A Golf Break

Started making a Golf-Game using a lot of the same code. Why, because I never finish anything -lol. Nah, because I need a change of pace.



June is Going Well

Finished the new UI system and it works… I decided to use the 2019 version since I was doing a complete rebuild and I’m glad I did. I couldn’t make a build on the old 2018 platform and I probably should have just made my own UI from the get go. Now, I am transferring over the environments and reducing draw calls to make the performance better for VR. It is going very well. I am looking forward to being able to transfer to an LTS version soon.

I am days away from making levels, only. .. hooray. The build times seem to be short and the load times seem small too. I have the audio from levels put into a singleton (it doesn’t die on load) – And that is great. Had problems with multiple singleton creation and now… no probs.

Now I am stepping into the arena with post processing to make the game look prettier. No new game footage to show yet, to the unknowing, it looks very similar. But, the old way was so buggy. Now no bugs. I know that the future will have little bugs and tweaks, bring it on.

Some Game Structure Rework

I decided to scrap the system that running the game scores and menus. I was using an asset called game framework , but I modded the heck out of it and it was always giving me problems. I’m glad to say that I am 75% done with its replacement. It’s so much simpler, looks similar, does more things that I need in my game and it works and it is hard to break. I am currently working on the “cheat” system for testing so that I can, in VR, change the game parameters and fix any problems.

Looking back, I probably spent 3-4 months of dev time modding the game framework asset. I thought it would be the way to go, because I plan to make an android/ios version later and this asset was designed with mobile in mind. Anyway, I am glad that I am making my own custom solution. And, at least I learned a lot.

In other news, I have merged the new audio tracts into the game and I working on an audio system that allows dynamic controls of ambiance, fx, music, and menu sound levels. Sometimes, I think that I really didn’t have to do so much and could keep it so much simpler…but I like that the game feels like a complete experience with a story and real graphics and all the goodies.

Also, the logos of the worlds / jobs are in place. And… the mystery of the transition between scenes has been solved. And… my dev notes are updated to include the new game system. Now back to coding.

April is for going backwards

So – I upgraded to the newest version of Unity…only to find out that I didn’t need to. As a matter of fact…it screwed up an important part of my game. The transition between levels no longer works. So I tried to fix it, but then decided to go back to the old version. And I found out that the old version is supported by Oculus…. OMG what a mess.

Above is Gina…she’s so pretty with that cig and blue eye-shadow and dancing and stuff. She may be Bubby’s granddaughter…hmm.

Besides fixing stupid bugs caused by my version change, I have been doing a lot of photoshop and texture compression. Fixing my menu system, naming each level, making icons, and adding sounds. Oh- and I built a whole intro and and short tutorial.

The game has a short little story too. Basically, a flying genie lamp finds you. And out pops a purple redneck guy named Bubby. Seems he is a collector of rare ashtrays, and has been trapped in the genie’s lamp because he accidentally used it as an ashtray. Not too good! But the genie has agreed to release him if he can get someone to beat the his puzzles that all have to do with disposing of a lit cig during work at dangerous places. So, Bubby gives you a magic cig and agrees to act as your guide throughout your game…Win the levels, and take back Bubby’s ashtray collection from the genie. Once all trays are returned, Bubby will be set free…

Now let’s build those levels.

A New VR Toy

I don’t know how I found one, but I now own an Oculus Quest. It’s nice…

Now I screwed myself up a bit, because my project is written using the 2018 (but still updated) version of Unity and the Quest needs 2019. Well crap…

So, I’ve been trying to get around the hundreds of errors when trying to port the f’er from 2018 to 2019. I WILL FIGURE THIS SHIT OUT !!!

Holographic Cigarette Toss

Anyway, the last week was spent on Vacation, away from all things computer. That was a bad choice because most things were shut down because of the crazy virus problem in the US. Well, the beaches were packed, but no alcohol, and the eateries were barely open. So, I would have had time to code…oh well.

I have been spending time on building news things, fixing mesh problems and getting the draw calls down (Making it perform better). Kind of boring and tedious, but its gotta be done. Like every sign and poster in the game now has its own 3 dimension model and all the textures are combined into a common material. Woot for me.

I finished my fantastic magnet drone that picks up a metal things and will be a great puzzle addition. Also made some new holes in wall meshes to add dimension and depth for bucket hiding. Oh, I made a swivel chair that reacts to being hit and spins around with the bucket on it. And the whole computer lab area had been redone with sounds and randomized lights and goodies. And, while I’m on a poopy rant, I made an outhouse that explodes.

Shoot, I forgot the big thing I DID…duh. The game is now ambidextrous, you can use both hands. So cool. So now you not only can use both, you can switch hands. No doodie. And now the props track the hand being used, because I made a new script… Still, got some polishing, but the lefties will be happy. Also it adds to the puzzles, Like, grab a snail gun, throw a cig to a holder orb, teleport while holding the gun….Then, grab the cig, shoot a thing blocking the bucket, throw cig in and win.

More pics and videos coming super soon.

Teleportation and Cannons

I know I owe this page a couple of videos, and they are coming soon. I just finished some more cool stuff. The teleporter is so good now. I made some legs that show you where you’re going to end up, and it works so well. No motion problems at all. I decided to go with a pulsing sphere holder thing that you can toss your cig into and then teleport to the cig to throw it again. Then the holder thing worked so well, I incorporated it into the game in other ways.

