Planting and Graphics

Notice: I apologize for the large filesize on the demo as well as the roots of the trees in the webplayer. Not sure exactly what caused this.

Well, it’s amazing for me to look back at the date on my last Townsend blog post and realize that it was nearly a year ago. I took a break from game development for a few months as I finished my last year of college, but throughout the school year I did some work on Townsend here and there. Finally, just over a month ago I graduated with a degree in Informatics, and from that point on I have focused on developing Townsend.

This demo features some substantial changes. First, I have changed the lighting, textures, and models to give Townsend more of a toony look. I chose this route because although I have developed a pipeline that can produce life-like assets, they take far more skill and (more importantly) time to make and animate. On the other hand, I don’t want Townsend to look so toony that it appears to be a game you would have seen on the first generation iPhone, so it’s been something of a fine line to traverse. The tree models that you see in this build are more or less final, and I’m very happy with their outcome in terms of look and efficiency. What do you think? Feedback would be appreciated!

The other big change in this build is that there is now a growing system. You can place down lettuce by hitting alt while hovering over the shimmering plot of dirt (there are some other vegetables in there currently, but they are just there for testing). This lettuce plant will then progress through different stages until reaching its final stage of growth.

On the surface, this doesn’t seem like much. Even from a coding standpoint, it seems rather trivial to implement. However, I made this system very efficient so as to be able to handle the growth of hundreds of plants at a time, as well as easy and intuitive to develop with. It also bases its cycles off of the system clock, not a device’s framerate. Lastly, Unity’s documentation really doesn’t cover native collections such as stacks and queues, and I desperately needed to figure out how to use them for this system as well as others. After lots of searching and prodding I figured out the syntax, dependencies, and scope, and am now ready to use them in other important systems (such as an inventory).

The last change for this build is touchscreen controls. This shouldn’t effect you when using a webplayer (hopefully), so it may not appear to be a big step in the demo. However, it is awesome to finally have a build on my phone and tablet! Not only is it awesome to play the game as it was intended, I can finally accurately test the game’s framerate.

I am putting a ton of time into Townsend these days and I hope to have a playable demo of Townsend out by the end of August. I love game development as a hobby, but I am also determined to develop this project into a fully functional game on the mobile marketplaces.

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