Alien Assimilator Crash

I have been having fun building out the damage system for Alien Assimilator. During the assimilation run the human army is attacking your ship and as alien overlord you need to protect it fighting off various units like a wave shooter. However at the same time you must keep consuming material to power the shields, weapons, and other systems along with harvesting humans from the city – with your ultimate goal being to harvest as many as possible.

The ship is a simple working system with a variety of modules. These include lots of things like blaster cannons, snatcher beams, shield generators, matter to energy converters, energy storage cells, and thrusters to keep you aloft. If you lose to many modules your ship is going to start to fail ultimately crashing. There will eventually be a variety of designs with different trade offs to unlock – probably even a Borg Cube like one! I will also probably have a simple editor to make your own designs as well.

Unity Development

After four amazing years at Wayfair doing really cool XR projects I am now moving on! I am hoping to find some new and exciting projects to get involved in. Going forward I plan to work on some of my own concepts while looking for freelance Unity development opportunities!

I have many years of experience with Unity and leading XR platforms and devices – SteamVR, Oculus, Magic Leap, HoloLens, Google Daydream/Cardboard/ARCore etc. I also have plenty of experience doing mobile development and performance optimization with Unity including on standalone devices beyond phones like Oculus Quest and Magic Leap One.

I am willing to take on any project. I am reliable, detail oriented, and passionate about what I work on. Check out my LinkedIn profile to see more about my skill set, past projects, and published experiences.

If you need help with a Unity project feel free to contact me via mike@pixelatedramblings.com or reach out through LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook.

Alien Assimilator Humans

Lately I have been trying out ideas for what the humans should look like in Alien Assimilator. After getting some inspiration from lots of voxel characters and looking at voxel games and their art styles I have settled on a style that I like.

I will be working on a lot of different ones following this art style. I decided I wanted a very simplistic design so that the vertex and triangle counts would not be extremely high. Plus these guys are little maybe a couple of inches tall on the ground so you won’t see lots of detail unless you get close to them.

They are modeled in MagicaVoxel as a body, head, arm, and leg. I put them together via script and do simple movements for the legs and arms while they wobble walk. They just wander about and look around right now. I plan to add some more states to them – one is to run around in circles hysterically waving their arms in the air. They can also turn into a rag doll and float when being snatched by the assimilator.

Alien Assimilator Destruction

I have been making a little progress on my alien assimilation game. I have it working with SteamVR 2.0 now with some initial core mechanics. Basically you can just blast the city and pickup the debris which fuels your ship. You can also collect humans which just say funny things at the moment – they will eventually give you power ups as you collect them!  The goal will be to assimilate as many humans as possible within your limited invasion window while keeping your ship powered and defending it from the human army trying to take you down.  It’s pretty simple at the moment, but the explosions are satisfying!

Playing Lost Loot Again

Just relaxing a bit after the holidays and decided to play Lost Loot since I haven’t tried it in a while.  It still runs beautifully on the Rift and is so much fun.  There is something nice about just sitting back and relaxing with the controller and wandering the ocean looking for treasure in VR.  It may not be perfect but it is a fun little game and those megalodons in the depths are still scary!

What’s Up With Lost Loot

You can likely surmise from the absence of posts over the last two years that the update to Lost Loot stalled and lost momentum.  I ran into too many issues with performance around the terrain and the trees that made it just not workable and I couldn’t reliably meet frame rate on minimum spec machines.  Another big reason was that I felt the third person miniature approach I switched to was ultimately the wrong direction and dependent on a controller that wasn’t the future of VR where room scale and hand presence is the standard.  I may jump back into it once Unity revamps the whole terrain portion of the engine but that may be a while!

8 Year Old Concept Art

Here is some concept art from my 8 year old son – two units we will have in the alien invasion arcade game we are working on.  He likes to mock things up in Minecraft.  I am starting to train him with MagicaVoxel which is what I am using to build the voxel models for the game.  These units will likely grow in detail over time.  I am focusing on a programmer art approach which is to get things in then refine them over time as the game play takes shape and the fun emerges!

It’s Now A Dev Blog

So, it has been a long while since I put anything on this website and I have decided I don’t want it to go to waste any longer.  In that spirit I am now just going to write about my current development efforts and share some fun and insightful things about whatever I am working on.  I will also share some tips on Unity and XR where it makes sense but everything will be fairly short and informal.  It will be kind of a rambling development blog. 😉