Day 82: Level Creation

I spent time examining the prefabbed level in Haunted Jaunt – trying to see how it was pieced together.

It’s a shame it was all premade because seeing how to actually build the level would have been helpful instead of it just being provided.

Onward!

 

Day 80: Prototyping

All the advice I’ve read regarding prototyping is to get out a product fast and improve on each loop.  It makes sense.  But isn’t it difficult to judge the merit of a game without seeing it fleshed out?

In the Haunted Jaunt tutorial, we’re scripting the character movement and his animations include him trembling, knees knocking, tiptoeing, and a scared expression. (The model & animations have been created for us already- we just import the assets)

It wouldn’t be the same if I just had a cube moving around.  Can I judge how fun a game I’m creating is without being fully immersed in it?  Sure, it depends on the type of game – but in survival horror, atmosphere is everything.  Something I need to think more about.

Onward!

 

Day 55: Licensing Assets

There are so many talented people creating amazing assets for use in game development.

Regardless whether it’s provided free or for a charge, I’m uncomfortable with all the different licensing available and the legalities surrounding it.

I can’t find the Reddit thread now – perhaps it was deleted – but there was a musician offering free music and sound effects ‘under license’.   Basically, the conversation between a commenter and OP went that the assets were free to use for as long as OP wanted and they could essentially pull the license or charge for it later.

Is that really a possibility with licensed assets?  Can you imagine publishing a game only to find out later you need to pay or pay more?

Browsing through asset stores I see there are many different types of licences: MIT, CC BY, CC BY-SA and on and on.

Once I figure out which license to look for in my game assets, there’s also the risk that the asset purchased wasn’t actually from the original artist or it infringes on some copyright. What can of legal liability worms does that open?

I could avoid all those headaches by creating all the assets myself -it’s just not plausible in my case.

Current Progress Status

  • Tower Defense Tutorial: 53/73
  • Clean Code by Robert C. Martin (pg 116/464)

Onward!

Day 47: HacknPlan

As I slowly approach the jump-off to begin my first (very tiny) game, I was looking for ways to keep my project organized, documented and on track.

HacknPlan is similar to Trello but designed specifically for game development. It’s free for personal use and small indie teams (score!) while paid versions include Github integration, more storage, etc.

A feature is the integrated game design documentation which continually evolves as your development progresses.

I’ve only briefly played around inside the application but I think it will fit my needs going forward.

Current Progress Status

  • Tower Defense Tutorial: 47/73 -> Health Bar Tutorial 6/7
  • Unity in Action (Pg 324 of 352)

Onward!

Day 40: Mixamo

Just spent a little time playing with the free Mixamo 3D characters and animations in Unity.

Also bookmarked UMA 2 in the Unity Asset store for creating customizable characters – will have to look at this more in depth later.

Current Progress Status

  • Tower Defense Tutorial: 39/73
  • Unity in Action (Pg 229 of 352)

Onward!

Day 36: Keymailer

Keymailer is a free marketing tool for developers to send Steam keys to YouTube, Twitch and other broadcasters to help promote their game.

You’re able to tailor-make your campaign by deciding who to send your game keys to. Afterwards, you can review & track data to see how much exposure your game is getting and from which channels. You can even recycle unused keys to provide to others.

Thanks to /u/CG_fred for sharing tips to help with a Steam game release in this Reddit thread.

Current Progress Status

  • Tower Defense Tutorial: 34/73
  • Unity in Action (Pg 183 of 352)

Onward!

Day 32: Incorporating

In Canada, I don’t have the ability to create a limited liability company (LLC) or similar variant like in the US. If I want to create a separate legal entity with limited liability and tax benefits, the only route is incorporation – and it isn’t that cheap. (All costs below are in CDN$)

First I need to decide whether I want to choose a company name or be assigned a numbered name. Since it’s the former, I’m required to order a NUANS (Newly Updated Automated Name Search) report to make sure the name is acceptable and available. The NUANS report reserves the proposed name for 90 days. Cost: $13.80 to get a Federal NUANS and $40+ to get a provincial (Alberta) NUANS at a registry office.

At this point I don’t know whether I can use a Federal NUANS when applying for a provincial incorporation, or if I specifically need a provincial NUANS report (trying to see if I can save ~$30)

Next, I need to consider whether to incorporate provincially or federally.

If I’m just incorporating in my province, I need to complete the following forms:

The government fee to submit this is $275.00 in addition to the service fee that a registry office charges (Approximately $100 and up)

So at this stage it’s about ~$400 for incorporating and that’s without any lawyer or accountant guidance.

The other consideration is the annual cost of having a corporation. Tax preparation and filing fees are substantially more, a minute book needs to be kept, as well as separate bank accounts.

I’m not sure at what stage I should incorporate or whether I even should.

Current Progress Status

  • Tower Defense Tutorial: 28/73
  • Unity in Action (Pg 122 of 352)

Onward!

Day 30: Expenses

It’s already been a month?! I feel like I’ve learned so much and at the same time so little. How does that make sense?

Below are the expenses incurred in the past 30 days directly related to my endeavor. (I haven’t included internet access which I would have had regardless) I’m not planning on spending more in the near future except for costs related to incorporating or publishing a game.

Expenses ($CAD)

It could be argued that none of those were essential purchases; I didn’t need to have spent anything during the first month.

The information contained in the books are freely available online, but just not as conveniently packaged. (Let’s not get into the pirating aspect) Afterwards, I can donate the books to my local library for someone else’s benefit.

WordPress provides free hosting as long as I didn’t mind my readers (all 2 of them!) seeing ads. The domain registration was just vanity at this stage but I will counter that it helps with my motivation.

The small Patreon donation was for assets to be used in the Tower Defense tutorial when I could have used free placeholders instead. But really, it was the very least to do as appreciation for the in depth tutorials Kenneth provides.

I also could have spent some time figuring out how to compile Aesprite or just use a different free program for pixel art but…it was on sale.

Current Progress Status

  • Tower Defense Tutorial: 23/73
  • Unity in Action (Pg 88 of 352)

Onward!

Day 28: Pixel Art

Nostalgia overload! I was browsing sprite sheets of older gen video games at Spriters Resource and lost track of time. It’s amazing how much detail can be packed into so few pixels.

I may pick up Aesprite to create pixel animations for my games as it’s currently listed on Humble Bundle. Another option is to legally compile the source code myself for free.

There are other software options specializing in pixel art including some that are 100% free like Graphics Gale.

Ideally, Photoshop would be the best way to go so I could use it for more than pixel art, but right now a monthly subscription just isn’t in the budget :/ I’ve heard GIMP is a pretty good free alternative.

Tower Defense Tutorial Progress: 14/73

Onward!

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