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TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogs[Upcoming VIRAL Indie game] Mr E Soup ~ Point & Click Exploration, Experience
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io3 creations
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« on: May 11, 2017, 06:14:23 pm »

Quick questions:
Q: What do you think the title Mr E Soup stands for?
Q: What does it mean for a game to go viral?  X number of players?  Y number of YouTube/Twitch streamers?  Z number of gameplay video views?

A little teaser:

Game inspiration & idea
As I've been sort transferring from Flash to Unity, much like my StickMan Sam (full title: StickMan Sam in a Sticky Situation) Flash game series, I started with a 2d side-scrolling action game but decided that it'd be better to go with something even simpler to focus on learning Unity and creating a game engine template that I can use for other games.  A point & click game is probably one the "simplest" game category and would fit my purpose perfectly.  Even within that category, instead of going with an adventure type, I wanted to focus on the exploration and puzzle solving that I've seen in some of Vectorpark's games: Feed the Head, Windosill, etc.  For theme, the wacky and weird animations of Monty Python's Flying Circus came to mind. Grin
In my recent post regarding similar games, b∀ kkusa  mentioned a few games.  Of those, Plug & Play is exactly along the lines of what I had in mind.  Although it's a slightly more bizarre for my current game, there'll be place for those kind of ideas in other game(s) as I have a "very creative" imagination. Cheesy

About the game
Much like Vectorpark's games, the visuals will be "simple" cartoon style.  Also, much like Feed the Head, there will be no music.   Sure, music can guide and enhance the experience but in a game that where certain kinds of explorations and experiences are meant to be unique to each person, having music is more likely to be a misdirection rather than a match.  Certain rooms/locations/objects may have ambient sounds.

p.s. links to a few Vectorpark games
Feed the Head http://vectorpark.com/head/
 and
Windosill demo   http://windosill.com/online/  are available online for free or you can get them at an app store.
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io3 creations
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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2017, 03:21:00 pm »

One of my main goals is to create a game template with a procedural game approach.  Both for environment and characters.  So far, I really like the component approach.  Especially, for scripts because it's easier to keep the code clean by adding/removing the scripts that you need.  (At least, based on what I was used to with Flash).   But as a programmer, the "dress-up game" approach of having drag-and-drop items in the Editor is something I prefer to avoid.  So far it seems like that I can do what I want with a code based approach.  Hopefully, it'll be true for the other things that I want to implement ... or at least only minimal "dress-up game" will be required. Smiley

Here's another teaser that incorporates my Unity exploration so far.



I've created a TaskManager component that can be added to GameObjects and can receive specific tasks to implement one after the other.

Some of the things that have been implemented:
-move object along a straight line
-move object along an arc
-rotate object
-all of the above at the same time.

Then that TaskManager is extended with EyeTaskManager to:
-open
-close
-blink

I've only briefly looked into Animation and seemed like that it might be simpler to use in some cases but that remains to be seen.  Then how are the eyes animated? Each eyelid is simply made of a half sphere that is being rotated as needed.


Oh, this is what it first looked like when I first saved the image with GifCam.  It starts out fine ... but then something odd happens and the green screen is used.


However, changing the "green screen" color to orange resolved the issue.  SmileyHand Thumbs Up Right
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io3 creations
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« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2017, 07:42:56 pm »

Playing with bones is fun! 



As longs as, they are virtual of course! Smiley

As mentioned earlier, my current approach is to create procedural animations e.g. have a few keyframes and use those for animating objects and bones.

I looked into Unity's Mecanim system but it doesn't seem like that part is easily (or even) accessible with scripts.  There's also what's referred to as "legacy" animation and it's possible to create keyframe based animations for that, but there are a few steps that make it less than ideal.

For moving the fingers in the image above, I animated them in Blender.  Then exported the data with the directX exported.  At this point, since the bones form a connected hierarchy, I only needed the rotations.   However, due to the Left and Right-handed coordinate system differences, some of the Quaternion signs still needed changed.  Interestinly, in the directX exporter there are options to change axes, but that didn't seem to change the Quaternion rotation values.  It might be possible to update the export script, but I also wanted to format the lines in a way that makes it easier to copy into Unity.  For example, adding "f" for floating points at the end of each value and the methods to add them to an animation list for easy lookup.   To accomplish that, I used AutoHotkey.   Also wrote an AutoHotKey script that quickly updates switch/case numerically incremental values for my animation steps since manually updating the numbers after adding or deleting a step is unnecessary extra work.

