mostly babbling about inexperience

I’m always stumbling over my lack of knowledge ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I have read that it is adviced from some game developers to “just start” and so far I can do that and it is making me progress, but it also makes it extremly difficult for me to see sometimes what I did wrong, specially when I’m missing some very fundamental basics for working with unity and c#. Which then results in workarounds of workarounds of more workarounds of a simple “basic” gone wrong, which makes the further game development awful and very slow and painful.ย refactoring ( a word I learned recently) can help to fix some of this issue, but I would need to do it regularly I believe.

So i think my best approach currently is going through the Basic tutorials from unity regarding scripting with C# and using unity. I certainly don’t need to know everything there is right now, but getting a better understanding of underlying structures, how to use unity in a proper way and how to make “simple” code solutions and not a big mess of spaghetti code….I think it’s very important and I probably should have swallowed my “pride” of wanting to learn it without going into basics way earlier…there is nothing wrong with needing to go back to the basics and in the end it will benefit me in the long run for all the projects I’m gonna do. So here I go ๐Ÿ˜€

and btw. I had tried myself on making a small “simple” actionbar in unity and I came as far as creating some icons, an Actionbar base and a selection frame that I can move with number keys on my keyboard ๐Ÿ™‚ so that works, but figuring out a way how to use the toggles in unity and connect that with code which would then allow me to activate “skills” and unlock them after reaching certain lvls was getting a bit too much, though thats why I thought I should go back to basics…heck, I don’t even know exactly how to use arrays or for loops, even though I had learned it at some point, but just didn’t know how to use it properly.

Also, my thoughts wandered off into my bigย game project “dragonlands” and I noticed that I tried so much to find solutions, that are actually just workarounds around the PVP issue that so many games have. In the end i just figured out, that I’m not really a PVP oriented/interested person, so why did I think of including it into my game? So with that out of my head, how about a game that is “mostly” PVE where dragons can indeed destroy players housing, but you can protect yourself against it with means of magic, maybe alchemy, special building materials or simply “peaceful” behavior. As example dragons wouldn’t attack your villages, as long as you stay away from their territories and not try to hunt them down ๐Ÿ˜›
But the more you are hunting them, invading their homes, stealing their stuff, they would actually get very angry at those players and try to track them down and kill them and if a village is nearby, which gained a bad reputation from armies attacking dragons, then it will be attacked aswell ๐Ÿ™‚ Simple as that.

Then I thought “but I still want players to be able to make a bloodpact with dragons and turn themselves into dragons, how does that work together with no PVP?
Well, besides that i could make it a pain in the ass to become a dragon, so the amount of players being dragons stays low and those player dragons would be actually exiled for most time of their “hatchling” state. So that they are theoretically in a constant state of pvp, but they are weak, helpless and kinda lowest of the foodchains, since everything and everyone is trying to hunt them down. And when they turn into adults and since they are players, they would become “tame” or “wise” dragons, that are not those huge beasts that roam the world and live like normal animals, but instead, they represent some kind of enlightenment of a person, they can help defend villages and they can use special abilities no one else has etc. I’m not exactly sure of that yet, but I imagine it rather nice, to have players have to go through some kind of “monk” like state, when all they do is having to survive to understand what “life” means to gain access to a higher being.


score points :D

It’s starting to feel more and more like a game ๐Ÿ˜€ I am able to track how many enemies I have shot, which are added as points and I have my first UI elements showing score text and a lvl up text, when having shot 12 enemies ๐Ÿ˜› of course that is just a random value to test if it works XD
Now I just need a healthbar for the dragon and some damage made by my ratpeople…oh yeah and I added a rudimentary model for the “enemies”, fixed some shading issue on my dragon (seems the mirror modifier was creating a plane between it’s halfs O.o) and in general, all my folders are alot more organized now.

Most faszinating thing is, how every little step makes me learn so much ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I somehow think the speed of learning needs to reduce at some point…or my working speed should increase somewhen, but so far, the only thing that increased is my ability to find problems in my code and fixing them ๐Ÿ™‚ which I think is a good thing.

