09 Apr

Where I’ve Been

Aaaaand we’re back. A few of you NewbQuest listeners / watchers / readers have very politely asked me what’s up with the show via Twitter (@mattmirrorfish). It’s been a pretty busy period for me, with the main news being: I got a new job! I’m now part of the Online Content Team at Unity Technologies and help out there with making videos for the Unity YouTube channel as well as doing about half of the weekly Monday afternoon (US EST time) Twitch streams teaching Unity. It’s an awesome job and I’m super happy to be doing it. It’s definitely in line with the mission of what NewbQuest is all about. The sad fact though is that it’s pretty time and energy intensive and because it’s similar to what I was doing for the show it’s caused me to go on a bit of a hiatus. I’m bringing the show back to life to release an episode that I’ve (shamefully) been sitting on for quite a few months with the excellent Steve Swink (sorry Steve!) and I’m aiming to make some more regular updates here now that I’m settled into my new job, new apartment and generally re-arranged life!
For those who use Unity I’d love for you to check out my first big project for them which is a 14 part tutorial series on creating a 2D Roguelike game. This is aimed at intermediate Unity users but if you’re a beginner with a lot of gumption and desire feel free to dive on in.

I’ve also been working slowly away on my procedural flying butterfly shooter Pollen and have made some progress with it. You can check out some gameplay footage of the first two levels here:

05 Jun

Pollen DevLog 2: Clouds, New Enemy Spawning, Sounds

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Pollen is a game project I’m working on in Unity, it’s basically my first game and I’ve been working on it part time since October 2013 while teaching myself programming and game design fundamentals.  I’m calling it a low poly butterfly action rogue-like like.  It’s probably more ambitious of a project than I should have attempted as a first real thing but I am nothing if not ambitious.  It’s been slow but I’ve also been teaching myself a lot of stuff in the process. It’s been deliciously fun.  In this devblog I demonstrated my new sound effects, new clouds and new dragonfly enemy type.  This is a short devblog where I show some gameplay and explain the latest stuff I’ve done.

23 Nov

Newbquest Dev Blog 5: Simple 3d Procedural Level Generation, Physics Based Weapons

 

In this latest update in this series of dev blogs documenting my progress learning Unity, procedural content generation and scripting I show how I have created a very simple procedural level generation system and physics based weapons for my flying six degree of freedom roguelike game Butterfly.

I’ve been very interested in the roguelike hybrids that have appearing recently, games like Spelunky and Risk of Rain.  I love the idea of procedural content generation, especially with regard to levels.  I’ve been experimenting with it myself and have come up with a very simple system that is working for my current game project Butterfly.  I can’t tell you how excited I was when I actually hit play on Unity and it spawned that first randomized level!  So coooooool.

I’ve also added some pretty cool physics based stuff to the game including re-working my homing missile system to be physics based instead of using transform manipulation.  The result is a lot more graceful and less glitchy.  In the process I have been learning a TON about javascript and unityscript and am really enjoying that.  I’m actually getting to the point where I can imagine and write scripts that do the things I want without having to google for hours to find something pre-built.  That is an incredible feeling.

I have to also take a moment to express how much fun it is working with the Unity platform and community.  The people on the forums and Unity Answers site are just incredibly friendly and helpful and I have learned a huge amount just reading the existing body of questions and answers.  If you are on the fence about choosing Unity as a platform I really can’t recommend it more highly.