Sharing

I have finished my first Twine style and it’s shared on the sidebar menu. I am working on my next one. I have worked out all of the kinks I can find. I’ve noticed some weird characters showing up in the demo, but this is due to my browser not displaying certain characters properly when exporting Twine code, so it should effect anyone else using the files.

I’m enjoying this project both because I’m quite fond of Twine, and because I like the challenge of trying to dive into and customize existing designs with minimal instruction.

On to the next one!

Not Dead

I was out of town, visiting my sister and new nephew in Alberta. It was an exciting adventure and an opportunity to recharge. I’m breaking from Unity work to work on some more web design. I’m trying to make some generic stylesheet/jQuery snippets to dress up Twine games that are made with the SugarCube theme.

screenshot

It will… not look like this when I am finished, but I need to mess with some background images to figure out the jQuery. I’d like to do two paint-themed designs and then I don’t know what else. I will probably return to Unity in another week, although classes are gearing up again soon and I need to re-learn all of my linear algebra because it’s been a while.

Environment and Movement

Things were a bit slow this weekend. My allergies have been especially bad, keeping me from being as productive as I’d like.

I have movement mostly good now. There are some glitches when moving backwards at particular angles, but I think I can smooth those out. I suspect that the idle animation is moving the root bone which is moving the collider in such a way that it slips through the mesh when it transitions from one animation to the other.

I have started building environment stuff, as well, although it’s still rather bare. I’d like to have some panels and cables and things in there, and I’m not sure what I’m doing with the tank, yet. I set up all sorts of fancy particle effects, too, but they aren’t working because of course not.

http://johnalatouf.com/testing/Unity/Tubes/Tubes.html

Pretty Hairs are Important, Okay?

I worked on some comic stuff yesterday and now I’m back to Unity. I spent a good chunk of time this evening rearranging hair things so that I could add a new hair with a curly texture. Adding another hair mesh doesn’t take much effort (except for the modelling part). It just needs to be added to the arrays on the customization and playable character models. And a button needs to be added. I didn’t want to have to make a whole new hair texture, since I’m sticking to using one and just tinting it, but I wanted curly hair so I had to adjust some UV’s to fit it into the current image.

I am still focusing on UI work. I have written a few small scripts to change outline colours and button text on hover and selection. This was a bit tricky, because Unity’s current UI is still relatively new, and it took some digging to figure out how to script rollover events for the latest buttons. I’d like to get back to making the actual game tomorrow, so I’ll probably do what I can to finish up the UI tonight/tomorrow morning and then I’ll try to set up the first playable scene with a proper environment and conversation.

Progress: http://johnalatouf.com/testing/Unity/Intro2/Intro2.html

UI UI UI

So I started skinning my UI. There’s a good chance I’ll change it down the line, but I wanted to at least wrap my head around Unity’s UI system so I can plan ahead. I was hoping Unity had some sort of button grouping system, but so far as I can tell it doesn’t. (For all I know it does, and I just didn’t know what words to search for, but anyways…)

I created a small script that lets you set a selected colour to a button. Then using the OnClick in the inspector I can tell each button to set itself to selected and the rest of the related buttons to unselected. It’s still a bit tedious, but it gets the job done.

I can also use a MultiActor track group in Cinema Director to set the default selected buttons to selected state in the opening of the scene.

So here’s my progress. Forgive my terrible dialog. And timing. And the UI is still unfinished. http://www.johnalatouf.com/testing/Intro2.html

UI Design

It seems I’ve acquired a summer cold so I’m taking it easy today. I have started looking at Cinema Director for Unity as a way to throw together cutscenes. In the meantime, I have mocked up some ideas for my UI. I know I can leave this to the end if I really want to, but I am a UI artist so I’m going to get that going now.

I’m debating getting a license for the whole creative cloud Adobe thing. I wish there was a smaller license that let you get Photoshop and Illustrator alone, since those are the only two things I want. I know I can just use Gimp and Inkscape, but I don’t like Inkscape. Illustrator is a magic miracle tool that doesn’t compare, and I need it to make pretty knot work patterns to fit my UI. Hmm.

So here are my mocks:

Customizer_face  Customizer_hair  Customizer_eyes

 

 

And here is my latest work with the game:

http://johnalatouf.com/testing/Customizer4.html

Splash Page and Continuing Unity

I updated the Splash page for my website, so now it displays both blogs. If I ever finish a comic, I’ll add comics to it as well.

My unity project now has a character creator and a basic conversation working. I’m rethinking my body font choice. It looks a little too thin in Unity, which is unfortunate, because it looks good in other media. You can move your player back and forth and direct with a mouse. When you enter the character’s space your player will stop moving and the character will turn to you and a conversation panel appears with a set of buttons.

Some issues:

  • I still can’t figure out why the hover isn’t working on the buttons. I suspect it has something to do with the ray cast, but I can’t see why. The ray cast that’s directing the player only detects things on one layer.
  • I need to model some proper background and see how it looks.
  • The outline on the shader is starting to do what I want, but it’s still in need of a great deal of tweaking. I removed the bit from the code that was making it stay the same width regardless of camera distance.
  • I really need to start designing the UI. It’s ugly and it bothers me.

Player Customization

So I am testing out swapping meshes and textures for the player customization. So far, I have a skinned player who’s head and hair meshes can swap to another set, and a skin texture that swaps. I have added some face bones to my rig, as well as four hair bones to give some mild hair animation.

I was having an issue with one of my meshes. Some of the faces weren’t showing up in Unity, despite the normals being correct in Blender. It turns out the mesh’s textures were all… screwy? I’m not sure. Some of the faces were displaying a different texture. It was very strange.

My test project is a huge mess right now, so I will start a new project tomorrow and populate it with various meshes and textures. I’d like to have at least the female character creation system set up in a reasonable amount of time.

I don’t want to give myself a concrete due date at the moment, because I am going away this weekend, and the Jaws of Hakkon DLC for Dragon Age is coming out tomorrow, apparently, for PS4, so I will probably be losing some work time in the near future.

Here’s the terrible demo. Press A to swap body texture, S to swap face mesh, and SPACE to swap hair mesh (god help us with this hair mesh. I haven’t figured out alphas on shaders quite yet):

http://www.johnalatouf.com/testing/FaceSwap.html

My Art Site

So I have created a new theme for my art website. I built it off of http://underscores.me/ which is a great starting theme. I studied a few tutorials to figure out how to make the layout scroll horizontally. The links in the navigation menu point to the id of each div. When a link is clicked, the html,body scrolls to that target minus the width of the margin to centre it. At the same time, the background and foreground divs also animate the same distance with different timing.

Getting the whole thing to line up at all screen sizes was a delightful experience. Javascript makes it fairly easy to detect the size of a window and when it resizes, so I was able to dynamically resize the images easily in a browser. The real challenge was making the whole thing work for mobile. It doesn’t help that mobile devices insist on holding onto javascript no matter how many times you try to clear their caches. In the end, I had to rename js files over and over just to test my tweaks.

The sky is a simple CSS gradient that changes based on the hour. The hour also adjusts brightness and contrast effects on the foreground and background images.

Outstanding Issues:

  • The pages are hard coded into the index.php file. I’m not happy about this. It works fine for my website, but WordPress themes should be more dynamic than this. I would like to find a way to load pages dynamically and resize the website to account for new pages.
  • There’s no support for sub menu links.
  • I have disabled the links to entry permalinks. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to display those yet. Right now, they’re just a mess.