“small” side project

While working on my exploration/shapeshifting game I noticed that I would really like to have a day and night cycle aswell as some basic weather forms for it. And since I had already successfully experimented with making particle based clouds and to not compromise my main game with unneeded clutter I decided to take it outside of the big project and make a separate kind of “asset” that includes the functions I want to have ๐Ÿ™‚
Yeah I know, there are lots of good assets on the unity store that do the same or similar things and maybe even better than I could, butย I really want to keep it to buying assets that I think would be way too much for me to learn (I already have quite many hats on).
And a day and night cycle system with weather effects might be simple enough to do myself. Besides that I wasn’t quite satisfied with alot of assets having just too much content and specially the clouds didn’t seem to work very well for flying through, so I want to do that differently ๐Ÿ™‚ Doesn’t need to be realistic though, so hopefully thats making it a little easier aswell.
So far I got a basic day and night cycle, sun and moon and stars, aswell as fitting light.
I’m just a little sad that recently I couldn’t do much in general…life got busy and had manyย sleepless nights over the last 2 or 3 weeks….*sighs*


Blog for 1 year

I can’t believe it’s actually one year now that I’m doing this blog ๐Ÿ˜€ Not only that, but I’m also having written 93 Blog post in one year O.o (this one included).
It is seriously quite amazing ๐Ÿ˜€ *coughs*
I’m actually quite proud of it, considering that I wasn’t sure if I could do it. And sure, there were many days when I felt like I really have nothing to talk about or nothing I want to talk about, when it feels awkward to write anyway (atleast for the first few seconds), but what I realized pretty soon is, that the “wall” of writing a blog entry, is only short lived ๐Ÿ™‚ Whenever I started writing, even though I didn’t feel like it, after a second or so it just started flowing out. I wonder if it’s noticeable in some posts XD I doubt it…
Then there were also many days when I just loved writing in here, when I loved having a place to put down my thoughts, to make my own progress in things visible, a place where I can sometimes see that I’m not alone with my thoughts and a place I can rant sometimes and where I can maybe even help other people with what I’m writing and doing ๐Ÿ™‚

I know life can be hard and sometimes even devastatingly so…and that we are living in a society where we are often made to believe certain things are in a way just too good for us. Things like being always happy or whenever we see “concept art” it looks astonishing.
It’s one of the reasons why I started this blog though. I’m a normal person, I had in some ways a quite hard life. I was determined though, to get out of it, but I fell and struggled so often and I still would say I’m dealing quite alot with depression and anxiety.
And when being vulnerable like that, it’s also easy to just believe in what other people tell me, to not have a good filter of what is a good or bad thing to say to me.
So when someone questioned that I would be able to program based on my bad math grades at school? It crushed me. When someone told me that games are nonsense? it made me feel awful. When someone told me that women are not so good at logic (or I am not) It made me feel stupid.
I admit I’m a sensitive person. I admit I want to be liked and wanted and that I tend to take everything quite much personally, more than I probably should.

Still, I’m here, following my dreams, after many failures..many times that I had to start over, many times that I was told that my drawings, my skills are just not good enough to be hired anywhere and similar things….

I’m here, wanting everyone to know, thatย I can do it! I can get past all that. And holding on those dreams and keeping to follow them is making me feel like my life is worth living, it’s actually making me like myself a little bit more. And it makes me feel as if I actually have some control over my life. ย Maybe, writing down everything here honestly, the way it is for me, can inspire someone, to go and try for themselves, whatever they want to do….

a rough concept for a map

I got myself some assets from the unity store, in hope it will help me greatly with creating Environments for the actual project and any future project ๐Ÿ˜ฎ it’s Terrain Composer and RTP 3.3 aswell as advanced foliage shader.
I think it was necessary, since one: I already have enough of stuff that I want and have to learn and shaders, as much as I love them, it seems like a whole new skillset to learn properly to get out of it what I would need and want, which I think is currently just not feasible, specially with so many solutions for it already available from people who know what they are doing.
Then the terrain tools, rtp is having a cutting hole into unity terrain function and a possibility to take a piece of terrain from unity and export it as a 3d model ๐Ÿ˜ฎ considering that I decided to just go with unity terrain, which is sadly no voxel solution, this is the next best thing ^^ not to mention that I want to make good use of my l3dt program and therefore wanted some ways of importing generated splatmaps, normal maps etc. for the overall map to look alot better than what I could do with unity terrain only.
But enough of the technical talk…

I just upgraded to windows 10 and hell, it seemed everything went fine at first until I wanted to draw something with my pen tablet XD took me hours to reconfigure it and I still have not set up all the buttons and shortcuts again, but atleast now I don’t need to worry about it anymore not functioning at all….>.> grrrrr
not to mention that ironically, while everything and most settings in windows were kept, the windows start menu I had set up, was all cluttered now o.o