Oh and my fireballs have a point light now ๐Ÿ™‚


feathered dragons and rat knight

Just a small update for today…and it’s another concept art, about feathered dragons and a rat knight ๐Ÿ˜€
I had to draw them down, to see if my idea of having something more stylized would work also and it seems it does. Not sure yet, if I will try to go for this yet, but I will probably find out with a few more concept sketches. I think it’s most important that I find a style that I feel comfortable with, so it’s not burning me out to make models with it. (that is mainly a concern for my bigger project)

uff…I feel like I have overworked myself

So today, was a big “refactoring” day. I stumbled upon some problems with my code, that would have been avoidable, if I would have tried to learn some of the basics in C# first and also looked at some of the unity basic tutorials. But I wanted to have some kind of prototype as fast as possible, so I had just “patchworked” code together from tutorials I was watching.
In the end it DID work out though and I did learn alot and even now the refactoring is helping me alot to learn and improve my code, it just means I won’t progress alot for the actual game development XD
But thats ok ๐Ÿ™‚

Also. I don’t even want to know, how bad I would have reacted if some of the bugs would have happened in the middle of coding today. Like unity suddenly crashing on me my old project scenes somehow being lost due to making a package out of them?! Not to mention, that I tried to rename a folder, which made itself and all it’s contents vanish (it was containing scripts -.-)
Good thing though, that I was mainly organizing and pushing things into a new project, so it wasn’t affecting me as badly as it could have been…
Still, it scared the shit out of me.

On another note, my game has a name now (I will still call it Dragon shooter here though) and everything seems to run more fluently now. I have fixed an issue about positioning instantiated objects and some parent-child issues and created some “if” functions to recognize different kinds of collision (so I can add different types of projectiles later).
I also added manager gameobjects for most of my scene objects and a proper folder hierarchy, aswell as shortened some unnecessary scripts and changed some 3D models to use less unity primitives.

and now I need a proper timeout with some gaming…o.o

Lot of invisible stuff

I changed some code parts today, to be hopefully a bit easier to manage. Explosions are now in a separate script outside of my fireball projectile, because fireball instances were destroyed when explosions started, which led to some unforeseen results, that some code couldn’t be executed, because it was already destroyed.
Also, my enemies are not flying towards my dragon anymore. Made them only rotate towards the dragon on the z and x axis, not y, which resulted in them lifting off the ground. Also I expanded the code, so they are stopping to move towards the dragon once they reached it ๐Ÿ™‚
So alot of things that are not really that easily visible when playing the game, but they allow me to create delays between different kind of explosions and alot easier time working on the code, since everything is split up logically now, instead of huge chunks of codes within an if function XD.

Fiery, Fyria, Dragons and Rivers

I didn’t do much in terms of “developing” today, that is, if you don’t count thoughts and stuff as part of it XD
I noticed that I had not even thought about a Titlescreen before, but since I stumbled over a tutorial to just do that I needed to get some ideas on paper on how it could look like…also some thought rambling about Dragon anatomy, a name for my dragon shooter (which seems difficult, since dragon is pretty generic and often used in games, I want something that stands out, but is clearly understandable) and some thoughts about how I imagine a not so performance intensive but dynamic river system could look like. Of course the last thing is very “rough”, since I have not worked with procedural generation or liquid simulation yet or even mesh generation, but I want to keep it in the back of my mind in case I stumble upon something that could help me find a way to achieve the effect I want. Which is practically generating a Plane on the Top of Voxels, which are using physics to move when changed. Those Voxels would be static unless terrain gets modified and the effect of floating water would be created through textures and normal/displacement mapping and hopefully I will find a way to determine which direction is “downhill” to determine which direction Texture would need to “flow” to create a realistic water effect.
I wonder how difficult it would be to realize this concept XD Time will tell ๐Ÿ™‚ For now it’s just on my backburner as a “nice to have” feature, for far far in the future ๐Ÿ™‚


Explosions! :D

DS_3_splosionsNow THAT feels alot more satisfying, when every time I hit the Enviroment or my enemies I’m actually getting a nice little explosion, instead of both the projectile and enemy just vanishing XD
I don’t even know if I will need a separation later to determine with what exactly those fireballs collide and explode, but maybe for other projects it will be useful ๐Ÿ™‚

