The Card: Developer Diary 03

developer. designer. gamer. scholar.

The Card: Developer Diary 03

I think things are finally starting to come together.

As I mentioned in my last blog post, my top priority very recently has been finding a job to sustain myself.  Despite my best efforts to locate a job in the game industry, the circumstances of my situation required me to accept the first appropriate job that crossed my path, and I am currently working as a web developer.

While this is a setback for my overall goals of making it as a game developer, I now have a stable job sustaining me.  With proper discipline and time management, I’ve been able to work on The Card in addition to my full time job, and I’m excited for the future.

After an extended transition (moving to yet another city, finding an apartment, acquiring a bed, trying to get internet to work), I finally reached a position where I was able to work on The Card regularly last week.  I’ve been averaging about 2 hours per week night of pure development time, and progress has been coming along nicely.

Accomplishments

9/3/2019 — Tuesday

  • Completely redesigned the prototype with better placeholders to cut away a lot of the weird fonts / gradients.
  • Set up a Main Menu scene along with a Stage 01
  • Added in a fading transition between scenes

9/4/2019 — Wednesday

  • Created singletons to handle level changing and managing levels individually
  • Ended up having to rebuild most of the fading transition from scratch to get it to work correctly with the new singleton process
  • Constructed dialogue UI elements for Stage 01, along with a basic animation so that the dialogue element pops into view using a mask.
  • Began using Unity Collab as version control because I’m working alone and don’t have the internet bandwidth to set up a perforce server like I initially wanted to

9/5/2019 — Thursday

  • Created a settings UI with animation opening and closing
  • Spent most of my time researching animation and the potential for using Timeline for cutscenes

9/6/2019 —  Friday

  • Went to Home Depot and purchased marker board material
  • Spent the rest of the night installing it with great success

Whiteboard

9/7/2019 —  Saturday

  • Reworked the dialogue animation to preserve a better hierarchy similar to the settings interface
  • Reworked the prototype dialogue scripts to be more efficient and work with my singletons
  • Added text animation!
  • Began reaching out to an artist and musician I hope to collaborate with.
  • Did my first #screenshotsaturday!

The Good Stuff

Main Menu, transition to Stage 01, transition back to Main Menu:

My dialogue animation, with the demonstration of tapping while it’s auto-typing to instantly complete the line:

Goals

  • Set up scenes for all 16 main levels, plus the final draw (the “boss” level”)
  • Implement options.  Make sure they stay saved in player prefs between sessions.
  • Spend an indeterminate amount of time working on the narrative
  • Stretch goal:  spend more time investigating the idea of writing narrative into a JSON file and using those as assets.

Last Thoughts

In other exciting news, I’m getting a new monitor to help with development.  The ones I currently have are dying on me, and using Unity on my laptop screen is a pain when I need to have a lot of editors open at the same time, like the animator timeline.  As time goes on, I’m going to really be able to invest in my development pipeline and get myself the tools I need to be better and faster.  I can already tell that this whiteboard has been a huge boon to the design process.

My birthday is coming up this weekend and while I don’t think I’ll be doing anything then, I do plan to celebrate it sometime this month, so that’ll probably affect development speed that weekend.

Also, on the weekend of October 4th-6th, I will be a mentor at the game jam, Chillennium which I highly encourage you to check out.  Chillennium was the first ever game jam I participated in, and during my final year at college I won the VR award for Dimensional Shift.  I’m extremely excited to help mentor up and coming game developers.

~Caleb

 

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