Friday, 28 January 2011

Unity Progress So Far…

Immediately after my first hand-in, I knew it would be important to come to grips with Unity as early as possible. Therefore, I went back to the 2D gameplay tutorial that I started in BA7, and began to work on it further.

This tutorial gives you a work file and a pdf document. Last term, even though I followed the pdf closely, I still found myself with errors, such as the character respawning when he jumps. After researching, it was extremely simple to fix and I even got my character to respawn after falling down a hole. I then made a few platforms to jump to, and adjusted the camera.

Here are the things I learned from the Tutorial:

Learned how to restrict movement to a 2D plane;

Built level with tileable platforms;

Set level boundaries;

Been introduced to Gizmos;

Explored the fundamentals of setting up a Character;

Explored the complexities of setting the camera;

Seen how to make a strict orthographic camera view;

Learned how to place and make Rigidbodies;

Used waypoint system to create moving platforms;

Also in the tutorial, I learned about “Skyboxes.” A skybox is a special kind of background which makes the level environment look bigger. The skybox’s image is made by cube mapping, which involves putting six different textures on cube faces.

Next, I wanted to let the camera follow the character more smoothly and closely. This is done with scripting.

Although I am quite new to scripting, the example workfile has notes in the script, saying what each piece of script does. This was greatly helpful, as it let me understand how every bit of script affected the game. Here is a part of the script for the camera.

Next, I wanted to add more mechanics into my game.

I firstly wanted to add enemies to the game which move around and destroy the player on contact. Since this mechanic was not on the 2D gameplay tutorial, I had to look up how to do this myself using scripting. The 2D gameplay tutorial only used Javascript, yet the coding I used for the enemy was in C#. I changed the enemy’s code from C# to Javascript using the script reference on the Unity Website. This was a very helpful resource, as it showed script examples in different languages. I used a simple sphere to represent my enemy. Fortunately, the mechanic worked.

I then tried to use some video tutorials to make my character use projectiles. The tutorial I looked at taught me how to make a kind of top down space shooter game. However, although some aspects of the projectile worked, it was generally very broken. Therefore, I will have to figure out how to do it on my own using scripting in Javascript.

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