Robert Duffill




Sticking to the Program

Hello and Welcome!

   Thankyou for checking out my project. If you would like any particular detail explained futher or more pictures etc then comment below and I'll be sure to update. Please take the time to hit the Like button, it lets me know that your interested in what I'm sharing.

Weekly Webplayer Quick Links


Week Four: "All Together"

    Another hetic week over with. I can't believe it's been four weeks since the start of this class, time has just dissappeared. I'm completely wrapped with how much I've learnt in the small time and I think its a complete credit to the Skillshare platform and Brandon, the incredible tools we've used and every other student who has been involved along side me. Matthew Korda started a discussion HERE which I think is a great idea, I know I'd be interested in following your projects outside of this class so I've posted my details and finally got around to filling in the About Me section at the bottom of this page ^^

    I decided to spend most of my time this week on the actual structure of the game itself rather then adding more mechanics to the endless runner genre since I never manage to do it and its probably been the most confusing part for me to get my head around. Scene flow and the Player Prefs weren't as scarey as I thought once I started playing with them. Getting some objects to play nice between scenes was a bit painful but I learnt through the practice and think I could setup a game better from the beginning next time.

    I did add local multiplayer support that doesn't effect the single player game since it's rather a co-op feature, though my eldest son and I end up always trying to get the other player killed first lol, I think it could be a lot fun if fleshed out and if the procedural generation was expanded. I decided to use the trigger that spawns a platform to spawn "room" sets instead so the game could be randomized with some structure but I only have five static rooms for the current build. Getting the player character to play nice with the colliders was also a trade off since I couldn't disable individual platforms checking the players height so instead I switch the characters Layer and have specific settings on the physics matrix to allow both to phase through and collide when nessassary. A lot more work could be spent cleaning up the project but the world already has Doodle Jump and with my new found knowledge I'm keen to get to work on my own projects!

                                    Click the link: Week 4 Dropbox Public Link


Week Three: "Controlled Interactions"

    With the help of my fiance Alyssa, I say help but really she has done all the hard work, my family has grown with the birth of our perfectly healthy baby daughter Avaleigh Skye Duffill. It was a fantasic pregnancy which we were lucky enough to have end exactly as planned, except I didn't know I would have this class on...

    ...which brings me to my current project update. It's nearly the end of our week and I've only got a crude prototype running in Unity, a single unique feature but many I planned are simply behind. I remained optimistic though, I managed a busy day developing and putting my own spin on the old Breakout style game before the weeks end. To save time I've looked outside the Asset Store for some art thats free (check for any attached licenses) to use for prototyping and purely exploring game ideas. I grabbed a few different pieces off Open Game Art and have planned to work them into my major designs, which consists of:

  • Screen wrapping the player controlled paddle
  • Skillful ball control using various returning trajectories
  • Varying the static bricks and level progression

    Taking these ideas from concept through to a polished presentation has managed to elude me this week. Towards the end my project was a mess, with no real planning or organization ahead of time I simply struggled to keep track of my assets. I found out the hard way that a Unity Prefab cannot contain another Prefab and update automatically when altering the source file and because I had planned for this functionality I wasted a lot of time setting up GameObjects that just didn't work...

    Still it's not all doom and gloom, I managed to complete the paddle wrapper and have it reflect at various angles depending on different points of contact. I spent some time playing around with the Level Loading but never completed any form of structure, I'm hoping since Week 4 will be a sum of everything we've learnt I can devote more time and publish something worthwhile then. All in all I probably spent the least amount of time on this weeks project but learnt the most. There were so many topics covered with Brandon's videos and after three weeks I feel confident exploring deeper into Unity and experiementing with playMaker.

                                 Click the link: Week 3 Dropbox Public Link


Week Two: "playMaker Basics"

    After watching through this weeks video sessions I was feeling excited and very optimistic to finally be able to create something with interactivity of my own. Just as quickly I was brought back to reality since all my original ideas needed a ton of Assets just to pull off the visuals, let alone leave me time to set the actions up myself... First things first, I installed playMaker and found a layout that was suitable for my single 22" monitor. I'm clearly in need of a computer upgrade and I know I'll be keeping this monitor for a second screen when it happens. Lucky Brandon showed the "Space" shortcut to maximize Tab sections otherwise I wouldn't be able to work with so many partitions. How did you fit everything you needed in?

