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Saturday, October 20, 2012

An Update On Whats Going On



Wow it's been a long time since I've posted here. The last update I left you guys with was the Jam I did with a few friends of mine and didn't sleep. 

Well things have definitely changed since then. Since that last post, my friends and I started our own company, known as LoneWolfPack Interactive.


On top of that we gave the game at the Jam a massive amount of polish, added special things like the ability to change your rules, multiplayer and achievements, and we have released it on the Android marketplace. Soon we'll be porting it to iPhone, we are just waiting on an apple computer to develop on.

But basically here is what our new app, President 3D is all about.

President (also known as Asshole) is a fun and exciting card game that you can play with anyone in your friends and family.




President 3D comes with four exciting levels to play in, including a Casino, a Saloon, a Pirate Ship and a Geisha Tea House. You can also play with your friends with online multiplayer!




One big feature that was seen requested the most often by LoneWolfPack Interactive was the ability to play with custom rule sets, because everyone has their own style. After working long and hard President 3D has that feature, and now you can play with multiple different rules including Big 2 scoring, trading, poker hands, runs, double decks and more!




Unlockable decks are also a feature in President 3D , so now you don’t have to sit and stare at the same cards every single game. On top of the unlockable decks, you can also unlock in game achievements and show off your progress to your friends.




President 3D also has stat tracking, so how you can see fun bits of information such as your win loss ratio, games won, lost, and more!


President 3D is looking to modernize the President card game on the mobile market, all while giving the players a fantastic playing experience.


For those of you that want to give it a try, we have a free version available here.





We also have a premium version available here.

Anyways, give it a shot, I'd like to know what you guys think, and I'd appreciate you guys giving it a try. Happy Coding!



---Also, for those of you who have been waiting on tutorials, you are in luck. One of the main features that LoneWolfPack is planning on focusing on is tutorials. We are going to supply a large chain of tutorials, not only on Unity, but programming in general, blender, and art programs like Sai and Photoshop. Think of it as tutorials on how to make a game and use proper tools on a budget, because that's our current situation, and we want to connect with you guys in as many ways as possible.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

President Dev Log # 1: 56 Hours Working, 4 Sleeping

Starting off the first development log with the first screenshot of the game sounds good to me.




It's amazing just how much progress we have made within the last two days on this project compared to the last two weeks. It has moved from a game that had a few pieces constructed to a something playable and working in a matter of 56 working hours. 

As the titles says, since Friday May 11th, out of the 60 hours that I have been doing the development marathon with the team, 56 of those hours have been working, and 4 of those have been sleeping. I feel fantastic, and I mean that in the most sarcastic way possible. It is a good thing that we are seeing so much progress on the game, because I don't know how I would have lasted this long otherwise. 

As of this post, in our working version of the game we have:

Working AI:
- our computer AI will determine the correct card to lay next depending on what is currently up on the table. It will also pass if it is unable to play.

An audio manager:
 - efficiently creates and plays music from anywhere. It saves us from having to attach components and take up memory that doesn't need to be taken up.

Custom Rules:
- Everyone that has played president has played it with different rules, now not only can you play different modes, but you can create your own rules and play with them instead

Custom GUI:
- Unity's GUI system has been called inefficient. While it is very robust and useful for rapid prototyping, I do agree that things could happen more quickly. So we created our own GUI system and even have fancy editors so that you can click and drag your GUI objects around.

8 bit sound effects!!!
- Yeah, we have an 8 bit sound effect creator, just so that we can create placeholder sounds for coding reasons

Card Cam
-We noticed that since this is being created for mobile, top down view is boring, and there is a really harsh angle on the cards on the table, that we needed to find a way to fix the problem without affecting gameplay. Card Cam was created to do just that. Now you can see the cards currently laid on the table in the corner of the screen in a window large enough to see the cards, yet small enough to stay out of the way.

So with all of these features currently finished, or at least 95% finished, I'd say progress has been fantastic. With that said, currently the next features to be implemented are:

Gestures:
- We want a gesture manager to take a look at what the player has been doing and if there's any sort of gesture that can be recognized to fire an event off

OpenFeint:
- Achievements, everybody loves achievements.

