Galen Drew

Blog

A collection of thoughts. 

Learning Unity Part 2-56

It's been the HOTTEST of minutes since I made a post and I realize that I am a trash person when it comes to blogging.  

Now, Unity. I have been continually teaching myself to program over the last year and have been working on a number of dumb indie game projects as a way to facilitate learning. Here is the cronology. (be aware that this is half for me to document my progress for myself, and half for whoever is interested) 

This was one of the first projects I made, an idle game for a screensaver themed game jam on itch.io. I made it purely through modeling in C4D and the animation timeline feature in unity. 

It also got a little bitty write up in PC Gamer as the best game to come out of the game jam, so thats a neat thing. 

After making a pretty game with zero programming and no gameplay, I decided to really brand out, and make something with artistic value and no content. This was a failed attempt to create an environment, and much of the learnings I discovered here got re-used elsewhere in later prototypes. This was also my first real foray into making anything in VR.

So following this I started to actually work on a game ass video game based on a rolling ball concept. Clearly I had just done the rolling ball tutorial from unity and decided to make a game from it. This project involved my biggest push through learning to program and ultimatly gave me the foundation of what I needed to know. In the end, the game wasn't that interesting to play (you rolled this round man into buildings to collapse them), though I may revisit the idea in the future. 

This project, titled Roadtrip, is another one to revisit, the idea was to build on a lot of the concepts I had used in Sequence (the game jam game) of random events and day/night cycles, but use it for a slightly different application. It ended up being a really neat show piece and I was able to start to figure out how to do some of this random generaton and cycling animation loops through code. Another unreleased gem. 

In the mean time of creating dumb games for lames, I was making cool tools for fools. I had the opportunity, spurred on by some the things I was doing at work, to start working on a few little editor tools for unity, such as the cloner tool (based on C4D's cloner tool) in unity. 

After a while of messing around with a lot of little VR prototypes and playing with what I could make in unity, I deciced to take on the work of making a VR adventure game, it was a crazy proposition since I had never done anything of that scale before and the reality of that set in quickly. I worked on the protoype for this game for about 5 months, and came to realize the scope was beyond what I was able to execute, so I decided to put it on pause. While this project is still unfinished, it ended up being a really exceptional skill building experience to develop my VR knowledge and develop some custom VR solutions for movement and interaction. 

Here's where things started to get real cool. During December of 2016, I decided to take time off from the VR adventure game to focus on a smalelr project that had a much more achievable scope. This ended up being Yule VR, a game for Oculus Rift and Touch, where players can sit next to a warming hearth and soak up yuletide cheer... or they can set fire to the entirety of thier cozy living room. This was a huge leap for me, both in technical skill and programming as well as art and modeling. I built on top of a plugin for unity called Newton VR to handle the physics and VR interation, and modeled, textured, coded, and arranged the entire scene around you. This project is up and available for free for anyone with an Oculus Rift and Oculus Touch at https://splice14.itch.io/yulevr

Getting to the end, I promise. 
This project is an ongoing collaberation between a friend of mine, Caitlin Esworthy, and I. It is a music game for Oculus in which each object in front of you makes a component of a song (kicks, snares, hi hats) and their physical arrangement and orientation changes the way that audio sounds.

FINAL ONE! (for now) 

This is a project called Cycles. It is a reimagining of Sequence (the game jam one) rebuilt from the ground up. This one is also the culmination of many of the skills I had built these other games. The day/night cycle, weather patterns, and colour changes are all things that I have taken from other experiments of mine and rebuilt for this project. I just completed the game and it will be up on Itch.io in the next couple weeks. 

Galen Drew