If you got here and need a little description of what Hurdles is click on that link (no, back there; stop looking for the link in the words to come it’s behind us). It also has my previous dev logs for this round of hurdles if you want to check those out.
Hello, my name is James Thomas Lewis II, but you can call me Jamie. You can find me most places as @jamiedotgames.
My game pitch:
3 Kids in a Trench Coat is a premium mobile game where three kids, stacked on each others shoulders and inside a trench coat, jump and fall to collect collectibles and avoid avoidables. Jumps are causal (so when the bottom kid jumps, all three kids jump, when the middle kid jumps just the middle and top kid jump, etc) and taken in turns which makes up the game’s spatial puzzle gameplay.
The goals I set last week:
- I want to give videos on Twitter another round of research and another try.
- Folks at RJD’s meetup suggested that I see how gifs do on Twitter.
- @Super8bitRafa also drew my attention to Unity Recorder: an in-editor game footage capture tool that can be easily installed from Unity’s package manager. I’m very excited to give those a try.
- I’d like to watch Kubo and the Two Strings, and take more notes on lighting in stop motion feature films.
- I’m going to implement a “kid behind trench coat” shader/renderer, so that you can still see which kid you’re tapping on.
- I’d like to highlight which kids that can jump this turn by adding an outline around the kiddo.
- I’ll be helping Run Jump Dev put on Vector Conference 2020’s online (I’m a chat moderator). If networking opportunities arise, I would like to tell at least 3 folks about 3 Kids in a Trench Coat, as well as hear about 3 new projects of devs in the region.
- Write this weeks dev log.
What I accomplished last week:
I checked out Unity Recorder and liked what I saw! It was easily installable from the Unity package manager, and it wasn’t complicated to get the basic “Recording a gif” recorder set up.
The resulting gif was fine. Not perfect, but fine. You can see the tweet and gif below:
I had two issues while recording, though. One was that my play view in the Unity editor would go black when I was recording which made it very difficult what I was doing in the game while recording. Also, my computer slowed down a lot (that 1 second gif was captured in like 15-20 seconds of real time). I have a pretty good computer, so I’m not sure what the hold up is. Even with those two issues, I’m excited to finally have footage that doesn’t look terrible on Twitter.
I didn’t end up watching Kubo. I thought it was on a streaming platform I was already paying for, but I was mistake. It also wasn’t in the budget to rent another movie after also renting ParaNorman.
I respect artists, so I almost always pay for their work (with the exception of one time when I was 14, but that’s a story to tell another time), but I’m not made of money, so I don’t always get to enjoy their work.
I was able to implement a “behind trench coat” shader and renderer by following this tutorial by Brackey’s. I kinda like it! I may switch it out for a translucent version of the clay material, but for the time being, I’m digging this dithered flat colored shader.
I was also able to get a bad outline going (lots of messiness), but I wasn’t able to figure out how to get it to display at the same time as my “behind the trench coat” shader. I am sure there is a way for these two render passes to work in the renderer together, but I couldn’t figure it out this week.
Vector was great! Last year was my first year at Vector Conference and it was an extremely positive experience. I met a lot of games folks in the region, learned a lot, won a pitch contest, and got a big check. I was so glad that @barelyconceled and @MeisterCreation did all the work they did to make Vector 2020 happen all online during this time.
This year, the talks and panels were live streamed on Twitch instead held in person. Because these streams were public, they needed folks to moderate the chat. With all that Vector did for me the year prior, I gladly volunteered and it ended up being really fun. My job was super easy due to the fact that everyone was really cool/not a jerk, and they all asked great questions!
There was also a time that folks were encourage to share with the conference what they were working on. I got to share 3 Kids in a Trench Coat with everyone, and I got to see some cool projects too. I wanted to share some of those projects with y’all too, if you don’t mind!
Alex Garbus shared the RPG he is working on “The Bunnies of Vegetaria”
Since I published this dev log, I found out that Alex released Bunnies of Vegetaria on itch.io! Give it a download here.
Izzy B shared their projects they did for Blocktober this past year.
You can check these out on their itch.io page. They also let me know that they’ll be publishing the project they made during their independent study to their itch.io page soon, so you should give them a follow there or on twitter.
Izzy also had great questions after each talk. The mods (and I’m sure the speakers) were all super appreciative of their thoughtful and thought provoking questions. Izzy’s going to be graduating from Marshall soon, so if your studio is looking to hire a smart cookie, give Izzy a ring.
SuperSoul shared their Early Access game on Steam Kentucky Dash
Chris Quay shared his 2-4 couch co-op game Azure Skies
Michael Probst shared his game out now on itch.io Gladiators Gauntlet
Michael also recently participated in the Team Kentucky Jam, and released his game 6 Foot Pole on itch.io as a part of that jam. You can purchase his game for as little as a dollar to support the Kentucky COVID-19 relief fund.
What I want to accomplish for the last week of hurdles:
- Get basic menus going.
- I had learned Unity’s old UI system, but I got really excited this past summer when Unity presented about UIElements at Unity 2019.
- If I have time, I’d also like to get the menus looking cool (idk, like bubbly clay letters or something?).
- Try building the project for Xcode.
- Write this dev log.
- Come up for a plan with what I want to do for dev log/blog posts after hurdles. I’ve really enjoyed getting to write again, and I appreciate those of you who have been reading them.
Thanks for giving this a read. Next week will be my last weekly dev log I’m writing for Hurdles. Consider giving me a follow on twitter.com if you want to keep up with what I’m doing.