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Showing posts from November, 2015

Fallout 4 (not a review)

A couple of days ago I read this curious statement at Gamespot forums, and even when I have no doubts that Fallout 4 is an RPG, I agree with most of the points. What Im not so sure is that Fallout 4 is Fallout at all. I have been playing the game for a week, but from the very first minutes I knew something: Im dissapointed.

It is not that Bethesda killed most of the original game spirit when the went the FPS path, thats old story. The problem is that they are killing the few Fallout elements left, so, dont be surprised if for Fallout 5 we dont have even the SPECIAL. The Fallout skills system have been with us since the first title, and it worked, but seems that somebody decided that I would be better to simplify it. Im usually a peaceful people that dislikes hurting living beings, but Im utterly sure that the author of such unfortunate idea should be hanged by the balls.

There is a trend of changing gameplay in each franchise iteration, even when it is proven and fun, just for the s…

Tilemaps

You would expect that a mature commercial engine had all the tools you need to develop whatever game you can imagine. After all, the have legions of engineers working all day producing code. But sometimes happens that what you need isnt there. For example, Unity3d added an UI layout editor relatively recent: in version 4.6. And will have a tilemap editing features in 5.5, scheduled for next year. That's right, no tilemap editor yet.

Tilemaps is what you use for 2d games like mazes, and happens that I need to develop a maze game. I seriously thought about using Godot, but then found that it doenst builds for iOS and that the tilemap tool documentation wasnt very helpful. So, the solution was to use Unity3d and find a workaround to the lack of native tilemap support.

Lucky me, there are Unity alpha builds available and seems that I will be able to use one of them to create my game.

Storing stuff in Unity3d

The last days, or weeks, maybe months, I have been fighting with the problem of storing several game element definitions, like NPCs, their inventorys, items, skills and abilities.

Lets say you want to have an NPC named Frolo the Habbat at point X. In Unity3d editor you can place the mesh, adjust it, etc, but, how do you specify that Frolo has a Big Stick of quality 3, his attributes are 4,5,4,6 (whatever that means), and has a Magic skill level 5? My first approach was to use XML. When you have a hammer, all problems will look like nails to you, and in this case, XML is the hammer I have been using in all my previous iterations of this project. It is flexible enough to let you put any number of different stuff inside. The drawback is that you cant edit it inside Unity3d editor.

The Unity3d solution is to use ScriptableObject and asset files. An asset file can store the definition of an ScriptableObject, and its properties can be edited in the editor inspector. The asset files are goo…

It is official, Im game designer

After a short, but intense course, Im now game designer. Perhaps, to say that I have some formal training is more accurate.

I spent the last week in Havana, where professor Salvador Gómez, from Spain, imparted an interesting course for people of many different specializations: from actual game developers to writers. The last day we took some time to show our projects, from both indie developers and government institutions, like ICAIC (the cinema organization). Unity3d seems the engine of choice, and the casual, simple games are the rule. Even a 3rd person game presented there took more from platformers than from complex RPGs.

With great pleasure, our team received several good opinions about the project. I really didnt expected that, considering the quality of the titles we saw. There were a couple of artists interested in the project, but still no programmer. Now, lets hope I can make good use of what I learned.