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July 02, 2022, 03:18:17 AM

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsCo-Op Pipe Laying Exploration - Clomper | Unity | WIP #55
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Author Topic: Co-Op Pipe Laying Exploration - Clomper | Unity | WIP #55  (Read 12455 times)
JobLeonard
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« Reply #100 on: December 07, 2021, 07:29:11 AM »

Well, obviously my request is that you give us a nice long and gruesome description of the kind of features that await us in the "hellscape" that is the outside world, all expressed with your soothing voice  Wink

Also, just a thought (and I have a feeling I had this idea before) but what if the clomper had windows, but ones that are so tiny and only look into directions that so limited that you still need the periscope. For example, what if the black spots on the back of the ladybug were actually tiny porthole windows, black from being all sooted up and therefore not at all practical to scout with (they also open to the top and side, not to the front or back) but still helpful with giving the players a sense that they are moving forwards/backwards or tipping over if they fall into a crevasse.
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« Reply #101 on: February 13, 2022, 11:43:09 AM »





Winter seems to be the hardest time as a hobby game dev. My intrinsic motivation is still there in heaps (I really want to work on Clomper) but the toll the winter takes on family and friends means that there are often more important things for me to concentrate on.

I can't compare to last year because I was rewriting the netcode, which was like pulling teeth. This year it's been all fun stuff and yet spare time has greatly diminished such that the little I have needs to be cut into self-care downtime too.

There are two main topics I've been working on:

1. More tiles in the environment.

Navigating the Clomper is only going to be fun if the environment is. I've added ramps, roller conveyors and hill-next-to-crevasse, all of which make for interesting challenges. I have a few more I'd like to add and the tiles need new models but I definitely feel like I'm coming to the end of that feature.

With the new tiles, I've added biomes to give the sense that the players have moved over a longer distance. I've applied weights to the tiles, each biome using different weights for each tile. I explain all that much better in the video.

2. Editor tools.

All those weights and tiles needed management, so I created a Unity Editor plugin to allow me to trigger game code in a special scene. This allows me to check the tiles, which is really handy. I recommend making your own tools if you have something a little more complex to test.

I hope to get a chance to make the promised Q&A video as my subscribers have swelled to 1300+ and I'm approaching a regression test phase, which I might stream.

Still enjoying myself, even with the slow progress!
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a-k-
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« Reply #102 on: February 13, 2022, 01:16:44 PM »




So it seems that Nurture by Nature did pay off... eventually.
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #103 on: February 13, 2022, 01:32:05 PM »

Very nice!

Does the gravity inside the clomper change direction when the clomper goes uphill/downhill? I think it should, it would really help with immersion

If you want to take the procgen to the next level you can try contextual weights (that is, vary the weight depending on the adjacent tile), or take inspiration from "error distribution dithering" and make the previously picked tiles increase the probability of unpicked tiles to appear
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« Reply #104 on: February 14, 2022, 06:09:06 AM »

So it seems that Nurture by Nature did pay off... eventually.

Possibly! I think the jury is still deliberating.  Grin

Does the gravity inside the clomper change direction when the clomper goes uphill/downhill? I think it should, it would really help with immersion

That's coming! I have it as a task. I think I'll not apply force to players unless they are jumping/moving but I will apply force to anything that's loose inside the Clomper. Under certain game rules, I think that will be a lot of stuff!

If you want to take the procgen to the next level you can try contextual weights (that is, vary the weight depending on the adjacent tile), or take inspiration from "error distribution dithering" and make the previously picked tiles increase the probability of unpicked tiles to appear

This is great advice and I'm an anticipating rules regarding neighbours; one small piece of YAGNI is that the "choosing part" of the algorithm has access to the neighbours, so adding new rules on a per-tile basis would be great.

I'll look into error distribution dithering. I was thinking of tracking a histogram instead, but I imagine it will have a similar affect.

These are both out of scope for the next alpha release, though!

