Game Development

June 2016

1 June: After doing a test build, I decided the font I was using was too hard to read on mobile. I decided to aim for a more readable font. A quick internet search led me to believe that Helvetica is considered by a lot of people to be one of the easiest fonts to read on iOS. I'm glad that I changed it... the user interface is a continued work in progress, to say the least. There are a lot of design choices to be made, but having text that is readable is kind of a no brainer.

15 June: I didn't get a chance to commit this update earlier. The first half of June I continued to work on the code for the map scene. I fixed some timing for animations as well as did some corner case/error testing/bug fixing.

30 June: I did a trip (vacation) in the last half of June which put a damper on my progress with the game. That said, I did begin work on the 3D models I'm going to use for the game board for the card game part of the game.

In addition, I'm going to be starting a new job in July which will continue to slow development. However, I hope to be able to continue to progress development of the game, albeit at a much slower rate.

May 2016

May marks the beginning of a new chapter of game development for me. I'm finally in a position where I can being working full time. This website will serve as a place to keep track of my game development progress. Also, it'll be a good place to share concept art and music as I continue to build on my skill set.

6 May: I spent the first week of May completing a few courses on Lynda.com. It was good to fill in the gaps with some areas that I've been lacking. I completed Creating a Game Environment in Blender and Unity and Drawing and Painting in Photoshop - The Great Training. I found the photoshop tutorial to be inspiring. It will no doubt have a massive impact on my game art going forward. Being able to digitally paint will be a great way to build concept art and game visuals. It'll also be nice to design my own textures as well. The blender tutorial addressed some issues I was having with UV mapping as well as demonstrated an effective workflow. I highly recommend them both.

With these new skills in hand, it is time to begin work on the game design... stay tune.

9 May: I finished my first attempt at producing art in photoshop. It is a sideview of a werewolf. I'm struggling a bit with shading - but, I think this'll be a matter of practicing. Its been awhile since I've actually drawn - and, I've never used colouring techniques like this before. However, I'm blown away with the expressive power of photoshop and am definetely sold on it as a medium for art creation going foreward.

10 May: I did a drawing of a druid with a magic spell in his hand in order to have a dedicated light source. I figured this would be a good exercise to work on my shading technique. That said, I've spent the last week focusing mostly on drawing and art. I think its time now to start to spend more time on game design. I think the next few days will be spent coming up with the rule set and basic gameplay ideas.

16 May: I spent the last week working out some gameplay details/spitballing some ideas. I have a fairly good idea now of the nature of the game. Enough so that I was able to work on building a map and drawing some icons for the different armies in the game. I started the game project in Unity, and imported a few of the newly created assets to get a feel for how things are coming together.

I've decided to start a new page that will contain details of the game. That way I can focus this blog on the progress of development without having to go into specifics of the game details. Likewise, it'll be good to have a space that is dedicated to the game itself and not its development. It'll also be a good place to collect all the game details and rules as they come together.

If nothing else, it has forced me to name the game. The game is inspired by Defender of the Crown and Risk, and also Warhammer Invasion. In short, its a game where you battle for supremacy of a map. The battles are conducted using cards. The amount of land that you control affects the amount of resources you collect each turn that you can then apply to upgrading your armies/decks.

With that in mind, I've decided to call the game: Champion.

19 May: Made a lot of progress this week on the back end. Not a lot to show visually, but a lot of code written. I'm learning more and more about Unity each day, and I'm really enjoying the experience of using it to develop this game. Unlike using Spritekit, I'm able to quickly position things and test them out without lengthy building and complie times. Also, using the canvas and anchor feature of the UI is making it easy to develop for multiple different size screens.

I created a few new icons and some user interface stuff, like a banner for the top of the screen and a next button. I made a fort icon to represent the territories that have a base. Bases are required in order to produce cards. I also made a shield looking icon to represent the army. The next step will be to allow the player to invade new territory.

30 May: I'm still working on the map scene. I've added the ability to move the army from one territory to the next. Also, I've added buttons to select whether you want to move your army, read the map, or upgrade your army. I created another scene that will be used to buy and upgrade your army. This required the creation of a singleton class to store the current state of the game.

I also created some animation to show the player receiving gold each turn and I made a sound effect for the coins. I made the sound by recording the shaking of a metal tin full of change.

I also added a custom font, and created some more UI elements, such as the read map screen. I haven't decided completely on the user interface look and feel yet. I'm not entirely certain that I'm happy with the way it is now. But, worse case scenario it'll serve as "programmer's art" while I continue to develop the game. Luckily Unity makes it pretty easy to swap out graphics as you see fit.