    After the package import I went straight into the Asset Store to try and find some audio that would inspire some ideas while keeping me on track and away from scope bloat. I downloaded a bunch of interesting stuff and categorized it all into either Music, Ambiance or SFX to make it a little easier down the track when I need to find things. I spent some time just going through what I had put together and ended up finding a theme I could build upon and started a little research and some sketches. I might of bit off more then I can chew but I'm going to just settle now and see how far I can take the idea of building a fake arcade cabinet for a Webplayer. The sketches are rough but I'm going to jump into Blender and Photoshop while the ideas are still fresh so I can hopefully test some features in Unity soon.

    I'll update again when I have progressed and have something more to show ...(~48 Hours Pass)... well I can honestly say that setting this up was frustrating beyond belief. I've never enjoyed having things seemingly just not work and me being left without a clue as to what's gone wrong. I would normally throughly plan anything I intend to do and its been quite refreshing to work on a deadline but scarey just the same.

    I ran into a ton of little mistakes I made for myself by not setting up my Finite State Machines (FSM) correctly but mainly three I'll touch on so hopefully others who might be experiencing something similar won't waste any unessassary time.

  • In Editor Latency:    During my testing I thought I had encounted a bug where the game view was not responding to input correctly. After searching for some answers I came to the solution of testing out an early build to run on the targeted platform. The project worked perfectly as a Webplayer, reason being that when testing in editor its draining on system resources and can leave the games response a little sluggish.

                - "Test builds on targeted platforms!"

  • Keyboard Ghosting:    This is actually something I've suffered from before when playing games on a PC, even with a higher end keyboard. The link provided goes into some serious detail about the problem and how companies are attempting to address it. My problem wouldn't of exsisted if I had taken the time to simply plan my Input correctly.

                - "Be aware of any possible hardware limitations!"

  • Optimization:    As I was nearing the end of my project I suddenly hit a bottleneck. I had been reckless throughout my FSM's double checking the same data and some loops that were very close to being infinite. I reached a point where I understood what I was doing rather then just trying to get it working on screen and found my biggest problem was Raycasts tied in with the mouse cursor system. I decided to create a new system, worked out that it's easily extendable and works a lot better.

                - "Don't be afraid to throw out prototype content!"

    I know I definitly learnt a lot this week just playing with the many prebuilt functions of playMaker and I can tell I'm only scratching the surface since I barely touched any of the really tricky parts. I think the scene came together nicely, its still not a game, though it does have some very subtle interactions I hope you take the time to explore.

                                  Click the link: Week 2 Dropbox Public Link


Week One: "Static Scene"

    Following through the first weeks videos I jotted down a list of things to try out which would keep me focused on the areas of Unity I should be looking into. After getting comfortable with the basic UI and discovering which panels to look at to control the properties I was after it was time to assemlbe some assets. I went straight into the Asset Store looking for anything that could possibly come together for the static scene with a coherent theme. I lost myself for quiet some time and ended up downloading more then I needed but it was still good to look at the individual pieces and see the different ways to setup objects.

    After downloading everything my OCD tendacies kicked in and I had to organise everything in a way I could quickly drag and drop the objects I would be using during the scenes assembly. It took awhile to do but being able to get everything I needed from one folder saved me a lot of time in the end. I imagined what could be possible after seeing all the assets together and went straight into laying out something basic. I continued to add more details with finer objects, changing scale and rotation to vary similar objects that were close together.

Scene Minipulation Shortcuts I Used:

  • Holding "Alt" Left click and pan to Rotate your scene
  • Holding "Alt" Middle click and pan to View your scene
  • Holding "Alt" Right click and pan to Zoom in and out of the scene
  • Press "F" with your mouse cursor floating on the scene to focus on selected objects
  • Press "X" to toggle between Local and Global space of an object
  • Holding "V" with an object selected allows you to Vertex Snap to another object in the scene

    I ended the scene by playing with the lighting, not forgetting the render settings to enable fog as I had a large draw distance to cover. Finally I built out a Webplayer build as shown, even though its a static scene I think it's still cool to be able to share something you've created.

                                  Click the link: Week 1 Dropbox Public Link

Update: The Webplayer now contains the Standard First Person Controller so you can wander through the scene. Use W, A, S and D to move and your Mouse to look high and low!


About Me:

    I'm an avid fan of unique game designs and would be happy to lose myself playing something interesting across the weekends. I've thankfully got a wonderful fiance who understands my need to create something of my own and children who love to laugh and play whatever silly games I con them into participating in! This class has been great in boosting my confidence, enabling me to jump into Unity and playMaker. I hope the future holds many opportunities for the next generation of developers and I look forward to playing along side you all.


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