Here’s a sneaky peeky at some early gameplay of my forthcoming mobile game, Herd’em:
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 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.
I finally decided to relaunch one of my classic old Flash games as a mobile app. I picked Super Kickups since I think the game mechanic works nicely on a touchscreen – that, and someone once told me that it’s addictive as crack – which I take as a compliment. I’ve recently added a leaderboard and I’ll be adding various other features, such as pickups and achievements, in the near future.
I used Starling for the rendering and it runs smoothly at 60fps on both my shiny new HTC and my somewhat slower old Sony Xperia. It’d be good to know how it runs on a range of other devices – especially if anyone finds the performance slow.
I recently made up a truly geek puzzle for the location of a hidden birthday present. I thought I’d post it, in case any of you are feeling geek enough to tackle it:
Here’s one of my old games being controlled with brainwaves in a homebrew EEG device cobbled together by Italian Hacker Mastro Gippo:
Back in 2002 some colleagues and I built one of the web’s first and most popular online multi-user Flash games, Dinky Bomb.
After the dotcom we were working for folded, it was sold to EA and subsequently acquired by Atari, who have unfortunately done little with it. Gone for now, but not forgotten; there are a few YouTube videos out there, including this one, which features Dinky Bomb as part of a TV game show from way back then… good times!