Thanks both for great feedback!
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #105 on: February 14, 2022, 09:59:49 AM »

Quote
That's coming! I have it as a task. I think I'll not apply force to players unless they are jumping/moving but I will apply force to anything that's loose inside the Clomper. Under certain game rules, I think that will be a lot of stuff!

Yeah, being too accurate and ending up recreating the zero-g plane would probably just create confusion among the players





Having said that, will the camera angle change? I think in real life, if the room turns around you your natural intuition would be to maintain your balance, resulting in a rotated camera angle
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« Reply #106 on: February 14, 2022, 12:26:57 PM »

A camera angle change might work nicely. The way I've phrased it in my little work ticket is to experiment with player affects. There needs to be a huge amount of polish - such as making the camera shake ever so slightly if one of the legs is off the edge of a cliff (because you're running parallel to the edge). I have a big list; I'm not sure how many will get in before the next alpha playtest.
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« Reply #107 on: April 26, 2022, 12:10:03 PM »

Having a family is one way to eat all your spare time. All it takes is for one person (be it a child or adult) in the house to get ill and spare time gets eaten away. That's where I've been in the last 5 weeks, in one endless circle of illness. I even got the big C (no-one else did) and I had it mild (thanks to vaccinations) but it's left me somewhat tired. It's not been long enough to be long covid, just normal recovery so far.

Before I got ill, I was working on my procedurally generated world and in particular quest locations. Putting quests in the world is hard when your world is procedural. You can't just say "put it here" because "here" might not be accessible. I go through my algorithm in the video below; it leans heavily on ray casting and A*.

I also put in a new tile, which is a roller conveyor that dumps the Clomper into a crevasse. I'm both secretly proud of myself and saddened because it's a tough thing to do to players.

Also in the before times, I did some streaming. In my first one I was terrified. I've done pair programming/XP/mob-coding (don't ever do mob-coding if you can help it) before but that was nothing like this. You can look the other people in the eyes. I had 16 people watching at the peak; which I was surprised and delighted about. In the second one, I felt more relaxed but messed up the start. I enjoyed it much more. It takes a fair amount of energy for me to do as it's a kind of performance art but I do want to stream again.



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JobLeonard
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« Reply #108 on: April 27, 2022, 03:55:17 AM »

Oh no, not the big C! Let's hope it won't turn into long covid...

I was bedridden with fever last week, I know exactly how it feels. Five weeks sounds like a marathon though, jeez.

Also, don't feel bad about doing evil things to the player. Remember: "losing is fun!"

Just gotta make sure the game loop is tight enough to afford the occasional setback.
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« Reply #109 on: April 27, 2022, 11:19:15 AM »

Leonard, sorry to hear that you got fever'd. I do hope you're on the mend.

My 5 weeks weren't all my illness; the kids had unexplained-fever (not Covid, we tested like crazy) and the Mrs had other "being a bit older" illnesses. It felt like there was not 5 minutes where we were all well enough to go out to do fun stuff. Spring here in the UK (not sure where you are, sir, sorry!) has been quite lovely and we felt like we've missed a chunk of it. I'm pretty sure I don't have long covid; I'm definitely coming out the back of it now. Not that I've done anything special compared to those that have it, I reckon it's just luck.

You're absolutely right about losing being fun. Without loss there's no risk; without risk - choices mean nothing. Right now the game is a "creative mode" as that's MVP to get me to tech-demo, so the gloves are off!

I asked in the comments of the video for other evil ideas and it seems my viewers are far more devilish than I!
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #110 on: April 28, 2022, 03:15:45 AM »

Yeah, I'm feeling a lot better this week, thank goodness Smiley

I hear you, I'm in the south of Sweden and spring has been quite lovely here too. Luckily I could occasionally sit on the balcony to enjoy the sun at least.


Quote
I asked in the comments of the video for other evil ideas and it seems my viewers are far more devilish than I!

"You keep telling us the outside world is a hellscape, so we aim to deliver!" - your viewers, probably
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« Reply #111 on: May 01, 2022, 02:44:09 PM »

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"You keep telling us the outside world is a hellscape, so we aim to deliver!" - your viewers, probably

Quite right!

