Cracking Open a Virtual Cold One

As of writing this post I'm 18 hours away from officially turning 21 years old. Since I didn't want to wait to enjoy a brewski I used my game development skills to create a totally realistic simulation.


The game is still prealpha and there are no builds available yet.

Solar Eclipse 2017

Experiencing a total solar eclipse has been on my bucket list since I was a young child. I remember seeing one portrayed in an animated Nickelodeon movie and I always wondered why they always happened in Africa but never in the United States. Now I can confidently cross that one off my bucket list.

Check out my video about it:


Anyways, my friends Ty, Heather and I drove over 8 hours from our homes in the North Bay, California all the way to Madras, Oregon. Madras is where all the cool kids watched the eclipse from and was very close to the center of the totality path.

We were extremely fortunate that things worked out the way it did. We drove up Sunday and did not hit any significant traffic. We didn't have solar viewing glasses until about 20mins before C1. We just happened to stumble upon a coffee stand that sold genuine eclipse2017.org glasses for a reasonable $5. Also, we found a nice spot on the side of a farm road. We were even near some cows. We were hoping they would freak out but all they really did was stand up.

Anyways, I'm really glad I was able to experience the totality. Also, I'm thankful that my retinas didn't get cooked.

Ludum Dare 38 Submission


So this definitely isn't one of my best submissions. There's no real game mechanic here so it's pretty boring. At the very least I reached one of my goals, which was to make a game in 3D. I also learned a lot from this and I had fun doing it. I'll do a more in-depth postmortem soon. 

Go play it now, if you dare!




Goals for Ludum Dare 38

Theme: A Small World

As I'm starting to write this post it is less than eight minutes before Ludum Dare actually starts. First things first if you haven't seen the documentary I made you should go watch it now! I will write a more detailed post about the making of it later.




Ok, now for Ludum Dare I usually like to start with some goals. Obviously there is the goal of making a game but I need even more constraints than that. So for this Ludum Dare my "sub-goals" are:

  • Make a game that's in 3-D
  • Make a game that's mechanically complete
  • Optional: Make a game that works on Mobile
That's pretty much it for now. I don't even know if I'm doing the compo or the jam. If some friends contact me wanting to help that's fine. If not I'll push for the compo.

Godspeed everyone!


Ship Game

I'm making a game all about ships! I'm thinking about making it a tile based rogue-like, kinda like FTL, except it has realtime combat. I'll update with more specific design goals once I have some more systems implemented.




Right now I have a lot to learn. I'm trying to get back into modeling with Blender. Also simulating water is really complicated. I found a couple articles that will hopefully be helpful in getting the boats to actually float and interact with the water. 

What I Learned From Making a Flappy Clone




So after seeing Team Talima and Unity Tech make Flappy Bird clones on Twitch, I wanted to try to make one for myself. I realize that it's already 2017 and Flappy Bird is no longer all the rage. However, it's simple enough to make in one day and it's an interesting learning opportunity. 

Resources


I watched this tutorial by Unity. It is a recording of a live training session that was broadcast on Twitch. I want to make it clear though that I did not follow this tutorial step by step. Instead, I watched it leisurely, as in it played in the background while I was performing other tasks. I later challenged myself to get most of the programming done in one hour without consulting the tutorial.

I think this is definitely an interesting way to follow a tutorial. Sometimes when following tutorials step by step it's easy to lose sight of why certain things were done. So if you're trying to learn Unity, I would definitely recommend trying to replicate what a tutorial teaches without consulting the tutorial itself. Then, afterwards, review the tutorial again to fix things that were implemented poorly.

My piano teacher always used to tell me, "practice make permanent." So while making a lot of bad games is the way to level up your skills, always take the time to learn how to do things right.

Building For iOS 


This one was driving me to crazy town. I so desperately wanted to build a game to iOS and have it playable on my iPad. The problem is that iOS is not an easy operating system to create a build for. It is nothing like building for Windows or Android. Apple has got development for iOS locked down and it is virtually impossible to do so without a Mac. 

What about Unity cloud build? Yeah, sure. You can go that route. You just have to apply to be an Apple developer and hand them a Benjamin. Except, it's not that easy. In order to even set up your account and generate required signing keys, you must have a Mac.

So as a non-mac owner I... I bought a Mac. Yep, that's right, I went to the dark side. It's okay, I really needed a new laptop anyways. I got an older MacBook Pro (2012) on the cheap from the electronicBay. I then picked up a nice Samsung SSD and inserted an 8GB ram stick I had lying around. So now, I have a decent portable dev machine. Most importantly though, I can now build for iPad with ease! :D

Anyways, the way building to iOS with Unity works is that it exports a native X-Code project. You then have to open the project inside X-Code and from there it can be compiled and sent to a device for testing. It's not all that difficult and I'm excited to learn about building for this platform.

Saving High Scores


Sometimes it's important to just be aware of what the tools you are working with are capable of doing. When it comes to saving high scores locally, Unity has a surprisingly simple system for doing just that. They're called PlayerPrefs. This is simply a way to create, set and get variables that persist across scene transitions and play sessions.

In this project, the code that deals with saving scores looks like this:

What's Next


Again, this is just a simple and silly project for learning purposes. I intend to keep jamming on game prototypes in order to gain more experience in developing with Unity and I want to share what I learn with others. If you're trying to learn Unity or you're interested in rapid prototyping for games check out my GitHub repo. I wrote a ReadMe that describes and organizes information about making a game every week and I am going to commit most of my projects there, including the source for this Flappy clone.

Thanks for reading. :)