I got to the point where I was writing a lot of code in my experimental builder project. I wondered at what point I should move all of this stuff into the main project again, so I asked reddit for best practice and got some reasonable replies. I decided to move the code immediately into the main project and create a new scene.
The more I played, the more I realised that the physics felt off. Everything looked like toys bobbing around in the bath. I played with gravity and mass settings and got some hilarious results but I wanted the Cloudships to feel like they had heft. One of the things that really struck me were the cannon balls. They moved too fast, which made the scale look odd.
Unity uses state machines for controlling NPCs. I have two states on the enemy at the moment: if the player is a long way away then keep on your course, if the player is close the steer RIGHT AT IT!
That's not a very interesting bit of AI but it helps to test a whole range of things, including collision. Unity uses low poly collision meshes that are generated from your models automatically, which saved me a ton of work.
I didn't want players to hold own W all the time. I'm sure I'm not the only one that feels the strain after a day of pressing W to go forward! You now tap WS to increase/decrease thrust and the EOT moves along in time. The compass turns along with the camera (clamped to North) and the green arrow shows the track over the ground... although it doesn't seem to take into account camera angle - so I'll fix that next.
Also, the controller doesn't cast a shadow (thanks EMW).
I want to be able to support different controls eventually (particularly Xbox type thing). Unity3D takes care of a lot of this out of the box, so as long as I don't use point-and-click solely, it just works.
One problem I have is that it is difficult to tell what control effect you're having on the Cloudship. This has been exacerbated by moving the camera around. The controller will need to tell the player what's going on with the Cloudship. My plan for the controller was to group together similar things: helm, EOT (speed), compass etc on a barrel:
Keeping organised has allowed me to make best use of the limited time I get at my computer. An hour here, an hour there. I can look at videos during lunch break to fill gaps in my understanding so that I can get started more quickly.
I find that if there is a problem with a personal project, then I find it harder to go back to because it's the path of considerable resistance compared to playing Minecraft etc. The Puffy Little Clouds problem I detail below was one of those; I just forced myself to get on with it.
I've been enjoying building up my Imperial Rank to buy an Imperial Clipper and last night I used the emergent properties of the game world to win a fight I could not have won myself.
The mission was to bring back 27 units of Uranium. Nothing too difficult there however the price was high and the rank was "Elite", way above where I am. My ship, the Fug...
This looks brilliant. From the Eurogamer roundup (below):
The latest game from Zachtronics Opus Magnum is essentially Space Chem but with a steam punk esthetic and with some slightly different constraints
You use an alchemical engine that consists of moving arms and various modifying runes to take inputs and turn them into a desired output.
It's basically like most Zachtronics games
I'm quite a fan of their work and have enjoyed most of their efforts from space chem to infinifactory even tis-100 and shenzen io (that get quite close to the sort of thing I do for a living but slightly lower level) are quite fun.
Christmas 2017 will be known forever as the Christmas that sucked. Nothing huge happened but a million tiny "fuck offs" that appear to be giving still.