I think I have played enough with projectiles now, so next should be something like an Interface, Main Menu and maybe a Highscore (if i don’t get distracted by doing some more concepts and better 3D models ๐Ÿ˜›

solved a code problem alone! :D

I got quite some motivation boost today, when I managed to solve a specific problem code wise completely on my own ๐Ÿ™‚ Funny thing is, that it’s not even so “noticable” since I just changed to shoot fireballs from the forward direction of the camera to the forward direction of an empty game object, because the fireball was slightly displaced and now I can place my camera freely however I want over the character without affecting the shooting direction ๐Ÿ™‚

Also I played a bit more with those unity particles and I must say, my “improvised” fireball texture actually looks quite nice now.

Early work O.o

I admit I would have liked it alot to get some time for working on my project, but oh my…I really underestimated how stressfull the time “after vaccination of baby” would be.
I needed to do something ANYTHING though, so I decided to grab my sketchbook and try to make my “special” dragon for my dragon shooter at 1 am in the morning. I like to play around with different animal attributes, when it comes to drawing fantasy creatures, specifically when looking at dragons, I think it’s a shame that most dragons are either stereotypical “western dragon” or “eastern dragon” and mostly they differ between Elements they are spying out of their mouth, how their body is colored and what size the scales are, but rarely does anyone try to make them look different.
So I started thinking about it, how to get features from other animals into it that don’t scream necessarily dinosaur! or … lava! or…whatever other typical dragon element ๐Ÿ˜›
I thought, maybe, since rhinoceros are around in our world for quite some time and their skin looks kinda scaly but massive and protective, to go for that. Then I took some features from those tiny dragon lizards, I think they are called Bartagame, but it may be only the german word for them ๐Ÿ™‚
Then I added some features from chickens, mainly the scaly part of the feet. And last but not least some dinosaur element on it’s back with thick rectangular scales and tiny horns/spikes.
It also has a rhino horn on its snout ๐Ÿ˜›
dragonshooter_dragonconceptyeah, it’s not a really beautiful dragon XD

edit: and I forgot to mention, that currently it has 2 ribcages, since my research about 6 legged-ness has brought to light, that insects are build that way, for every pair of limbs, there is an additional torso, so I could try that for dragons aswell ๐Ÿ™‚

Dragon Shooter Spells/Skills

Next Blog post will probably take me a while. I want to add more elements to my Dragon shooter, think of a name for it, learning about graphical user interfaces and such. Not really sure how long it will take me to have some results, since I’m really really a beginner at coding.
It’s not helping that I wasn’t sleeping so well either ๐Ÿ™‚

One thing I started wondering about though is, how are games ending? I mean not the finishing a game problem. I mean how to define an end for a game? What do players expect?
I was thinking back and forth if I want “levels” for my dragon shooter, with some kind of “ending” by succefully beating all the levels or if I should do a simple score system, since it IS quite similar to those Arcade Shooter games. But I feel like, even though it would be simple enough as a beginner project, that it wouldn’t really do justice to myself. I mean, yeah of course, I want to learn how to make games and I should start small, but I wouldn’t want to be game developer if not for the possibilities as creative outlet ๐Ÿ™‚
So…I don’t really know…I think I’m tending to make it a score game “shooter” with a simple skill system. That allows the player to not only feel alot more of their progression, but also allows them to choose how they want to play it.
That also means it shouldn’t be just optical, but the player needs to feel the differences. So I think I’m gonna go with offense, defense and passive.

Offense, would be mostly about getting more powerful attacks, that have in general a bigger impact and they are going towards massive destruction attacks, which allows to kill alot more “enemies” in a short time.
Defense would cast a shield on yourself, maybe also a healing, something active like parry with your wing or so.
Passive would be about smaller effects, that you wouldn’t need to pay much attention to, so these abilities would make it easier for players who don’t have such high reaction skills or simply want to not have to think about 3 other abilities they could use all the time, but let the passive “buffs” handle it. This could be like a thorn armor spell which is hurting any enemy that hits you, as example.

As much as I love learning I wished I could just snap with my fingers and play that game XD