Interestingly (and luckily) bones in Unity are GameObject type  meaning component scripts can be added.  The AnimationManager sets up each animation step by adding various animation related script components to the bones.  This way it's easy to animate all or just some bones.  That'll come handy for specific situations that can benefit from procedural animations.

Coming next: Shaders are fun!
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« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2017, 08:09:41 pm »

this experience is too intense
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io3 creations
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« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2017, 08:16:48 pm »

Not to worry! You'll be gently introduced to the strangeness.   Hand Point LeftBlinkGrin BlinkHand Point Right
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io3 creations
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« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2017, 11:28:28 am »

The Magic Box  



You've probably seen the portal or portal like effect in a game.  Perhaps in Portal or Antechamber.

There are two techniques to create such effect:
-Render texture
-Stencil:

My main goal for this prototype was to be able to interact with the objects inside each portal.  For a quick prototype, RenderTexture seemed like a better choice because:
-Using stencils requires setting up materials with a stencil "Ref" number as well as corresponding masks.
-It seemed easier to separate each "room" by placing them into separate locations.  Otherwise, placing objects on separate layers or tags could work.  However, I wonder how to "separate" the physics and colliders if all objects are in the same location.  I know there's physics bitmasking so that might work.
-Since my scenes are going to use only a few meshes and even those will be low poly, performance should be fine even with multiple renderTexture (and corresponding cameras).  Unless there are major reasons to switch to stencil, using RenderTexture should work fine.


Ray casting "into" the Magic Box  

The main room and camera is at the bottom.  The other rooms are located vertically with corresponding cameras.  To detect which object is being interacted with (currently mouse click), first, a ray is cast from the "Main View" camera (yellow line in bottom left) with

Code:
camera.ScreenPointToRay(Input.mousePosition);

If the ray hits any of the "portal windows" (currently using simple quads) on the side of the cube, then based on the quad's name another ray is cast from the corresponding camera.  If the second ray hits any of the objects, then a red line is shown for testing purposes.  I was wondering if the code above would work with perhaps only orthographic projection, but it can handle cameras with perspective view as well.  Even the Hand model mesh works fine.
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io3 creations
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« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2017, 05:39:42 pm »

All right! Managed to figure out how to do procedural mesh generation.  These will be used for creating tentacles and procedural tubes.

Segments are created based on the given radius (vertex distance from center line), segment lenght and number of faces.  A segment face is made up of two basic mesh triangles.  For now, the start radius and end radius is given and the in between are interpolated.  Later I'll add an array based approach were each segment radius can be specified independently.

Notes:
-Currently the ends are not filled in since I plan to add something else to the ends later.  Also due to backface culling, it appears as if the mesh wasn't complete.  However, if either the camera or the mesh is rotated around then the other side is visible.
-Mesh is colored in the steps below.

3 sided mesh segments


4 sided segments


10 sided segments


... and before I got things working properly  Grin


The next step was to add bones to the mesh.  Since bones in Unity are Transforms/GameObjects, it's quite easy to set them up.  There are a few other properties to set up which bone affects which vertices and how much (weight).  This approach isn't recommended for most models, but for the simple "tentacle" it works very well.

To keep things simple, for the color I just used vertex colors lerping from red to green.  Also, added a few simple animations to the bones.  However, this approach can work with certain types of shaders (e.g. Particle).

Moving the y position of the bones with a sine function:


Rotating the bones:


Scaling the bones:



You may have notice that there is something odd at certain angles. 



Not sure if it's the shader or setup but since most likely I'll be using materials with textures, it may not be an issue.  But if the issue still persists then I'll look into it.  In case anyone knows what is happening, do let me know.  Smiley

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DireLogomachist
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« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2017, 05:46:10 pm »

has it gone viral yet
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Living and dying by Hanlon's Razor
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« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2017, 06:27:04 pm »

 *Upcoming* is in the thread title Wink


In other news, Steam Greenlight is officially over and will be replaced with Steam Direct on June 13th.  One less thing to worry about! Grin
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nathy grrrl
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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2017, 08:22:23 pm »

I'm gonna quickly answer your initial questions as a way of subscribing, then I'll catch up on the log later on.

1) Mystery Soup, but only after thinking about it to formulate an answer did I see what you did there Tongue
2) It means my little cousins will have heard of this game and we can talk about it or they may even tell me about it at a random family picnic. Also probably that it pops up on my Facebook/Twitter feeds without me following you.
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