Scrolling Through Lists

Today I was helping someone with their android phone (they were telling me how terrible the battery was). I came to the task of navigating through their apps list to find Google’s Play, looking to download an app (U-M developed Power Tutor). Despite scrolling through the long list of apps for about 10 seconds, I couldn’t find the app until I backtracked halfway back up the list.

Later in the conversation, I wanted to show him the app, which I had downloaded previously to my own phone. There, I found it immediately even though I rarely ever navigate to, or use, this app.

After the conversation I recalled the interaction. Why wasn’t I able to find the app on his phone? Well, his version of android had a continuous scrolling vertical list while mine had scrollable pages of apps. I remember when I had a continuous list of apps (on a previous device), and I remember that it was significantly harder to find apps in it than it is for me now with the page system.

Continue reading »

Website Development

I’m currently building this website from the ground up, so please pardon the construction tape.

This is my first time working with WordPress. So far it’s pretty straight forward and there are plenty of tutorials around to show me the ropes. It’s also (soon to be) my first experiment with css3 transitions–I’m attempting to use movement, fading, and rotation extensively to create a different interaction than most websites. We’ll see how that pans out :-)

Keep checking back to see further iterations!

Website_v1

BrentGrossman.com v1

First Post!

First post on the website! Yay… now how do I do anything?

Lighting Tweaks and Skybox

Well, I got lucky and found a great full time job for the summer, and I haven’t been able to devote much time to Townsend during the last few months. I’ve been writing pseudo code on the bus, but that’s about it. That said, I am entirely devoted to making this game a reality.

In the coming weeks I’ll be preparing to go back to school–and will thus have much more time for Townsend!

This build has some changes to the skybox and lighting that I made a few weeks ago. I’m not entirely satisfied with the combination yet, but it’ll get there. Also added in a fireball for fun >:D.

The next build will feature a greatly expanded map, and I’m really excited to start adding some much needed content.

Shadows and Lightmapping

Another feature-packed build!

The biggest feature of this build is shadows. I’ve figured out how to enable shadow mapping for the terrain system that I’m using, and here you can see the effects. Much better I think.

On a related note, I added in a subtle blob shadow to the player, so he fits in better with the level.

Another big feature (well, I guess it’s a fix) is that our player is no longer transparent-ish! The normals were flipped the wrong way or something equivalent. I also fixed some frustrating issues with his eyes, so now they move with the rest of the mesh instead of popping out of his head when he walks about.

Also, I’ve added in some plants and brush to make things more realistic. I just wish I could put in some billboards so that I could have grass objects in the scene.

Lastly, I’ve finished the backend of the planting system. Now the grid is somewhat smart about what and where things are allowed to be placed. This is controlled easily by a number of invisible Grid Modifiers that specify what cells have what properties. Test it out by going to the sparkles and placing objects down with alt. Growing system coming up!

To top things off, I did a little speed test and turned off all of my debugging to see a smooth ~400 fps on my computer.

Things are coming along nicely!

Music and Camera Controls

This build has a ton of new features!

First, we’ve got some great new music composed by my good friend ThePlaneskeeper. This very talented man will be doing the entire score and sound sfx for Townsend, and he has already produced some A+ pieces for the title. Big props to him! I couldn’t be more excited about the style he brings.

The second feature of this build is some new camera controls. This is actually a slightly modified version of a camera control that I worked on for Clockwork Rune a few months ago. I figured it was time Townsend get a real control scheme. Let me know what you guys think.

The third feature is terrain. Not just the stock terrain that comes with Unity though… we’ve got a new terrain system created and optimized for mobile systems. I’m just learning how to use it, so this doesn’t at all represent what can be achieved by it. Also, note that only farmable areas will be flat.

And lastly, in light of the new toons, I changed the build to a night/twilight scene.

Enjoy!

Townsend Town Demo

All of this modeling business was really hanging on me, and it is becoming apparent that it would take me far too long to make all of the models myself, so I decided that I’m going to buy a lot of the common models from fellow Unity developers who are pro at it. Currently eyeing a nature pack full of oblivion-quality assets!

In the mean time, this opened me up for a few hours to doing what I’m best at: map making. That is, gameplay map making.

This build features the first of what will no doubt be a couple of versions of a part of town. I’m currently using placeholders for buildings and obstacles, but I think it gets the point across well enough.

This build also contains some bugfixing in grid interaction: now you can’t place multiple items down on a cell, nor can you place one on yourself! (plus a few end case fixes)

Check it out :-)

 

Update 1: bought that nature pack!

Update 2: too high poly for mobile, but I expected that :-/

And… Action! (Animation)

And now the hard part: Animation. In fact, it’s hard enough for me to use a placeholder until I get it down. The character in this build is from a Blender3D tutorial on rigging, and is just a placeholder. The actual character I’m planning on shipping with looks more like the little guy in this video (beware, sound)

But that comes later. The whole point of this particular build is for me to get the engine to not only simply load animations from Blender, but also to play them on cue. As you can see, there is a couple issues with some ghost movement, but that should get worked out with Unity’s locomotion system (to be continued…)

Mr. Capsule, your days are numbered!

Modeling and Rigging

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve been able to do much work on Townsend or Clockwork Rune.

In the first months since the last video I was focused on developing and perfecting a workflow for modeling, retopolizing, rigging, and animation. This is the process of making a high resolution model (modeling), reducing its geometric complexity to a level that is nice on the processor while using some tricks to make it look just as complex (retopolizing), giving the mesh armatures (aka bones) and mapping the mesh to them (rigging), and finally manipulating those bones frame by frame to produce a motion (animation). I’m most proud of my work in the retopolization stage, as it looks just like the original.

Pete's Procession

This video shows one of the test models in action!

The workflow itself has taken a crazy number of hours to work out, and still needs more work to be completed. I think I’ve gotten it down up to the rigging and animation… and then it gets hard…

Townsend Grid Interaction

This build is much like the last one, except it has a massive difference: you can interact with the grid! Left click to move (like normal), and then right click (or alt in the webplayer build) to move to the spot and place our test object (a cube)

Want to throw down some fire like in the picture? Scroll through the test items currently available with your scroll wheel and satiate your pyromania. Of course, there’s no GUI yet .

Furthermore, I’ve changed some of the backend to work better with what I have planned. For now you’ll be able to place many different objects just by scrolling the wheel. For demonstrative purposes of course :-)

Oh, and I decided to give our Mr Capsule here a little facelift.