New Assets, New Rig, and a New Job

It’s been quite a while since I’ve written anything on my blog, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working on Townsend! In the two months(?!) that I’ve been quiet, I started working full time at my job, and I can’t help but think how lucky I am to be doing exactly what I like, working with absolutely great people, and have better financial stability coming out of college than I had realistically thought possible. Of course, what this means for Townsend is that, while I’ll have less time to put into developing, I’ll be learning more about the Java environment (which is nearly identical to C#) and I’ll have a far greater ability to buy assets. In fact, during the last two months I already began investing in more quality assets from people who are, quite frankly, far better at making them than I am :-p. So far, the list includes…

Cartoon Nature Pack

These plants have an awesome cartooney feel! I already have some trees that I am fairly happy with, but at the very least the rocks, plants, and billboards will fit perfectly. I’ll investigate swapping out my current trees with the ones from this pack in another post as I would have to adjust the colors, and probably re-work my grass texture to get a better comparison.

NGUI

A GUI is next on the list, and after looking over the handful of top systems I decided to grab the NGUI system. Luckily, I found it in the asset store madness sale and got it half off! I’ve been working with it for a few days (ie: 6 hours or so), and its robustness and documentation has allowed me to create a pretty good bare-bones UI that you can try in this demo. For now, the UI is just always on screen (smack-dab in the middle! Best UX ever), but soon it will be toggleable with a swipe or click. The UI is what I’m currently working on, and after a few more days of work I’ll have enough for a good post on it.

NGUI Promotional Image

Buildings and Houses

I’m also thinking about grabbing this asset pack of houses. It has many different tiers of houses that I can use and combine, so I think it’s a good deal. It almost fits my graphics style, so perhaps there will be less tweaking the textures. On the other hand, I could drop a bit more on this pack (it’s ~$200 if I only buy what I want separately) and get some top quality stuff that has a great style to it. I’m just worried that I won’t be able to come up with enough variations by combining structures compared to the other pack :-/. What do you guys think–will the visual style be compromised enough to warrant buying the expensive pack with less diversity?

Blazing-fast New Computer

My rig was getting dated; it was 6 years old sporting a Geforce 8800gt and kentsfield 6660 core2 quad @ 2.4ghz with 6 gigs of ddr2 ram. My new one is–well–a beast, and thus doesn’t take forever importing assets between building for web and android. Everything is faster now, and I can easily have everything that I need opened and running smoothly. Also, rendering fractals and 3d scenes is much more fun now.

So, as soon as I hit my stride at the new job, I’ll be setting aside an hour every day to work on Townsend-related activities :-) . Should be next week, so expect much more development!

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