Facebook and Twitter integration:
- It is something that more and more apps are doing nowadays, and its more acceptable to see. On top of that it is like free advertising not only for games but for businesses in general. There really is no downside to integrating it.

Networking:
-We are starting with peer to peer networking. It is a much simpler approach and we currently don't   have a dedicated server to do player vs the world games.

That's where we are at so far coding wise. The art is also coming along great with Blake our artist. He's been pumping out 2D and 3D assets like a mad man and we currently have two environments worth of modelling completed, with another two to go. Things are looking very good now, it's nice to test with the game using a real table model instead of a cube.

Also I want to mention the guys at the Nexus Game Studio. They are Indie developers located in Barrie who are currently working on a game called Infinite. This is something that I think you guys should take a look at. http://www.nexusgamestudio.com/

Friday, May 11, 2012

President and My New GUI System

So it's been a while since I've posted last so I just wanted to give you guys an update on what was going on as of late.

I'm coming out and telling you guys that the new project I am working on is the President card game for Android. For those of you who don't know the rules, here is a link that explains a good chunk of it: http://bit.ly/91iqsr.

I am working with a team totaling five people. It has two programmers (including me), two artists, and our marketer and animation specialist. 

The real reason for my announcement of some of the details on this project is because of what is occurring this weekend. We are pulling a 72 hour marathon of development on the project in order to get a working version going so that this project can be released as soon as possible! This weekend is the weekend of the Toronto Game Jam, and that is what had inspired us to do this. 
Link to TOJam for the curious: http://www.tojam.ca/home/default.asp

I am currently on the train to meet with the rest of the team and I decided that I was going to do development updates as the 72 hours passed, and possibly do a video blog afterwards so you guys can see how much of my sanity I've lost after coding for 72 hours or so. 

Something else that I am giving a heads up about is a new GUI system that I am making for Unity. The reason this GUI system is coming about is because of how Unity handles its GUI. It's not so efficient, and it is a little bit of a pain to compile and run every time you want to see how the GUI is going to look when you play the game.

The goal that I had set out to accomplish was to create an efficient GUI system, that was also extremely easy to use. So far it is definitely easy to use, you can set everything up in the editor and you don't have to hit play to see your results. Everything is in the editor window. 

One thing that I wanted to do to reduce draw calls on the GUI system was use a texture atlas. So what I created was a UV editor for your windows and buttons. This is what my basic version looks like so far:

All you need to do is click and drag where you want to move and scale your UVs to and it will take care of the rest. This makes it very easy for a designer to customize buttons and windows based on the texture atlas.

The position editor is also very basic and easy to use. My GUI system uses what I call a GUIBundle. It is basically a chunk of GUI that will either appear in front of or behind other GUI Bundles. The reason I went this route was because it makes overlays, new windows and just activating and deactivating GUI extremely easy. This also works the exact same way as the UV editor, where you just click and drag to move the position and scale of the GUI objects on the screen.

 
I'm thinking it would be nicer to see the actual GUI objects instead of semi-transparent grey boxes though.

Anyways, this is just the beginning of the GUI system. One thing that I forgot to mention earlier is that the whole design of the GUI system is to be component based. The reason that I went this route was because it allows you to create multiple types of objects with just a few scripts. Scroll bars for example are as easy as dragging about 3 components onto a GUI object.

Anyways, as development progresses over the weekend there will be more updates to follow! Keep coding!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Another New Project

Well hello there! 

As the title states, another new project has fallen into my lap. Not a whole lot can be said about the project as of right now since it's still in its planning stages, but what I can say is that it is going to be an Android and iPhone app that you can play with your friends.

With this project I am working with four other people that I went to school with. It will be two artists, an animator / marketing specialist I guess you could say, and another programmer that I will be working along side with. 

I'm excited for this project and hope to have a prototype up and ready soon so that it can be shown off.