I've tried streaming again and it went well but not because my bumbling tour through Unity's physics engine but because one of my viewers was awesome. Kind, patient and offering lots of advice. After the stream, the same fellow made a working proof of concept and sent me the code! I was flabbergasted at his generosity. It's the first time that streaming has truly paid off for the effort.



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JobLeonard
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« Reply #112 on: May 02, 2022, 04:04:23 AM »

As soothing as it is to listen to you I sadly can't afford one and a half hours of live-stream replay. Sounds amazing though. What was the problem he was helping out with?
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« Reply #113 on: May 05, 2022, 11:18:22 AM »

The problem I was having is reproducing the physics of the Clomper proxy (that moves around the world) inside the Clomper where the players are (that is fixed). They're separate things, so there needs to be some manual code to affect all of the entities inside the Clomper.

I was having trouble getting the acceleration off the proxy (largely cos it was late) but it was great to see a solution so nicely presented.
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #114 on: May 09, 2022, 02:23:50 AM »

Ah, yeah I can imagine that syncing up those two things might be a pain
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« Reply #115 on: June 02, 2022, 10:09:23 AM »

I felt like I was making good progress up until the point where I updated the Mirror netcode library to solve some odd lag issues. That opened a Pandora's box of nightmare that I'm consoling myself by mocking myself through a devlog.

I don't normally do package updates at the end of a feature but I felt I needed help from the Mirror community and it's unfair to expect them to help with a package version that's so out of date.



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JobLeonard
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« Reply #116 on: June 03, 2022, 04:38:32 AM »

Love the update. Your coping mechanisms are getting more and more elaborate, hahaha. Good to see that you can still laugh at yourself Smiley
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« Reply #117 on: June 08, 2022, 11:58:06 AM »

Thank you, JobLeonard! I'm lucky that this is a hobby for me and that I can chip away at it over time. No deadlines, no pressure. I imagine that if I was in my 40s in the 1950s, I'd be the sort of person to build a Cathedral out of matchsticks over 5 years or something.

Also since raised an "issue" for Network Transforms in Mirror. I've no idea if it's intended behaviour but it's certainly a change from earlier versions, so worth checking out with the developers.

I fear a little that the Mirror devs aren't as regular in their own Discord as they once were. I hope that the library is supported long enough for the Unity official multiplayer library to be released properly!  Shocked
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« Reply #118 on: June 10, 2022, 12:16:18 AM »

I imagine that if I was in my 40s in the 1950s, I'd be the sort of person to build a Cathedral out of matchsticks over 5 years or something.

This is exactly what I envision myself doing in a pre-digital age as well Smiley

Keep up the great work, still love your videos!
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« Reply #119 on: June 23, 2022, 12:48:24 PM »

I've had to make a hard decision since my last devlog and it's not one I make lightly. I've moving away from Mirror netcode to Unity's official Netcode for Gameobjects.

The reason is that there have been changes made in the more recent updates to Mirror that have broken so much of my code that I'd have to either fork and rewrite sections of Mirror or rewrite huge chunks of my code. I could PR the changes too but I'm an unknown to the Mirror team and I would not expect them to accept such a sweeping change from an unknown.

I can live with that, but there's a deeper problem.

I am not sure if the changes in Mirror are intentional. When I tried to gain some support with a bare bones project and honest question about intent in the library, I got silence.

I can't continue with a library whose support is like that. Netcode for GameObjects is the official Unity solution and although it has its issues too, there is a paid support network behind it.

I'm trying not to knock the volunteers that have kept Mirror going for so long. I take my hat off to them (and have donated on my departure) but I can't carry on.

My game is currently in a horridly broken state but I've had huge experience in my career turning around codebases that are on their knees, so I'm not daunted by that. This was, however, a really difficult video to create because when you're up to your eyes with nothing working, it's difficult to show anything positive!

The upgrade has set me back, 4 weeks already but it will be many more.



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