Asteroid Runner Lives Again!

I finally got a bit of free time to work on porting Asteroid Runner over to Unity 5.2. Since the Unity Web Player is going bye-bye, I am exporting it and posting it as WebGL. So, check it out. But be warned, Unity’s WebGL support is still not complete, so there may be a bug or three depending on what browser you use. I am using Chrome and it seems to work OK for me so far. The good news is, you can now play it full screen, so that’s cool.

Next up, I am going to start implementing some of the enhancements I want to do. Just need to find that spare time creator first…

Trello – My Newest Best Friend

I live my life in a perpetual state of being unorganized and behind. Whether at work or home, it always seems like I have too many projects going and I never seem to know where to start or what to do next on a given project. So, I’ve spent the last few days searching around the web looking for apps to help with handling large projects.

I kept seeing Trello mentioned on a lot of pages as being a useful tool. Now, I had dabbled with Trello before, but never really took a closer look at it, but now that I see it popping up so often, I decided to take a closer look and play around with it. I am so glad I did. It’s awesome!

You can take any project and break it down into the various tasks that you need to do to complete this project, and then put those up on a board where you can work with them. It’s the digital equivalent of the old method of pinning 3×5 cards to a corkboard. You can drag the cards between various stacks as needed. For instance, here is a Trello board that I set up for the project I talked about in my last post (updating my Asteroid Runner Game to Unity 5):

TrelloLayout

As you can see, I have various cards stacked vertically. Each column is called a “List” and when I started, all the cards were in the “Tasks” list. As I work on them, I move them to various other lists, such as “Completed” or “In Progress”. You can make as many lists as you want, and customize the names to whatever you want to call them.

The colored bars you can see on some of the cards are called “Labels”. You can add labels to each card if you want, to help coordinate how they work together. Plus you can filter the cards based on these labels. And the labels are totally customizable. For instance, here is the Label list for the above Trello board:

TrelloLabels

So, if I wanted to fire up Photoshop and work on all the sprites that I needed to do for the game, I would just filter the board to only show all the cards that have green labels on them. That would show me what I needed to do while I had Photoshop open.
It’s really pretty cool… and best of all, it’s FREE!

You can have multiple people working on a project, and they can each update the board. I think there are additional features you can use if you pay a fee, but that’s more if you have a bigger team, and need some additional features that I simply don’t need at this time.

It’s a great program. Check it out! 🙂

R.I.P. Unity Web Player

I know nobody reads this blog yet. I mean, nobody knows about it other than me pretty much. I don’t promote it, other than as a link in my signature on a forum or two. But I like having a place to write stuff about what I’m working on, so there ya go!

I used to have a different blog, but I didn’t really like it, and it never really went anywhere, so I decided to start over. Anyway, on that old blog, I posted a Unity game that I wrote last fall called “Asteroid Runner”. After so many years of failed projects and game ideas that never went anywhere, I had challenged myself to write and publish a complete game in a month and that was the result. It was an endless runner-type game where you piloted a spaceship through an asteroid field and tried to last as long as you could. There were power-ups to collect along the way. Yeah, it was a simple concept, but I wanted something simple for my first complete game. It required the Unity Web Player plugin to play in your browser. It was the first game I ever wrote and released completely by myself, and I was proud of it.

Then, for whatever reason, Chrome started blocking the Unity Web Player plugin. It still works in Firefox as far as I know, but I don’t use Firefox, and there are ways to get it to work in Chrome, but it involves a bit of fiddling with config files that I’d rather not do, and I wouldn’t expect anyone who wanted to play it to have to do either. So my game isn’t playable at the moment.

But, never fear. Unity 5 is available now (full version, for free – seriously!) and they have migrated from the Web Player plugin to WebGL now. So, I will be updating my game, hopefully soon, to run under Unity 5 with the WebGL service and then I can re-post it then. I’ve wanted to do a few enhancements to it anyway, so that’ll give me the opportunity to do that as well. Look for that relatively soon-ish.

I would have done this already, but I’m in the middle of working on a more complex project in an effort to elevate my level of knowledge in working with Unity. It’s a side-scrolling platformer/action game which is a tribute to the old FPS Heretic (one of my all time favorite games). I currently have a player sprite in and running around, picking up items, etc. The biggest challenge is designing levels that are reminiscent of Heretic’s levels, but that are playable in a side-scroller. That’s going to take some work, I think. Before anyone says it, I know there are copyright issues in basing this on Raven’s intellectual property. But, I don’t ever plan to release it. My main goal with this project is to learn how to do a platformer without having to worry about game design decisions. Once I get everything figured out, then I can write my own original game and focus on game design instead of coding 🙂

But of course, I have my 50+ hour-per-week job that takes away my game development time, so it’s slow going. But it’s all fun 🙂

Welcome!

Welcome to my humble corner of the web.  I’m Rod.  I am a novice Unity3D programmer.  This blog is for me to explore what I learn as I struggle through the ins and outs of learning Unity.  Hopefully others will find something useful in my tribulations 🙂