froods, the slow-mo ability, and the drones flying around, along with keys and doors.

It's all a bit clunky currently, and I need to go through and clean up / smooth out the keys and doors, the way explosions look and feel, and how explosions react with enemies.

Gotta get drones flying around a bit better, with sounds and tilting.

Lots of tweaking and cleaning up to do!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

ROMERO - Dev Video #7 & #8 - Drone AI

I've started working on a new AI type... a DRONE!

It's inspired a bit by the "manhacks" from HL2, at least in terms of getting it moving.

It may be a meany, or it may be friendly. Maybe some of each.

In the first video, I've just got it doing basic hovering movement.

I'm looking to do AI in a fashion that lets them navigate spaces dynamically, as I'm considering procedurally generated levels.

I'd also like my humanoid enemies to be able to jump, climb, etc, so I don't really want to just be tied to a NavMesh.

The second video steps through some more stages of progress with the Drone.

I got it moving to a position in space, which I'd move around by hand, just to get that working and visible. Then I got it moving to random points around itself.

Then I made it so that if it sights the player it moves to random points around the player, as if tracking/following them. Next up... I want to start adding "vibe" to it, though tilting into movements, and having cool sounds that match it's motions. It needs to be smoothed out and made more fluid, and also to only move to points that are comfortably far from the ground and walls.