2021 | HAPPY NEW YEAR
Well, we made it to 2021! Happy New Year!
I think it’s probably customary for people to do a New Year blog entry. One that is full of optimism for the year ahead. 2020 sure turned out to be one turd of a year, didn’t it? Who would have thought this time last year, that it would be quite normal to walk into your local Tesco dressed like Bane. It’s amazing how quickly we adapt.
Christmas was a little different for us, as we were in a new house in a new village. I was a bit concerned that Santa would deliver our presents to our old address like the Royal Mail keeps on doing with our regular mail. Thankfully the bearded one knew we had moved. It’s a Christmas miracle. Santa brought me a knife. He brought my wife a sloth calendar. There was peace on Earth.
I thought the change of venue for the 2021 London firework display was better this year. Strapping a few sparklers to the London Eye every year was getting a bit samey. Technically I thought the London display was great, but I wasn’t a big fan of the news sound bites. I wanted to watch a firework display, not Panorama. A bit of ‘corona-free’ escapism would have been nice. Still, they stopped short of arranging the drones into a giant rotating virion, which is good.
A lot of people praised the London display though. It was certainly different from the Times Square “Happy New Kia” event in New York. The New Year celebrations there seemed to focus mainly on a rotating Kia Sports Utility Vehicle. It reminded me of a Tim & Eric sketch (this should be taken as a compliment).
GETTING BACK TO DEVELOPMENT
The time has come to get back into developing this video game. I’ve cleaned up my PC. I’ve cleaned up my office. Unfortunately, I haven’t managed to clean up my mind – which is currently somewhere between Mr Robot and Bob The Builder. I probably need to hide my power tools as it’s currently far too easy for me to leave my PC and go and dismantle something.
I did my last bit of work on the game back in November, when I created around 64 art assets for a level. A mix of scenery elements – buildings, walls, fills etc. to vehicles. For reasons that were clear at the time, I based most of the environment elements on the SpaceX development site at Boca Chica.
Just to clarify, this is for a Driving Game:
There is method in the madness however. I did draw out the levels in advance of creating all this artwork, so I’m sure it has some relevance. Not sure where the highly detailed re-entry space module fits in, but I’m confident that I had a plan for it.
I haven’t posted any shots of the game up to now as I wanted to get a level up and running first. But I suppose it’s far enough along now to show some stuff. It’s basically a 2D driving game that makes use of the Unity 2D Physics engine. There’s essentially lots of suspension bouncing, rocking, falling and things exploding. Here’s a slightly awkward screenshot:
As you can probably gauge from this screenshot, there’s currently more engine than artwork. Before I finished off in November, I was working on the front-end vehicle configurator. The truck that’s in there is a test truck, but I also have a CyberTruck clone (the cleverly named “TechnoTruck” – can you see what I did there?). You can swap in different wheels etc. and the body colours can use any RGB values. When the configurator is done, I will finish updating the in-game vehicle to mirror the mods.
The vehicles are fully geared, so they are controllable at both low and high speeds. There’s a ton of different attributes such as armour levels, gear ratios, weight, tyre grip, top speed etc. I’m desperate to get a whippy aerial in there, for no good reason other than to have a whippy aerial.
There are provisions for independently controlled guns front and rear, which are controlled by the left and right thumbs. That’s what those green arrows are for. It’s all wired up to use, but I haven’t plumbed in any of the artwork.
The placeholder HUD looks a bit boring and rigid at the moment, particularly those spatulas. Sorry, pedals. I think I’ll draw everything up in a looser cartoony style. I’m not a natural at this cartoony stuff, but I’m getting there.
Ah yes, here’s some proof that I do actually have some kind of plan for these levels. I just dug out the levels that I drew for the environment in order to figure out what I needed:
There is no sign of a re-entry space module though. There isn’t a nosecone for a Starship rocket either, but I’ve drawn a graphic for one of those as well :/
So to summarise, it looks like I’ll primarily be working on level layouts over the next couple of weeks. The levels will all be created in Unity. They will be a combination of 2DSpriteShapes, Sprites and Prefabs. This sounds quite straightforward, but I have a feeling that once I have a few hundred objects in there things could get a bit ‘messy’. Let’s hope I can keep it all together.
I’ll try to post another update once I’ve actually put some playable levels together. In the meantime, whoever you are, thanks for dropping by – and have an awesome 2021!