Buuuut after all those little things and also updating unity to newest version etc.
I actually could do a little more research about geology and topology regarding rainforest areas (since I want my game to be more rainforest like) and was coming up with some sort of basic concept of how I want my game map to look like ๐Ÿ™‚
It’s very rough, just enough for me to then start making a terrain map from it. I think it’s always better to leave some space for random generation and “back and forth” creativity. In other words, our brains can do magical things, when we let it work together with randomness ๐Ÿ™‚


practically everything dark green is gonna be thick and lush forest, everything bright green is mainly thicket and grass etc. while blue is (as you probably would have guessed) is rivers/lakes and the sea. Greyish is for rocky or mountainous areas, aswell as cliffs.
I have defined some main areas/landmarks here, that I will use to lure the player into different directions, while the player starts from the center of the map in a small clearing, just being able to see some paths going away from it and the river cascading from the mountain downwards, past the clearing.
I will probably need to do some extra maps for the cave systems…and maybe I’m gonna make a more detailed map for smaller “secrets”, but I’m not sure yet how exactly I’m gonna approach that, since it might be better to just do that part of level design within Unity itself.
In overall though, I need to start making some more assets ๐Ÿ™‚ so I can get an idea of how things look like when it is actually “lush”
Not to mention that I’m never sure if I can pull off in real, what I imagine in my head ๐Ÿ™‚ and currently my head image is mostly saying: stylized rainforest, with foliage shading, climbable trees(with terrain trees?), 3 vertical layers, caves illuminated by lightshafts and glowing plants, stylized everything, flowing water and waterfalls, lots to discover, stuff to interact with, lush environment, fantasy elements, tropical/fantasy ambience and smooth movement with each form and camera movement…
I really want this game to look good and I hope that by just sticking to it and polishing the heck out of it, that I can do it.

Btw. my orbs are now magnetic or in other words, if player comes close to an orb it is gonna be attracted to the player, should make collecting them a little bit easier ๐Ÿ™‚

sketchy concept art

ahhh… just some random image ๐Ÿ™‚ concerning long lost dragons ๐Ÿ˜€


maybe I call it “T-Rhino” XD

and here is the result after hours of dabbling inside that “Worlds Adrift island creator” ๐Ÿ˜€


in the middle of the night…

and I write down things about leveldesign, what areas I want to implement, how to implement them, what assets I will need to make, what atmosphere I want to achieve, what particle effects could come in handy, how I want to lead the players attention and how to make a player explore without having a holding hand?
How to wake curiosity in surroundings, without glowy sparkly signs “here to your next achievement!” ?
How to give player the full freedom of their shapeshift forms and at the same time give them a challenge? How to make terrain and areas challenging without making puzzles or “restricting” the player through locking and unlocking forms?

Several times now it was suggested to me, that I could make the shapeshifting something to “unlock” or to add extra areas that can be unlocked…even though I could say that extra areas sound nice, since they are more of a bonus than a restriction, I don’t feel comfortable restricting the players abilities for the sake of challenge and achievement.
I want lots of other things to be challenging and I want achievements aswell, but the idea I have in my head is more based around, feeling free, but having areas require some thinking or agility with shapeshifting etc. to reach them. And all of that without making one form better than another, but rather make forms have disadvantages and advantages in certain areas. Like as example, the mouse is very small and it could have alot of difficulties going through bushy and overgrown terrain, while the cat is ideal for it, having higher jumps, being able to climb etc. at the same time the bird COULD fly over those obstacles, but it might be difficult to just keep it high enough off the ground to not fly against anything, but at the same time not too high so it wouldn’t crash intoย the branches of a tree. The mouse could be shortsighted, is slower than the other forms, but therefore it fits through spaces the other forms won’t fit. The bird is the only one being able to go way above the trees and into the mountains and being out in the open it would have most advantage, it would be travelling faster than the other forms, which would be hindering in more tight environments.

The game is about exploring, about mysterious places, about working WITH the environment and WITH the abilities you have. The achievements are rather secondary, but the ones I have in my mind are challenging enough all by themselves without needing to restrict forms ๐Ÿ™‚

Progress in this game is shown through the orbs (20 are not the final number). Maybe I can add other types of orbs later on, but currently I want to stay with the simplistic version of this game ๐Ÿ™‚ Which is, honestly, complex enough XD
Just coming up with ideas for interesting places to explore that is not “too” worn out by other games and worlds is difficult! And bringing them into reality is even more challenging for me and I DO want players to have more than just 2 or 3 of them ๐Ÿ™‚

I have to say though, that I like to work on it ๐Ÿ™‚ it’s somewhat more relaxing and interesting than playing games ๐Ÿ˜›



not sure how visible things are, but the cloud is one experiment, the orb with sparkles ๐Ÿ˜€
and the trees have falling leafs ๐Ÿ˜€

really important stuff!

I’m working on clouds and leaves falling from trees ๐Ÿ˜›

But in all seriousness, I did actually get some feedback that helped me change some things to make the game better. Like as example the light orbs, were difficult to determine where they are in space, specially when free floating. I have added a small sparkle trail now and added a point(y) light to all of them, so they emit light on your character and I increased it’s collider size, so it should be alot easier now to pick them up ๐Ÿ™‚ And additionally it made them more pretty aswell, since they glow on other objects now, which I think is just neat ๐Ÿ˜€ I’m excited to see them inside caves later on ^^

I’m surprised though, that I’m still able to work on it, despite me having a quite bad case of a flu o.o my throat hurts so much >.<

What helps me though, to continue doing is to just think of
“I’m just gonna do a really insignificant small task and
I allow myself to say that this is enough!”
It’s a little psychological trick that I use, which causes me to get over that first hurdle of “starting” doing and then when I’m already in, I usually do more than I had planned, which then results in exceeding my expectations, which then results in a happier me ;D
It’s amusing how well it works….