Did someone mention a dump truck? Well, I did. The RC dump truck drives around and you can start or stop it by hitting the remote. It can carry anything and make some great puzzle situations.

The pic above is a rough draft promo poster thing. The video (coming soon) shows off the new teleportation system and also; a jade elephant that adds seconds to the timer, a piggy bank that gives you a coin for the soda machine, some new switches, a stuffed bear cannon, and a purple fish that hides in the bucket.

Now I am working on a electromagnet thing that will hang from a chain on a track when indoors and hang from a drone flying along a path when outside. The energized magnet can pick up / drop metal boxes, car hoods, and other metal objects (like sodas) and stuff… The check marks in my notebook have grown substantially… I think I’m about 75% or more done with the core game. I like everything, so far, but I keep getting caught up in details and making things better. Gotta stay focused.

More Toys and Obstacles

I finally got approved by good folks at Steam and can start building my launch website. There are lots of things to learn and play with.

On the game-side, I made the snail gun fully functional, added a vending machine that dispenses explosive sodas, added some bank sucker tubes, a working paint can powered skateboard, hovering platforms and spring boxes. Getting the kinks out of all of the goodies working together. The little laboratory testing areas that I have made have had some unexpected interactions and have given me some more puzzle ideas.

Ooops – forgot to activate the mesh on the Gun hammer and trigger… but you get the idea.

I could make this thing super difficult, but I want to be fair to everyone. I may add some expert puzzles later. Oh, and I started work on the teleporter – right now you put your hand on a scanner and it counts downs and brings you to the next platform. I think I will change it or make another version where flicking the cig teleports you, so you can catch it and toss it again. Thinking about using a dash-like teleport to move the player thru certain stars. Like a people mover.

All in all, it’s looking good. I can ‘t wait to actually build the puzzles. So close now. Below is a new video showing off some more interactions, the snail gun, and the coin and big pop fizee vending machine, and the shaking can mechanic in action.

OMG I added a gun (sort of)

OK -So I had this idea… a snail gun. But why would you shoot a snail? Well, the snail is the “bullet” – it is the shell when fired, but sticks to things…like areas around buttons. That allows players to activate far away buttons and to also use the snail gun to knock over or destroy other things. It works so well. And, its super cute. My weekend was spent making the whole thing and programming. It was a good time. Say hello to the only “weapon” in the game.

A Real Slug

Now I have a few more things to make and then it’s puzzle creation time. I saved that part for last because it will be my favorite part. I have to do some scene optimization first. It will be an ass pain. But, it’s gotta be done. Trying to reduce the draw calls significantly.

And here is another “enemy” of the cigarette.

Waiting for a snack

Now I’m off to make a soda grenade. Of course…because you know what that does… Well, neither do I…yet. But it looks so good. Gotta find a use. So far, throw a coin into the machine, it shakes and tosses a can back at you. You catch it and now you have a fully functional soda grenade. Very messy and non-flammable. Hmm…

And a bonus one for the heck of it.

Rocket Cock-a-doodle

The Explosion Lab

I call it Explosion Lab because I originally set up the scene to test new explosion pre-fabs. Then, of course, I went a little nutz and started making too much stuff. But I like it. I have included a little video to memorialize the creation of some more “hazards”.

I was ill over the weekend and quarantined to my home office, and unity…so I was actually very productive. The video shows the new, pain in the ass, bird. He likes cigarettes and crackers, but who can blame him. Then it shows some of the explosions I created. I am attempting to match the art styles and the polygonal explosions. Some explosions and fire things have slightly realistic styles mixed with polygons. That is my desired design.

Introducing the AA robot (she is saying “AA” BTW) – as in anti-avian and anti-air things. She is very angry. She seems not to like birds or much else. I must figure out a way to destroy or disable her. I love the way her animations turned out. She is actually not animated at all. She just responds to the environment and a predefined path. I love her.

OMG – the video also shows the purple portal grenade. It’s so fun and so many puzzle possibilities. And my new mesh fire effect. You may have noticed that the stuffed bear explodes with stuffing and the red crate with Chinese take-out boxes. I am making many custom explosions that render things associated with level. And I am also working on shrapnel pieces of things that explode. This game is all about blowin stuff up, so it might as well be interesting.

Oh, and my fish is so good. I will show this to you later. I need to quarantine myself more -lol.

Another Milestone

So I just completed the save system and the system that displays and keeps track of the amount of collectibles acquired. And that all interacts with a third system that allows me to hide stuff in the editor. Seems to work well.

I put out a little contest on Reddit for people to make some cig designs. I didn’t get any responses, at first. Then I got a couple of peeps interested, with no examples. So, I decided to do it myself. If anyone wants to show me their designs – I will still pay the bucks if I like them. Here is a little gif of some of my collectible cig packs.

Some Collectible Cig Packs by TenFiddy

The music is coming along nicely. Next up is the explosions and hazards. That takes a bit of programming. I am now officially in programming mode. It was tough to get out of design and art mode. I keep writing notes in a google doc to memorialize my additions and so I can review in the future in case I forget. And here are some of my Smoke Break cig brands.

Virtual Brands for Virtual Smoking

In sad news, I spent the holiday at a huge funeral for my super awesome uncle who…. used to smoke a lot. And guess what he died of… lung and throat cancer. Smoking is no joke. Don’t do it. (Unless it’s in VR) — Uncle Terry will be missed and always loved.