Wednesday
Jan012014

Programmer Art ++

So while waiting for our artists for the final art, I've been making do with placeholder art from various sources, including gameicons.net and assets I've purchased.

I didn't really need to take the time to the add the extra polish at this stage of development, but I had some free time in my day, and it didn't take too much effort to make something look decent with the power that NGUI provides.

Tuesday
Dec312013

Impressed with JIRA Agile

Just wanted to emphasize how much I'm loving JIRA Agile despite us starting to use it only a few days ago. Being able to quickly and easily drag-drop tickets and organize them into bi-weekly goals (sprints) is a godsend, and I really wish we started using it months ago. I mean, I might be a bit biased since I'm very much a visual person, but wow. It actually encourages me to do more - really satisfying to focus in on a few sub-tasks and move them to the "Done!" section. Also pleased that the rest of the team seems to have embranced it as quickly as I have.

I'll have to follow-up in a few weeks on this to see how much it has helped the team as that's the real test. Look at all these colorful tickets in our sprint so far:

Friday
Dec272013

12/27 Update

 Various things have been added since my last blog update:

  • Modules and modifying them via xml
  • Bomb-based effect deployment
  • Two phases of inventory versions, one using dropdown lists to equip items, and the latest version using drag-and-drop
  • Repair droid
  • Fancyness experimentations (interpolation for bars on the GUI -- sooo smooth!)

Currently I'm taking what I learned from inventory creation to create something similar for shops.

As for my partner, he's been busy with integration and refactoring the combat system so it'll fit into the navigation scene he's been working on. Basically the end result will be for combat to be triggered as needed (e.g. as a result of a player decision). It's been very enlightening to have another developer analyze my code and say what can be improved about it -- how else can a programmer get better? :)

Also, we're trying something new to better track our progress and to-do tasks. It's pretty cool so far.

Wednesday
Nov132013

Quick Update & Lots of Learning

Implemented the new and improved Effects system last week, in addition to starting work on modules/abilities. In our game, modules are similiar to regular equipment except that they have passive effects and abilities associated with them. I got a few abilities to work for testing purposes, but the system needs to be more robust to support different ways of representing abilities and the way it delivers effects. For example, the ability might activate a bomb that will apply an effect to all enemies on the screen. Or it might launch a few drones to attack them. I already had an idea of how I was going to implement them last week, but that has been moved to this week.

I've also been doing a burst of Unity tutorials to help me prepare to improve the visuals of the game, such as with effect systems. Unity Technologies has been releasing some really great tutorials on their site every week, and just recently they put up a video on particle systems. One thing that has been lacking lately is a good reference on all the customizable properties of particle systems, so I'm really happy they covered them in the video.

Lastly...holy cow, Unity 4.3 came out yesterday!! I'm especially happy about it finally having the latest version of MonoDevelop (love/hate relationship with it), but the 2D additions have been really awesome as well. I watched a pretty good tutorial on some of the new features last night.

Friday
Nov012013

Xml Support In!

I did a late nighter yesterday to finish up system states for equipment and xml support for enemies and equipment. Released a new combat build, and our game designer has started playing around with the many possible settings.

Plans for today:

  1. Do some cleanup work on the code
  2. Implemented some requested features for the next build
  3. Start working on modules feature