It’s almost 2018, I plan to write a status report of my game development status soon. In short, I think I spent most of my dev time in 2017 on trees, and am still doing so even today. At least I learned a lot… still feels frustrating though.
For some time, I’ve ignored an issue where objects are in between my game camera and the focus object (in my case, the player). My past games had sparse environments, so this was never really a problem. But my current game will be a bit more diverse than that. When thinking about how to resolve this, I realized there is a simple solution that, while not perfect, gives acceptable results.
There’s more than one way to skin a tree…
While this isn’t related to my game projects on this site, I’ve had the opportunity for my full-time job to experiment in the Unity3D game engine the possibility of modifying meshes, specifically to skew a series of cubes as if they were swaying in the wind. I found the experience quite fascinating, and in this article I describe what I did, my thoughts on how it relates to Unity3D, and include links to my source code in GitHub and some fun animated GIF’s.
While not a standard feature, it IS possible to modify 3D meshes in Unity.
I don’t know why, but it’s hard to focus and make progress on my current project. It seems when I play around a bit with making the level, I end up moving backwards… this week, I did some testing regarding Unity3D’s “Terrain” system and looked again at my tree models.
Generally, using Unity3D’s “Terrain” system yields comparable visual results…
Deadlines are important for developers. Yes, we all hate deadlines, and professionally I keep seeing ridiculously unrealistic ones from customers who don’t know the difference between software and a operating system. It leads to bad quality: my games in particular could have benefited greatly by an extra few months of waiting and thinking. But it also gives a goal and motivation, something that it difficult for indie developers to find.
In past years, I relied on public events to showcase my game and spread the word. I’d work day and night up until a deadline to make a short demo and video to submit with an application, and would continue working several hours each day up until the event to improve what I’d be showing, even making last-minute modifications in the hotel room the night before. So when a deadline was announced for March for an event I was eyeing, I realized I hadn’t even enough of a game to showcase: only walking around worked, and a huge portion (the turn-based strategy bits) was never implemented. So, I got to work…
Working Prototype of Tactical Strategy Gameplay Map
I hoped I would be finished with trees sooner rather than later for “True King,” but as I continued to place trees by hand, I realized my frame rate for this large open world was dropping bad before I had placed all of the forest. I noticed that the scene had a few million polygons, which is a big no-no (some sources online claim to target under 1 million polygons in Unity3D to avoid bad performance on most hardware). So I had to fix it…
Trees don’t need high-polygons…