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Windows to iOS using Unity Cloud Build

So this sprint my goal was just to get the game running on iOS.  Since I don’t have a mac I thought this was going to take a ton of time or even be impossible.  I spent a little bit of time googling around and there was a lot of despair about it and the only accepted answers were to use a virtual machine.  I was not into that idea.  Thankfully I did not have to tread there because I found this.

With a few slight modifications I was able to get all of the required files to create a mobile provision and signing certificate.  I plugged all of that into Unity Cloud Build and I was able to get a build of my game onto my phone, all without a mac.  Ok, so that was easy, but I quickly ran into some problems.

First Problem: Unity Cloud Build does not import Maya .mb files

First of all, none of the characters appeared on screen.  I had been just saving .mb files from Maya and using them as the basis for my content.  This works fine on the PC.  It turns out that Unity Cloud Build does not support this.  Unity uses Maya (and its FBX SDK) in the background to silently turn your .mb files into .fbx files apparently, and Unity Cloud Build won’t do that for you.  Makes sense.  I just did not anticipate it.  So what did this mean?  I had to open and re-export all of my .mb files to .fbx, remake prefabs based on them, fix up materials, and reconnect any references to the new prefabs.  Thankfully I had less than 20 .mb files across the two models I have been working with so far so this wasn’t that bad. This could have been a production nightmare if I found this out at the end.

Second Problem: OnGUI slows even the simplest game to a CRAWL on iOS

All of this took only a couple days so I threw a bunch of touch input work into this sprint and got busy.  First I added simple taps and then I added swipe gestures.  Ultimately the swipe gestures did not work out for what I’m trying to do.  I really liked how the swipes worked in Tiny Rogue but that game takes place in a single screen and the pace is much slower than what I am going for, so it ended up being frustrating to swipe repeatedly to move quickly over longer distances.  Anyways, it quickly became evident that the frame rate was not great.  As I was googling around about input handling on iOS I came across threads talking about how terrible performance on iOS is when using OnGUI and UnityEvents.  Shiiiiiiiiiit.  I’m doing that.  The whole architecture I am using is based on polling for events in OnGUI, processing them in Update, and rendering the camera into a texture and blitting that after doing a yield return new WaitForEndOfFrame().  I may need to rethink this.

I decided to put that on the shelf–I heard premature optimization is the devil.  The last thing I did this sprint was to add a DPad control that only shows up on iOS and get tap inputs working which move the character around.

Progress vid:

And, here is this sprint’s Task Board

Next sprint I am finally going to tackle tile layers, both dynamically created tiles and preauthored levels.

Sprints!

Regular, meaningful progress is hard to make when you have a full time job and a family. I figured a public blog would help compel me to do it, but it hasn’t worked. So now I am trying to add some structure, and make that public too. I found some open source scrum called Taiga and I setup a backlog and a few sprints of work.
The first sprint, which took place over the past two weeks, was a success –I finished all the things I wanted to. It was about completing a basic set of hero movement content and death, and the (what I thought was a little bit) of code to tie it together. Since I am using 3D models to represent 2D art, to get the character to face different directions it is actually a model swap rather than a sprite swap. In Unity this means switching to a different skeleton and animation controller.
It feels good to queue up a set of tasks to do over two weeks which are a small piece of a bigger puzzle and at the end, you’ve learned something about that puzzle. I totally changed what I was going to work on in the next sprint after move the needle ever so slightly in a different direction and learned just a bit more about what I’m making.

Movement and dodging experiment

The game has reached a mini-milestone. All of the parts I need to test movement and dodging projectiles are finished. Like many Roguelike games, each move is a turn and all characters take turns simultaneously, but at different rates. What I wanted to test here is the turn based movement of the Player and the continuous movement of projectiles. The combination of these requires the Player to move in order to dodge.
I’ll be throwing builds into my public Dropbox folder if anyone wants to playtest and give feedback. Next up are the damage system and I want to try another experiment, which is the use of skeletal animation.

Yet unnamed Roguelike

While my wife was at GDC I began work on a Roguelike game in Unity.  I have limited time, so progress has been slow but steady.  I’m currently using art from Oryx Design Lab (http://ift.tt/1iD1s45). I’m close to the point where I can playtest the most basic mechanics.  I’ve definitely suffered from the ‘start a lot of projects that don’t get finished’ problem in the past and I am hoping that keeping a devlog will help push me to ship this game by making my progress public.
Honestly I don’t have a super strong ‘seed’ that everything is growing from.  I am definitely figuring things out as I go.  My current thinking is that the game will have these elements
  1. Movement is turn based like most roguelikes
  2. Projectile movement is continuous, so you’ll have to move to dodge them
  3. I’ll have a pixelated art style, probably 16×16 for most characters and environment tiles, however the characters will use skeletal animation
  4. It will be the inverse of Rogue Legacy in that, you venture outside of a castle into a new environment after each death
  5. There will be weather and survival elements like Unreal World, but less so.  
  6. Your progress is measured in how many days you survive, like in Neo Scavenger
I don’t know much more than that right now.  I’m very close to being able to test #2 from above
This blurb and this image are what sparked the whole thing:
Game takes place across a series of ‘single screen’ battles, al la OG Zelda.
As you move to the edge of the screen, the camera lerps to the next screen
     crazy town idea–it is multiplayer, you get matchmade with players in the next screen
Turn based, roguelike style movement of characters
Projectiles can be dodged in real-time
reverse of rogue legacy–where instead of going into a randomly generated castle, you exit your home into the randomly generated forest
     you only get to keep what you bring back?
     you only get to keep ‘special’ items a la enchanted cave 2
Here is my current todo list
Stay tuned for more updates!