• Really loving the Gaia asset for Unity. As we all know, Unity has no really great built-in terrain …

    December 10, 2015 Lysander Uncategorized
    Really loving the Gaia asset for Unity.

    As we all know, Unity has no really great built-in terrain tools- just the basic brushes to raise, lower, and smooth terrain, etc… Those work fine for detail work, but would take forever to make a large realistic terrain, especially if you want the terrain attributes to be a little randomized.

    A couple of weeks ago I bought the World Machine program, intending to use it to create a detailed height-map which could then be imported and used to generate a terrain in Unity. World Machine gives a fantastic level of control, and I’m quite fond of it overall, but the process requires a level of effort and trial-and-error that’s a little off-putting. It’s complicated, it’s finicky, some of the controls are awkward- it feels like a fantastic program with design problems that could easily be top-tier with a better UI. It also takes a heavily mathematical and procedural approach to terrain generation and manipulation, like forming a planet using nothing but equations stacked on equations.

    Yesterday I bought Gaia on the AssetStore, and I’m totally blown away. It’s still a little rough, but it takes a very fluid and organic approach to terrain creation. Using various terrain type examples as “stamps” along with a few modifiers and adjustments, you can create any configuration of features quickly and easily, right there in Unity, and it even helps to handle textures and detail asset placement like grass, trees, rocks, and bushes. I’m a bit sorry that I bought World Machine now, despite it being a great program, because I just know that as long as I keep working in Unity I’m never going to use it again.

  • Was having trouble with the Xffect Editor Pro’s method for making “decals” on the ground for explosion…

    September 14, 2015 Lysander Uncategorized

    Was having trouble with the Xffect Editor Pro's method for making "decals" on the ground for explosion scorch marks or frozen-ground effects. It uses a very simple system of just making a flat plane with a material assigned to it and facing it up in the Y+ direction wherever an impact occurs. Since the decal object isn't passed the collision details, it has no idea which object it collided with or the surface normal direction where the collision occurred, etc… As a result, proper decals can't easily be made using the Xffect Editor itself.

    What I ended up doing is removing all of the single-direction pseudo-decals in the effects and instead use the collision component's delegate assignment to send a signal to my effect controller script whenever an effect collides and is about to generate an "explosion" follow-up. When it gets that signal, it does a few raycasts from the explosion point to check if terrain is in range (and collect some surface impact data in the process). Then, if some terrain is in range, it takes a pre-pooled Projector object, assigns the proper material/texture and UV settings, sets the origin point as the explosion epicenter, target point as the average of all surface hits collected earlier, then adjusts the distance so that the frustrum has about the same radius as the greatest distance between impact points. After that, it's just turn the projector on and voila! After a few seconds, the projector will fade by adjusting the base color to be closer to black and then finally turn itself off and get re-pooled.

    It was a bit of effort, but I like how it works.

  • Was having trouble with the Xffect Editor Pro’s method for making “decals” on the ground for explosion…

    September 13, 2015 Lysander Uncategorized
    Was having trouble with the Xffect Editor Pro’s method for making “decals” on the ground for explosion scorch marks or frozen-ground effects. It uses a very simple system of just making a flat plane with a material assigned to it and facing it up in the Y+ direction wherever an impact occurs. Since the decal object isn’t passed the collision details, it has no idea which object it collided with or the surface normal direction where the collision occurred, etc… As a result, proper decals can’t easily be made using the Xffect Editor itself.

    What I ended up doing is removing all of the single-direction pseudo-decals in the effects and instead use the collision component’s delegate assignment to send a signal to my effect controller script whenever an effect collides and is about to generate an “explosion” follow-up. When it gets that signal, it does a few raycasts from the explosion point to check if terrain is in range (and collect some surface impact data in the process). Then, if some terrain is in range, it takes a pre-pooled Projector object, assigns the proper material/texture and UV settings, sets the origin point as the explosion epicenter, target point as the average of all surface hits collected earlier, then adjusts the distance so that the frustrum has about the same radius as the greatest distance between impact points. After that, it’s just turn the projector on and voila! After a few seconds, the projector will fade by adjusting the base color to be closer to black and then finally turn itself off and get re-pooled.

    It was a bit of effort, but I like how it works.

  • Part of me has trouble believing that I just had to make an always-running coroutine for detecting device…

    September 12, 2015 Lysander Uncategorized

    Part of me has trouble believing that I just had to make an always-running coroutine for detecting device orientation changes (I set it to check every 10th of a second instead of constantly to optimize it a bit, but still…). There's no built-in way either in Unity or through the Android API to register for an orientation-change event?

    I understand that Unity can't have EVERYTHING, and it was pretty trivial to make, but not only does it seem like something that should be built in by default (thus why I wasted 15 minutes searching through the advanced android development documentation) but it's painful for performance reasons not to just be able to register an event listener and be done with it.

    I went ahead and made my own orientation-change event, so I only have to check for the orientation change in my GameManager script and anything registered to listen for the event will receive a shout-out when it changes. It's trivial, again, but slightly unbelievable all the same.

  • Finally finished with the “ray/beam attack” visual effects and hit logic for the game. “Spherical” and…

    September 11, 2015 Lysander Uncategorized

    Finally finished with the "ray/beam attack" visual effects and hit logic for the game. "Spherical" and "direct" are trivial by comparison, and should take little effort to finish (I'm about halfway done with them already).

