Still pretty busy with my book; it’s been coming along nicely, and I’m on the home stretch now! Meanwhile, I’m lined up to give a talk in a month at a Meetup group called Tech Meets Entertainment. This group is actually located in San Francisco, but the meetings are all virtual right now. I love speaking to groups like this, and it totally didn’t occur to me that I don’t need to limit these geographically while things are virtual.
Not a lot to talk about this month, since I’ve been pretty swamped between work and my book. One interesting new thing is I setup a Twitch channel. Manning (my publisher) asked me to stream some live coding on their channel one afternoon this summer, and so I had to setup a Twitch channel for them to invite. I may use that to stream some game dev on my own, not sure, we’ll see!
I finally started on the 3rd edition of Unity in Action at the end of last year, so between that and work I don’t really have much bandwidth lately for any other projects. I haven’t abandoned Eschatown, but I’m probably not going to do any work on that game until spring. At that point I’m planning to quickly wrap up the art (especially character sprites done with Character Creator 2D), and then release it.Continue reading “Discovering Sprytile”
A fairly brief and text-only update this month. The main thing I want to share is a kind of game called “roll-and-write“. But before I discuss that more, I should announce that I started a new job! I’m taking charge of the Unity-side of AR projects at BUNDLAR.
So the biggest news this month is that my book is finally completely released! It has been a really long time since I finished writing it, but I suppose this is just the downside of Manning having a high quality bar and spending months on making everything perfect. At any rate, the book is available on both their website and on Amazon.
As for my RPG, this has felt like my single most productive month. I realize this is because of multiple systems I implemented months ago falling into place (eg. the data models for shops have existed this entire time, but you couldn’t see it) but it still feels awesome.
Here’s a video showing off updates since last month:
The main things added are character portraits, a grid for selecting spells and items, and saving the game. Continue reading “Portraits, Inventory, Saving”
So much like last month, this is going to be a sparse update. I was still concentrating on the 2nd edition of my book so not a ton of work on the first-person RPG. However, at this point my work on the book is pretty much done, and I can shift back to concentrating on my games! There’s still a lot more work needed before the book is released, but it’s not work that I’m doing; there are months of copy-editing and layout to be done once the actual writing is complete. The first draft was finished last month, so this month I worked with editors and reviewers to make revisions. I do still need to make one more pass of revisions, but that’s more of a sanity check to make sure nothing is missing, than actually writing anything.
Anyway, now I’m planning what to work on as I shift back to development. When I first mentioned the first-person RPG I described it as “basically a clone of Shining in the Darkness”. Well, that “basically” implies that it’s not exactly the same, and one of the bigger changes will be procedurally generated dungeons. The mazes probably can’t be quite as intricate as a result, but then it’ll probably be more fun if there’s less emphasis on memorizing the dungeon mazes and more variety each playthrough.
Not a ton to blog about this month; I’ve been working on the second edition of Unity in Action mostly. I have hit an important milestone; I’ve finished the entire first draft! That is, all 13 chapters (12 from the first edition, plus the one new one) are updated and sent to my editors. The first 6 chapters have been through one editing pass already actually, and are already available for early access; Manning has a system for readers to get access to unfinished ebooks before the print book is ready.
Besides working on my book, I’ve also been gathering assets for my first-person RPG. Bought a bunch off Unity’s Asset Store, found a bunch of free music, and currently contemplating where to get the rest.
Doing the 2nd edition of Unity in Action mostly involves updating code listings for the latest version of Unity, but my editors and I also decided to add one new chapter. While the majority of feedback from readers has been (thankfully!) very positive, one thing we’ve frequently seen is people wishing there was more content about 2D games. Thus, we decided to add a chapter about developing 2D platform games.
My process for every chapter has been 1) first build the project, then 2) write about what I implemented. So I implemented the shell of a 2D platformer a couple weekends ago, and am now writing the chapter about it. Here is a WebGL build of that project:
(controls explained on that page; left/right move, Space jump)