Better looking environments in Unity (Part 2)

This is the second part of my series on better looking environments in Unity.  It has been a while since the first post and Unity has made a lot of improvements since then.  In this part I wanted to cover the post processing effects needed to achieve a more dramatic look, like the one in the current set of screenshots that I posted over the summer, which can be found in the Media tab. With… Continue reading

Boston FIG

The first ever Boston FIG (Boston Festival of Indie Games) happened this past Saturday and it was an amazing event to be a part of.  There were over a thousand in attendance, which I think far exceeded the expected registrations for the the event.  The main feature was a digital games showcase which housed a select set of indie games from the area which you could both play and vote on – with the developers themselves… Continue reading

The Diablo/WOW Hybrid Super Camera!

Originally AOS was going to be a strictly top down Diablo style game.  After my friend Nathan started testing out my game builds the first thing he said is you need WASD!  And I just groaned and said it is supposed to be a Diablo clone.  Anyway, long story short – you can play both ways at the same time now. After salivating over the nice first person vistas using the new HDR+Bloom capabilities in… Continue reading

Character movement, animation, and footsteps

I am still working on basic combat in AOS.  One of the areas that I have just completed is driving the biped characters based on the movement stat.  This stat is the first of my action stats which is in feet per second and because it is a stat will allow buffs and debuffs to automatically impact the movement rate of the character. So in a combat scenario I want the character animation and footstep… Continue reading

Once upon a time…

I have been working on the beginning of the official story for AOS.  I have had lots of ideas and background material that has been percolating for years, however to actually begin the design of something that is supposed to excite, intrigue, and surprise people is extremely difficult.  Having no formal training in storytelling or writing, and being cursed with a programmer’s brain, I am working at a great disadvantage. The background story is a… Continue reading

Unity 3.5, Mercurial, and BitBucket

I have successfully updated my project to 3.5 and switched to using external version control, moving it into a Mercurial repository.  I am still a little dismayed that Unity doesn’t work a little more smoothly with things under version control.  Having a second set of meta files for everything means that you need to manage moving and renaming everything yourself and then doing the proper commands to your VCS when you do that.  Workflow like… Continue reading

Pizza, beer, and Diablo III

So the verdict is in for me – after two weeks of demon squishing I have concluded Diablo III just isn’t Diablo II or Diablo I.  The magic just isn’t there.  I have run two different classes now to completion and I don’t think I want to play anymore – replaying the same stuff in Nightmare just isn’t appealing.  After watching the entire credits, I can’t believe how many people worked on this game and… Continue reading

MassDiGi Game Challenge

The first MassDiGi Game Challenge is now over.  Congrats to the finalists and the winners, and thanks to all the people who put it together and the sponsors and mentors who donated time and money, it does mean a lot to the growing game development community here in MA. All of the entries seemed really unique and innovative.  I wasn’t participating with an entry but I did thoroughly enjoy the whole event.  I am definitely… Continue reading

PAX EAST!

PAX EAST is is only a week away!  I am happily participating this year and hopefully in many future years.  I will be going to the Friday sessions and the “Made in MA” pre-Pax party.  I will be giving a helping hand to Part12 Studios there – which is a local studio that does some great causal gaming apps for iOS and Android.  I will also be participating in the Made in MA @ Pax… Continue reading

Action RPG combat mechanics

I have started delving into the details of actual stats and the combat mechanics related to them.  I want AOS to have an action RPG feel when it comes to combat but without the tediousness of collecting and selling tons of items. The aspects I want to pull from this genre are the combat feel with the ability to tailor stats and skills through magical equipment and talismans.  Being more of an adventure game the… Continue reading

Turning day to night and other Unity lighting tips

I found a thread on the Unity forums on lighting tips a while ago that had many good suggestions and came up with one I posted there that people may find useful:  I have been playing a bit with the lighting using the deferred lighting rendering path and dual lightmaps. I played around with a technique to make it go from day to night with the same lightmaps by changing the directional light color and… Continue reading

Photorealism in real-time games

I recently came across a great article in ars technica during some resent news surfing – no I don’t browse CNN, I end up at places like ars and slashdot which in my opinion are REAL news sources.  I am sure there are lots of kindred souls out there that feel the same. So, this article, which you should definitely read, is called ‘How close are we to truly photorealistic, real-time games?‘.  I of course… Continue reading

Behavior Trees! (Part 1)

After some research and experimentation I have begun creating a customized behavior tree implementation that is integrated into the core of my framework.  Each entity of the framework can have behavior trees and will look at environment, sensory, and memory information and drive the entity through actions which are things like move, attack, cast, use, consume, and so on.  There will likely be many actions and the framework will support adding additional custom actions, conditions,… Continue reading

Better looking environments in Unity (Part 1)

After developing a prototype forest scene a while ago, I wanted to somehow improve the terrain textures to look sharper and have more detail.  I have been thoroughly inspired by the environment art of an indie action RPG that is in the works called Grim Dawn.  After some pointers by other Unity developers I recently found a way to get the terrain in Unity to incorporate bump mapping.  I have been pleased with the results… Continue reading

The endless complexities of an RPG framework

I was recently browsing the unity forums and discovered another post of someone wanting to build their own RPGs.  They naively ask the question, “How do I make a game?”  Like someone could answer in another sentence or two with the steps.  It started me thinking about the framework I am toiling on and just how much further I need to go to reach some kind of critical mass.  I seem to be drawn down… Continue reading

What is an RPG? (Part 1)

I have been working for a very long time on the basics of a framework within Unity to support RPGs.  It really only covers the bare essentials and isn’t too specific right now.  It is mostly the nuts and bolts of stuff needed to get anything else done.  Think of it as building the operating system needed to actually write an application and you will get an idea of what I am talking about. Anyway,… Continue reading

The magic of text adventure games

I have always adored interactive fiction (IF), at least in its fantasy form.  The vast MUDs of days before computer graphics always intrigued me.  One that caught my eye was Avalon.  I think it is always the sense of unending possibility that I love the most.  Your imagination always fills in the blanks, and there is always so much to explore.  The rich descriptions of places and things provide so much more for the mind… Continue reading

The modern game engine

When I was in college, or should I say in a previous life, since it seems so long ago, I remember playing games with great intro movies.  I always commented to my friends, hovered around the monitor, how one day not too far away, the actual game will look as good as those scenes. Of course, by standards today, those scenes looked like a student animation project done at the last minute with poor art… Continue reading

Creating your own world

So you want to fulfill that nagging desire you have had since childhood?  You know, the one you have had ever since you opened that box, pouring over those manuals, and inspecting every detail of packaging art.  I’m talking about that game that changed you inside.  The one that sent your imagination soaring, turned you into a hero, and hooked you forever to the gaming experience.  Yes, that one, you remember now.  It sucked away… Continue reading