    The effort involved in jumping right over "premade magic" to "fully customizable magic system" for your first video game development project is massive, and it's taking literally ten times longer than I wanted to spend on it, but it's just so sexy…

    Can currently change the "charge timer", "beam radius", "beam length", "element type (general magic, fire, lightning, wind, earth, ice)" which automatically changes the beam color and adds special effects, turn it from a single beam to a double-beam or triple-beam (firing at angles from the start position), stack different effects like damage to objects on "opposing layers" / healing to objects on "same layer" / buffs or debuffs to whoever, etc…

    Note that all of those change both the visual aspects (which I created using the Xffect Editor Pro) and the logical aspects (like damage types/amounts, collision effect ranges, etc…). It's really quite something, so look forward to a demonstration in a few days when I get a few more magic types done!

  • Part of me has trouble believing that I just had to make an always-running coroutine for detecting device…

    September 11, 2015 Lysander Uncategorized
    Part of me has trouble believing that I just had to make an always-running coroutine for detecting device orientation changes (I set it to check every 10th of a second instead of constantly to optimize it a bit, but still…). There’s no built-in way either in Unity or through the Android API to register for an orientation-change event?

    I understand that Unity can’t have EVERYTHING, and it was pretty trivial to make, but not only does it seem like something that should be built in by default (thus why I wasted 15 minutes searching through the advanced android development documentation) but it’s painful for performance reasons not to just be able to register an event listener and be done with it.

    I went ahead and made my own orientation-change event, so I only have to check for the orientation change in my GameManager script and anything registered to listen for the event will receive a shout-out when it changes. It’s trivial, again, but slightly unbelievable all the same.

  • Finally finished with the “ray/beam attack” visual effects and hit logic for the game. “Spherical” and…

    September 10, 2015 Lysander Uncategorized
    Finally finished with the “ray/beam attack” visual effects and hit logic for the game. “Spherical” and “direct” are trivial by comparison, and should take little effort to finish (I’m about halfway done with them already).

    The effort involved in jumping right over “premade magic” to “fully customizable magic system” for your first video game development project is massive, and it’s taking literally ten times longer than I wanted to spend on it, but it’s just so sexy…

    Can currently change the “charge timer”, “beam radius”, “beam length”, “element type (general magic, fire, lightning, wind, earth, ice)” which automatically changes the beam color and adds special effects, turn it from a single beam to a double-beam or triple-beam (firing at angles from the start position), stack different effects like damage to objects on “opposing layers” / healing to objects on “same layer” / buffs or debuffs to whoever, etc…

    Note that all of those change both the visual aspects (which I created using the Xffect Editor Pro) and the logical aspects (like damage types/amounts, collision effect ranges, etc…). It’s really quite something, so look forward to a demonstration in a few days when I get a few more magic types done!

  • The next thing I’m going to be working on is a demo project in #unity3d  to show off the new software…

    The next thing I'm going to be working on is a demo project in #unity3d  to show off the new software, as a general example of a good event management style for RPGs, and to re-familiarize myself with Unity's methods and quirks after a few months away from it. It shouldn't take me more than a week, hopefully.

  • The demo of the new program is now up at Download.com! Go check it out if you’re interested, or head…

    The demo of the new program is now up at Download.com! Go check it out if you're interested, or head to our website at http://parnassianstudios.com to get more information on the program, watch demonstration videos, or access our software store.

    In related news, we've decided to include all of the source files in the full version of the program. IMHO if you pay for software, you should be able to modify it how you see fit, and that's especially the case since this is a tool meant to make programmers' jobs easier.

    #programming   #softwareengineering   #softwaredevelopment   #developmenttool   #developmenttools   #gamedevelopment   #xmlwriter   #gameeventsequencer   #parnassianstudios   #software  
    #cnet   #demo   #videogames   #videogamedevelopment   #xml   #eventmanager  

  • So hectic! In the past three days I’ve purchased a new home for the website, redesigned it almost entirely…

    So hectic! In the past three days I've purchased a new home for the website, redesigned it almost entirely from scratch, eliminated our Tumblr page (the old posts have been imported to the website though), wrote out the licenses for the new software we're releasing, and put the software up on the new e-commerce section of our website!

    WHEW I'm pretty wore out.

    We're hoping to get the demo up on Download.com for a little more visibility, but for now you can go to the website and get it from there. Unfortunately, you have to make an account to download software (even just the free demo), and this is for two reasons. First, the account you make gives us a way to track your info with the secretly-embedded ID number placed in the executable when the link is generated! We take pirating VERY seriously! (Just kidding, no such thing exists… probably). Mostly though, it allows you to get any updates that we release later. We have no intention of making people pay for new versions, but in order to keep track of purchases without some sort of licensing system, we need accounts. So yeah, make an account, it takes 10 seconds (it's literally 5 textboxes) and the links will be there in your My Account screen after you've bought a product.

    About. Parnassian Studios was created in 2013 for the purpose of creating development tools for video game production. After several years of developing and assisting development of various tools, the company is now (as of 2015) moving into actual video game development.