Solace Crafting

Solace Crafting
Redefining the Crafting RPG

Monday, June 5, 2017

To update or not to update

It was on a night late in May of 2017.
The rain was dumping on all sides of my house.
My right eye had turned red from too much coding.
Still, it was time.
I updated all of my third party tools at once and migrated Solace Crafting into a fresh Unity project. The errors swarmed over me like white on rice. I brewed a cup of coffee, denied my lap to the cats eager to sit on it, and started scanning over 50,000 lines of code.

Not everything about game development is glamorous. Actually none of it is! It's long hard hours squinting your eyes at multiple screens, checking animations, interface events, and cross-script banter. But when things come together, it's something you've created yourself and it feels great.

I started learning game development over five or six years ago (I'm starting to lose track). Solace Crafting finally started taking shape a couple years ago, and I had been dragging some of those scripts and project files around for too long. The move into a new project actually went surprisingly smooth and it did fix a few lingering warnings and errors. What bogged me down was updating all of my third party software.

I wrote not long ago about how great third party software can be for helping broke indie developers like myself get moving rather than trying to code everything yourself. That does at times come with a price. Being able to read shaders, scripts, and animations I'm capable of sorting out just about any problems I come across, but they can come way out of left field and end up taking a few hours to fix.

All is well now, with only a couple requested upgrades/fixes still pending, though the grass system I'm looking forward to is still unfortunately non-functional for my uses. Hopefully that and a couple other minor issues I've found will get sorted out by their developers in the next week or two. It's great getting to give feedback, and get features in return!

As for my own upgrades a big one went into the building system. A fundamental design flaw (my fault) was overlapping parts of buildings, or rather, not recognizing neighbor parts when considering what to offer players to build. I grew up writing voxel engines which do a lot of six-sided interaction. For Solace Crafting's building system though I've moved it to a three-sided system that now treats a North wall as the South side of the northern neighbor, etc. Had to rework a host of rotation and placement scripts, but it's all saving and loading fine now.

With that out of the way I wanted to make a tower, but ran into some collider issues with my stairs. After fixing those I ran into some issues with my player movement physics. After that... There's always something to do =]

I've also fixed a lot of cosmetic bugs that never make amazing tweets, but are still important to good gameplay. I hope to improve the cosmetics as well, like in the screenshot above I don't yet have icons to represent building recipes, and the buildings buttons are pretty cartoony. Getting all of those little details checked off takes a long time believe or not.

At the end of the week I hope to record a quick video going into the building system, and maybe another about the crafting system if I can clean up the enchanting by then. I anyone has 30 grand I can borrow to quit my day job let me know ;p in the meantime I'm still stuck working only at night.

Hope you had a good Spring! We're moving into the monsoon season here in Japan and by the sound of the rain outside the first wave hits right now!

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