While developing a game, I wanted to enable characters to “see” where they’re going; that is, to tell them what they’re about to stumble into, without using colliders. The answer was to cast a Ray, angled slightly downward, in front of the character, so he can “see” if he’s about to walk into a tree, or a river, before it happens. Continue reading Unity – How to make things see where they’re going
A very powerful feature in the Unity Editor is the Blend Tree. This is an extension to an Animation Controller, which allows you to blend the joint movements of multiple animations and control the ratio of blending one or more with parameters.
I knocked up a quick demo to show how you might create a Unity game, which uses either keyboard input, or the accelerometer of a mobile device, without having to change any code, include any third party libraries, or use conditional compilation. Continue reading Unity – automatically choosing key or accelerometer input
The more I play with Unity, the more it feels like the workflow of Flash Pro, whereby you attach scripts to instances of actors on the stage.
I’m not talking about the ‘pure code’ approach that all ActionScripters have become used to now; but the decentralised collection of independent scripts associated with timeline movieclip instances (behaviours, if you will).
For those who have played with any of the above and want a good tutorial to get stuck right into games development with Unity, this (intermediate level) tutorial is great.
Most people will not have heard of Virtools, which itself was called NemoCreation in a previous life, until legal problems forced them to go away and rebrand. It was way ahead of its time, supporting real-time ray-tracing, hardware acceleration, full Havok physics an easy to integrate multi-player solution, long before the more popular Shockwave 3D and WildTangent had anything close.
The workflow was very similar to Unity and I had originally pinned a lot of hope on it. But, the platform was too restrictive, provided no sensible scripting alternatives and was prohibitively expensive to license. Getting hold of a trial license was notoriously difficult, too. So there were simply not enough people creating worthwhile content for it.
The licensing fubar and possibly the fact that it was way ahead of its time, were probably its death knell. But I tip my hat to what could have been.
I used filmed action of Beckham himself and the video alpha channel support of Flash 8, which was rather new at the time. I was consulted on all aspects of filming and production. After we agreed game concepts, I met with the film crew at ‘Off The Radar’; I drew up the shot-list and we decided to shoot on HD at 50p, to get the cleanest possible key.
- Panasonic VariCam
- Green screen at the Flash Studio Norte, Madrid
- After Effects
- A football
I went to Madrid for the green screen shoot with Beckham as visual effects supervisor and was responsible for treating and editing the footage for game production and related media.
I stitched some of the sequences together with morphs to create almost seamless blends between shots and added filters to the keyed out footage to match lighting and improve the compositing.
I coded a 3-D projection system in Flash and perspective-matched each scene, so that objects move around the screen convincingly. I worked with the designers at DDB, who created the backgrounds and UI elements. I included ‘Express Install’ capability for those users without Flash Player 8, so 95% users can upgrade painlessly from Flash Player 6 or 7. All the games are mouse-controlled and were tested by kids for usability and game balancing.
If you want to write a unit test which verifies that something implements a particular interface, or extends a particular class, here’s how…