Programming

Back to Unity 3D

So my Kickstarter quietly (but I suppose not unexpectedly) failed yesterday, though backers did pledge to contribute $785 of the requested $9,000. Which isn’t completely horrible for spending no time building an audience. But it wasn’t nearly enough, so unfortunately there won’t be a book on melody from me in 2016. Not sure yet if I’ll try to build an audience and try another Kickstarter later, or if I’ll find some other way to find the time. But it’s back to being on the back-burner for now.

Other than that, I’m still learning the ins and outs of Unity3D. I’m confident I can learn the programming side with more practice and experience; Unity is so much more convenient and intuitive than the engines I fooled around with a bit more than a decade ago in high school. (I could swear I used to understand quaternions when I was in high school. Not that I really need to understand them now, as Unity takes care of them, but I still want to understand them again, if I ever really did.)

I’m also not worried about game design. Though I don’t really have much practical experience with it (beyond daydreaming), it is the fun part of game development. Writing, designing puzzles, storytelling, etc… Those are what excite me about game development in the first place. I would never have bothered to learn GW-BASIC when I was in elementary school if storytelling through video games didn’t excite me.

What I don’t have any experience with is creating art for games. Modeling, texturing, or drawing in general. And since I can’t afford to hire freelancers, that’s something I’m going to have to learn, and a skill I’d love to have anyway. Though I may try programming a game that features purely abstract shapes to circumvent the need for art, I still want to create adventure games at some point, and those will require some modeling and texturing skills.

So there’s that fun stuff, and of course I’ve still got some novels I’m working on…

By S P Hannifin, ago
Computer games

Unity and games and stuff

Learning Unity!

This week, at the expense of working on my next novel*, I’ve been getting back to studying Unity, the game development platform. My new computer handles it beautifully, nice and fast. And I found some great introductory tutorials to start with from a “gamesplusjames” from Ireland, land of me forefathers:

It’s still a lot to take in; I don’t know if it’s just my aging brain or that I haven’t been programming regularly for a long time now, but I’m definitely slower at learning this sort of stuff than I used to be. Anyway, Unity makes a lot of stuff pretty easy; wish something like this was out when I was in high school.

(* On a side note, my writing blog is down for the moment. It was getting inundated with bots, and just pointing the domain back to the registrar was my lazy way to try to get them to go away. It’ll be back at some point.)

Let’s Plays!

With my powerful new computer, I’ve been able to record some “Let’s Plays” on my new YouTube gaming channel, SirDragonWizardMasterLord, the dorkiest name I could come up with.

Probably won’t make them regularly, but it was fun to try, and I was very impressed with how well my computer could handle them; capturing video didn’t slow the games down at all, even with the games’ graphics settings at their highest. Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 970 is just awesome.

Inside Out’s blatant plagiarism!

I saw Pixar’s latest, Inside Out, earlier this week. It was a great film, but as I mentioned on Twitter:

By S P Hannifin, ago