So, I’ve gotten the game playable, and I’ve spent a lot of time working through the environment art, and the gameplay modes. I was really excited once I found what I considered to be a very fun loop within the game. There is very little left that I ‘have’ to do before I’d consider it the minimum viable product for the Gear VR. I have some lofty goals around post launch goals (Multiplayer, more levels, more dragons, more animations, more polish, better performance, etc. etc.).

But the basics of the game are you load into an environment where you can customize your dragon, view your scores, or climb atop a dragon, and fly into one of four realms. Within each realm there are 3 different game modes. First mode is a ring game, where you fly your dragon around the environment through a series of rings. It’s more of a suggested tour of the area, but allows you to just enjoy flying on a dragon and setting your own pace. The second mode is an unlimited fire mode, where you have several things to fly around and roast. This again, allows you to just enjoy flying around and lighting things up whilst riding on the back of a dragon. The third game mode is a challenge mode, where it combines flying through rings, collecting firepower, and then burning things down. This actually turns out to be really fun because you have to balance how quickly you pass through the rings, with how diligently you search for firepower. Fly to fast, and you won’t be able to burn down enough ships or buildings. Fly to slow, and you won’t have enough time to collect firepower, and you’ll miss out on burning things down.

Additionally, I’ll have a number of potions which can be collected throughout the levels which unlock dragon colors. So customizing your dragon is another layer of the game, where you will need to explore the far reaches to collect the colors that you want your dragon to be. Simple mechanics, but I’m really proud of how the game looks, and ultimately I find it really fun to develop, and to test, which is a promising thing. I still have to put together a video, screenshots, and finish some of the code around these features, but I hope to be just in Bug Fixing mode by October 1st. It’s getting really close now that the three game modes are available.

Next stop – additional hardware, and additional features. Unless the wind carries me in a different direction to a new project 😉

It kind of took me a while to find an art style that I think I can go with. But here is some of the early development on Dragon Flight. I’m hoping to get it ready for release and in the market for the end of this year.

September 18th:

September 17th:

September 16th:
Screen Shot 2017-09-15 at 10.58.35 AM

September 15th:

September 14th:

September 13th:

September 12th:

I had a ton of fun at the Unity Meetup Tonight (Slides here). I’ve had a lot of contract work recently around HTTP and REST api interactions. So I thought I’d drone on about the best way to handle these functions in Unity, and give a little shoutout to a Unity Asset.

We also talked about the game jam, and our sponsor Houdini. I’m getting really excited that it’s coming together, and I’m excited to see what everyone comes up with. Also had a good dinner with some friends. It’s always good to catch up.

I was really happy to have been able to help on the Farmers 2050 app which just was released. (iOS, Android)

It was really fun to work with the team at Robots and Pencils on this project. The client was really cool about developing a farming simulation game that is entirely free! So, there are no In-App Purchases, and there is no Advertising, and it’s a free game. The intent of the game is to educate users about what goes into farming, and how interconnected it is to a community. It was a really fun project done in Unity, and had a lot of interesting moving parts. Had a blast developing for this client.

Hey, checkout my Unity Asset here.

So I wrote an API wrapper for Google Street View in Unity. This was the foundation for a prototype I was building, and I looked at the code, and thought, I’m sure other people could probably find this useful if they are developing in VR. So I put together a cool tool to feed in a lat / long as an input, and then update a cubemap on an interval. Pretty straight forward, but I enjoyed making it, and I hope a few people will enjoy using it.

A friend of mine referred me to Robots & Pencils, and I thought I’d start helping them out. It’s exciting to be working with a big organization like theirs on exciting projects. They are a developer for hire firm, and as such, I won’t be able to talk too much about the various projects that I’ll be involved in. But it is developing in Unity, and targeting several platforms, so exactly what I enjoy doing.

I’ve been talking with a member of the Las Vegas Unity Meetup recently, and he’s working on an Indie project. Finally talked more about it, and got invited to collaborate on his project.

http://knightlyknockout.com/

Absolutely love the art:

https://www.artstation.com/artist/markdidit

I’d post more of the game and art here, but I don’t want it to get confused about my contributions. My main draw was the art style, because it’s awesome, so definitely check it out. I’m just really excited to be able to collaborate on this project. So far I’ve only fixed a few bugs, but I’m really looking forward to working on this project in my spare time.

I’ve extended the flocking code framework to now have the concept of Enemy Squadrons. They have multiple states, and idle in a defense pattern, begin an approach, deliver an attack on a defense target, and even retreat, and return to their idle defense origin. It’s really fun to see game elements start to come together. I also had to work out the friendly defense units, and did some rough animations of some cubes to get the game going.

I’ve been really focused on getting the Art to progress, but now it’s time to define the game mechanics, and decide how it will play. This phase is always interesting to me because it’s about finding the fun. As part of this, I’ve read a lot about other people’s post postmortems and tried to develop more of a story element behind these characters. I think I know a little about the enemy and why they are attacking these units, but I know I need to continue to flesh this out.

I know a little about the game I want to make, but I need to take it out for a nice dinner, and get to know it a little better. I know I’m slow at these parts of the development process, but I’m not worried about the rest. Once the game is well defined, I’m confident I’ll be able to get the pieces to come together to tell the story. It’s getting the story together that I’m trying to work on now.

I’ve been playing around with a space environment, and I think this is pretty close to the look that I want for the environment. I made some more tests with the flocking to test performance in the environment, but I thought I’d post a quick video showing off the environment pieces a little. Although I don’t look around the environment too much in these videos, this is in VR, and it is accurate representation of space. Star Map Emitter, Planets, and a Galaxy skybox. I did distort some of the distances… (Moon is technically too close) But hopefully that can be forgiven for the sake of art.

Playing around with Flocking, and removing GC calls, and optimizations for large numbers of independent groupings. I think this is way more than I plan on controlling at any given time, but 3,000 runs pretty smoothly even without the CPU batching planned in Unity 5.6.

A little more contextual example would be 47 Squadrons of 7 ships each with their own dynamic targeting / pathing. This video was captured while playing in Unity on the HTC Vive at 140 fps using an nVidia GTX 980. This also has an extra 200 draw calls in the scene just to make sure I have plenty of headroom for performance once everything is added.