I do want you guys to know that development on Tom's Traumatizing Time at the Toy Store, and the Draw Call Minimizer has not stopped, it is just slowing down. I am currently figuring out a way to organize my schedule to allow development on all three, but this new project is the largest priority, so most time will be devoted to that.

I am thinking of setting up my week so that I am working on the new project for four out of the seven days, the tower defense game for one day, and the Draw Call Minimizer for two days. My reason being that for the tower defense game, adding the new features isn't going to take as long as art, and once we are done with the new project I will have a whole team instead of just me and my buddy.

The Draw Call Minimizer also is getting some new features. One of them being a "Bake In Editor" mode that was requested. This mode will allow you to "bake" your levels so that you get the performance benefit without the large loading time that it takes. That will come with the next version. The version after that is going to have dynamic meshes so that you can have moving objects in your scene that are still being drawn with one draw call.

Anyways, thought that I would let you guys know what is up, and why it has been a little over a week since the last update to Tom's Traumatizing Time at the Toy Store, if you've been following it that is.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Live Version of Tom's Traumatizing Time at the Toy Store

Hey guys! So what I thought that I would do is embed a version of my game right on this blog so that you can see it being updated more or less live.

I am going to post a permanent version on the TDShooter page that will be updated all of the time. I am hoping to have weekly/bi-weekly updates, so check back every week or so to see if there is something new to the game.

Some changes will be visual, such as a texture or model upgrade, while others will be more in the background, the stuff that you don't see right in your face. Efficiency upgrades is what I am going to call it, because it is either a code update, or an update that cleans up a few things.

Anyways, what I want you to do is play the game, and let me know what you think, whether it is good or bad. This game isn't even in alpha yet, so what I currently have is basic features, but before I start rambling, here is the game, and more updates should follow in the TDShooter page

Also check out Tom's Traumatizing Time at the Tow Store's Facebook page at:
https://www.facebook.com/TomsTraumatizingTimeAtTheToyStore

The controls for the game are:
Mouse: Aim
Left Mouse Button: Fire
Left Shift: Swap between 1st and 3rd person views
WASD: Move
Escape: Menu

You may also find some temporary/underdeveloped functionality with some messing around with different keys
Unity Web Player | WebPlayer








Unity Web Player | WebPlayer



Thursday, March 15, 2012

Draw Call Minimizer V2.0

Hello ladies and gentlemen, here is Draw Call Minimizer, one of the tools I have created for you to use, for free, in your Unity Projects

What it does is:

-Combines meshes into as few meshes as possible
-Combines textures into a texture atlas
-Has support for all shaders (including custom ones)
-Works at runtime so no new assets are created
-Also has an editor tool to create assets if you prefer it that way

Now recently, I had some free time so I decided to go through this project again and give it a complete overhaul. I optimized code, added new features, and just made things look prettier in general. I included some images to summarize whats new and what Draw Call Minimizer can do for you.





And here is a video of it in action:


It's up on the Unity Asset Store at https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/2859 for Free.

Anyways take it easy and keep coding!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Updated Videos and The Draw Call Minimizer

Hey guys! So if you have noticed in my older posts, I had multiple videos for the same tutorial. This was because Youtube has a limit of 15 minutes for videos for most people. Youtube recently lifted this limit, so I decided to upload the full videos for your convenience. All of my previous tutorials now have one embedded video instead of multiple ones, and now on my Youtube channel any video over 15 minutes is no longer separated into different parts. Yay!

Something else that has recently happened was I received an email from Unity today. I was informed that one of my assets was approved for sale on the Unity Asset Store!

What this tool does is combine meshes and textures at runtime so that the GPU only needs to make one draw call instead of multiple ones. It is an improved version of the Unity CombineMesh utility.

What is different from my tool and Unity's tool, is that what the Unity CombineMesh utility is it creates a combined mesh for each separate object and texture and in the script it actually recommends that objects share textures whenever possible to reduce draw calls. What my tool does is create a texture atlas so that all of the textures are shared and instead of having multiple draw calls for every texture, there is one. This is all done at run time as well so there is no increase in the amount of assets that you need to create.

