Welcome back! To begin with, the date of these logs have been moved. I was posting on the last Saturday of every month, instead to make things easier (and to give me a little extra time) they will now be posted the last day of the month. On top of that I’m setting goals! But we’ll get into that towards the end. Besides that it’s business as usual, I’ll discuss what I’ve been up to, what’s new & what’s next. Let’s get into it…
The Long Grass
This was a pain. I wish I could just leave it at that, I must have gone through dozens of variations trying to get this right, here’s some of them:
Originally the hiding spot was a bush, I thought a corn field might be better visually, it used more of the screen space. But I’m not the most artistic person and it was a struggle trying to get things looking… okay. I thought this was a day job and I ended up spending about a week just playing around with the look. Eventually, I settled, I wouldn’t say it’s anywhere near perfect but it’s good enough (my art motto).
I then wanted something visual to represent the player hiding (other than it disappearing under the bushes). So I’ve added a little functionality (A break from art woo!), I made the leaves around the player fade out like so:
This did create a problem, when I tested on mobile there was a massive FPS drop. The lag was real. Okay, so things need to be more efficient. I did this by using simpler materials, reducing the number of objects on the grass (from 6 to 3) and altering the code a little to eat up less power. I test the game on a cheap outdated android phone, I figure if it runs smoothly on this it will work on everyone else’s devices.
Next on the list was technically the player, but I’ve been putting that off for whatever reason so I decided to get the side assets out of the way first. That started with the dreaded Turkey. This guy will attack you if you try eating him, until he’s got no chickens to back him up then dinner is served. I already had most of the functionality down for this but the turkey was literally just a brown slightly larger chicken. I decided to rush a model and ended up with this:
I thought it was okay, but I wasn’t happy with it. There was something wrong and I couldn’t quite figure out what. So i decided to recreate it basically and this time put a little more effort into each piece, here’s what we ended with:
Nothing amazing but I think it suits the style of the game quite well, and it’s miles better than the first. Another feature down.
I finally got the player finished! I’ve been putting this job off for too long, probably because modelling and animating an animal scared me a little. With good reason, it took many tries before I got anywhere close to something I was happy with. I started this job on a Friday and it wasn’t until Monday I had something to show. Anyway here is the final model:
Nothing too impressive, simple, low poly, it works. All I had to do was paint it and make it look more like a hyena, which was surprisingly more fun than I thought, watching it come together piece by piece. Here he is in all his glory:
The final step is bringing him to life, animation. I’ll be honest I’m not a professional animator (shocker), so I wanted to make this process as simple as possible. How? I used the animator built into Unity. Is it the best option? I don’t know, but it works, it was easier for me to wrap my head around and it saved me precious hours.
Before I finished up I was thinking of what I could do to improve it, it was better but plain. I took some inspiration from other games and decided to look into effects, specifically dust. I wanted a cartoon (ish) dust trail to appear when you run across the ground, I don’t get to play with particles much so this job was enjoyable and the final thing just feels great:
I’ve managed to make some pretty decent progress this month, tackled a lot of the big jobs. I also made a lot of smaller improvements, played with the power ups, fixed a lot of bugs & even finally improved the chicken hut, it’s no longer a red void that swallows chickens whole:
My next step is going through the UI and improving it piece by piece, starting in my sketchbook. I’ve already chipped away at it and played with some ideas so it shouldn’t be long before we start seeing progress. Like a new chicken counter (WIP):
I’m trying something new, to keep everyone updated & motivate myself I will be setting monthly goals at the end of every dev log. Not sure how it will go so to avoid things going badly I’m staying clear of unrealistic goals. That being said I’m only setting one goal for next months dev log:
- Finalise Cluckin Around
I know it sounds like a big job, but we’re nearly there! There’s only a few jobs left to do then I can take it through the final stages & get ready for publishing. Fingers crossed it goes well, Best get back to it!
Until next time…