Wait a minute…week 7? What happened to week 6?

Illness is what happened, annoying bed-inhabiting nastiness. It struck us down good and proper. We could have rallied back and posted again when we were better, but we thought we’d do better getting on with actual work, and that’s really paid off this week.

So, progress and lots of it. You see, the few weeks before have been problematic. Being a home-based office can have it’s drawbacks and one of those is when you decide you want your bathroom and kitchen replaced. Luckily we had another bathroom, so we didn’t have to hold it in for the duration, but the general building work has been slowing us down. We were not a fully productive bunch and we could feel things slowing down. But this week it all came to an end and normality has once again reared it’s beautiful fizzog (that’s face to any non westcountry people).

With the aid of Mr Dan Stubbs (ace collaborator) we have made good progress on how to build levels effectively. It’s all well and good having these nice game development tools, but they are but a blunt instrument when not used with the correct knowledge. We can make nice-looking levels, that’s not a problem, the problem is we’d still be here in 2015 making them. Great strides have been made in making modular assets, which is just a nice clever way of saying big fancy lego bricks.

So that’s levels going well, what else? Well, there’s the bots. We specifically wanted most of the bots to just be really simple cubes. This works really well for getting them to stack together (which is a gameplay thing) and also being a small start-up we don’t have the time for major modelling and animation work. We do however want to give them character and that’s something Mr Dan has picked up on since he’s started helping us. We now have ways to show emotion though the use of colour, which can be thought of like the lighting strips in Tron. So far this is going well. Next stage is to give them some really simple movement modification and animation. Just little things going on now and again can really bring them to life.

Hmmm. What else. Oh yes, Playmaker. It’s great and we love it. If you don’t know, it’s a way to essentially make games visually. Rather than write lots of code, you can hook things up to do the same thing. This week (and the last) we really started getting to grips with it. Most of the game objects now have some form of visual scripting going on now. This means you don’t need to be a programmer to change the way something in the game works. What this really means is that we can get Anya to do more even more different work. Which is a good thing (except for Anya).

Anyway, here’s some screenshots of the bots being moody (alas, without any Unity Pro effects, because we took them in a brief subscription lapse):

Magnets2013-12-20_1 Magnets2013-12-20_2What cuties.

And with that the TM Team say: Merry Christmas! See you in the new year!

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