Saturday, July 27, 2013

Work on a New Project: Kibble Quest

Here is the project I've been working on this summer. It is a 2D top-down side shooter. More information can be found here.

Things left to do:

  • Write story material
  • Art for 10 location backgrounds
  • Art for defensive wall
  • Art for game map
  • A few more enemies
  • Optimizing the spawner script for more enjoyable gameplay
For now, here are some images:

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Hand Painted Low Poly Rocks

Today, I tried my hand at modeling and texturing some hand painted rocks.

I used this video as an overview to model.

Here is the download if you would like to use these rocks in your own project. The file contains a compressed file of 3 different rock models and one texture to be used with all of them.

Improved Title Screen

After a while of not working on the game for awhile, I started up again yesterday with a new start menu.

Also, I've upgraded the project to Unity 4.0.0, looking forward to seeing all the new features!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

New Title Screens

The past few days, I spent a lot of work redoing and re-redoing the title screens. I admit, I don't have any artistic talent but I have spent a fair amount of time toying around with Photoshop and I've picked up on a few tips and tricks to make something decent looking.

First I started out with a simple orange background with transparent gray and a font change.
Old title screen, a little borring.

New title screen with moving background.
I decided to redo this by keeping the buttons but changing the simple background with a moving one of  a blurred image of one of the maps. The map moves slowly back and forth with a animation component.

I also improved the method in which the loading was displayed. Previously, I had a complicated system where a black background and loading texts were activated as GUITextures and then the scene with the map was loaded with the camera from the title screen not being destroyed. A few seconds later the Loading GUITexture would turn off and a Touch to Start GUITexture would be loaded and the player could touch it to start the game.

New select player buttons, instead of the 3D models.
This system created a lot of gaps and was mostly unreliable. Instead the new system in use now is the scene is loaded with the HUD camera of the map scene looking directly at a few planes that have the black background and loading text. A few seconds later, when the level is loaded, the player will be able to touch the text to start the game. This is a much more solid approach as there is no discontinuity between the items the player needs to start the game and the scenes being loaded.

Also, this morning, I created a few loading screens so the player doesn't have to stare at a black screen while waiting. The corresponding loading screen is shown depending on what character the player has selected.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

How I Doubled the FPS of my Game

The past few days, I've been working on getting the frame rate of my game up since when there are lots of zombies spawned, the frames per second dropped so low on mobile devices that it was unplayable.

So I set out to create some dramatic changes in my game. First thing, I created a backup of my game in case anything went wrong. Then I did what I should have done from the very start but I did not because I was fairly unexperienced in how to edit UV meshes. Previously for all my FBX files imported from 3DS max, I applied a different texture, each with a different material, to the planes. This results in one draw call for each material. This means there is at least 4 draw calls for each zombie (arms, legs, body, and head) and many more for each floor tile type.

I solved this by recreating all the FBX files and redoing all the UVW maps. I did this three times over for the three groups of FBX files I had: scene prop meshes, zombie and player meshes, and ground meshes. Each of the objects from the groups had to be organized into their own little area from the UVW map: The bottom-left 1/8th is given to one type of ground, the middle-bottom 1/8th is given to another type of ground, and so on and so on. Each UVW template is rendered out and then using Photoshop, the templates are combined into one large 1024 x 1024 and then I can add my textures into each place. This was the hardest part for me to understand when I was learning.

Then the new meshes from 3DS Max now have to be reexported with their new UVW mapping information. So yes, this means there will be more meshes in your project folder but there will be only one material that is shared between the meshes and so the objects will be batched, significantly improving FPS and decreasing draw calls.

As you can see from the first image, I compared the FPS and draw calls from the very first backup that I performed before redoing all the UVW mapping on most of my meshes and I was able to cut the draw calls in half and double the FPS, not bad for a few days of work.

Now I still have to redo the meshes for the houses, I'm thinking about repainting the texture for the brick building, not sure yet though.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Hand Painting Textures

Today I picked up my first drawing tablet, it's the Wacom Bamboo Create. I got it for $175 but if you should around you can get it for even less.

Using a drawing tablet is really weird at first but after an hour of playing around with it and tweaking the settings, I  think I've got it down. Here is my very first texture I created following this tutorial:

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself -- at least for a first time using a drawing tablet.

If you need the texture for any of your own projects, private or commercial, feel free to use it.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

New Dramatic Trailer

Created a new dramatic trailer for the game yesterday, now live on YouTube.