The Draw Call Minimizer comes with an example project. This example project comes with about 6 or so models each with their own texture. Without the Draw Call Minimizer the scene has a couple hundred draw calls. After using my tool, that is reduced to one draw call with zero batched. The only thing that this tool does is take a second or tool to do its work as soon as the level is loaded.

If you want to take a look at my tool, or perhaps purchase it for your project you can look at it here, at 5 bucks, it is ridiculously cheap compared to a lot of the tool on that Asset Store, and is very useful considering the price.

http://u3d.as/content/purdyjo/draw-call-minimizer/2FW

Anyways, a video showing off the tool will be coming up tomorrow hopefully and I am also going to be showing off an alpha build of my mesh splitting tool as well!

Keep coding! and follow me on twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/purdyjo

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Tom's Traumatizing Time At The Toy Store Preview

Hey guys I've been working on a project of mine called Tom's Traumatizing Time At The Toy Store. It is a First Person Shooter and a Tower Defense game combined.

I posted a very very early version of the game on Youtube here:


As you can see the art in the game is a little rough, but it is a very very early version of the game and the art is just temporary for now.

The basic outline of the story for Tom's Traumatizing Time At The Toy Store, is that you are a security guard at this toy store working on the night shift. It is your first day and on this day a computer virus just so happens to infect all of the electronic toys and they turn evil, and are now trying to take over the world. It is now your job to stop the toys from escaping the store or the entire world will be run by evil electronic toys!

Anyways, this is what I have so far. My next post is going to be a preview of the tool that I am putting up on the asset store that reduces draw calls for the GPU by a staggeringly large amount in some cases.

Until then, keep coding, and take it easy!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Tom's Traumatizing Time At The Toy Store and RocketHub

Hey everyone, sorry for the inconsistency with my posts. My latest post is about the new game that I am developing, previously known as TDShooter. The title for the game that I came up with was Tom's Traumatizing Time At The Toy Store.

Something that I am trying out is a site called RocketHub. It is very similar to the site Kickstarter.com, where the community can fund projects and get rewards for doing so. What this funding is going towards is the Unity Pro version for development purposes, licencing and rewards for funding the project.

This is a very new and exciting approach to my game development and as time goes by more posts will be put up showing concepts, models and videos of where the game is currently at.

The link to my RocketHub project is http://rockethub.com/projects/5875-tom-s-traumatizing-time-at-the-toy-store.

Anyways guys, happy coding!

Also! The tool that is also currently in development is getting close to its beta version, so a video of where the tool is at will be up shortly. So stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Poll Results and TD Shooter Update!

So in case you guys had not noticed, I had a poll going about features that you would like to see in a tower defense game. It was a trick poll, I am implementing all of those features in my new tower defense game, what you guys did was create a priority on what I should implement first.

The main feature of my up and coming tower defense game is the first person mode. I really think that getting in on the enemy blasting action will make the game much more interesting and strategic, since now you not only have to choose what towers to upgrade, but if and what you want to upgrade on your character.

The heroes is also going to be partially implemented. Once more details on the story get fleshed out I will let you guys know about what is going on with that situation. Currently the location of the game is in a toy store after hours, and you play as the security guard at this toy store. Like I said, more details need to be added and will come later.

Skill trees are a pain, but I have full intentions on implementing them. They are not overly complex to create, it is just the balancing that takes a long time and is tedious work. I have full intentions on implementing this in the game.


Now what I am going to do is release the game in multiple alpha and beta releases. To be honest, the only thing slowing this project down is the art. It has been slow moving as I am not the one doing the art, and there has been scheduling conflicts with my colleague. As of now all art in the game has been completed by me and well, I will just say that it is not at the quality it should be nor was the proper amount of time spent on it.

I will keep you guys posted.



ALSO!! I have a new tool that I have been working on that I plan on releasing soon. I am not saying what it is but I love breaking things!

Anyways happy coding!