Saturday, February 27, 2016

VeryBunnyHaha Homepage #indiedev

This is the New Very Bunny Haha homepage as seen from the Web Serif editor I use to create it with. This page also shows off some of the new artwork for VBHh as well.

It is a fairly simple, but I think tidy page. In the coming months we will add several features to the Site and articles about the development, including concept artwork and more videos.

Da Voodoochief

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Quest Trees Visually #gamedev

I was chatting with my Daughter several days ago about adding more quests into the game. Not just adding new quests, but also linking on a few quests that we have already designed and placing them into the Quest tree,

It is ok Having 100 Quests, but they also have to be unlocked in a good way. A good way can mean several different things.

 Such as logical progression... A quest to fetch something moves onto a new quest to deliver that item. Then to round it off it could finish up with you taking the delivery money back to the initial quest giver. A nice little island of a quest sequence.

There is also Association quests... these can be just about anything. For example you get a quest that has a Hammer in it and you have to get some nails, but also you get a quest that has you dancing to some Hammer time music. They are not naturally related, but by Worldly association (general knowledge) they can be partners.

Another aspect to Quest trees is actually HAVING a tree. So here we are with a Sharp Axe, but I knew I wanted to have a Blunt Axe and then get it sharpened and onwards to do several more Axe quests. I couldn't quite figure out where to put this in the tree to make it seem like the world is opening up, as that IS an issue with a quest line. It comes to an end eventually.

Along that way you want to expand the number of quests available to a player so they feel like the world is opening up to them, a wonderful feeling in my humble opinion.

This image above shows my Quest tree in it's new and current form. It was not always so spread. In fact it was downright bad. While I was busy trying to add new quests and not knowing where to add them to the tree. I figured I would put them into an excel file so I could get a more visual overview of them. WOW, did it shock me. I was so linear with them. Only a few quests ever opened up more and then they simply ran till they ended or went daily. After having this it was much, much easier to place a few new quests more meaningfully into the tree, including the Axe quests.

Creating the visual tree was essential in my mind to allowing me to get a true overview of what the player can experience at any point in the game. It tells me what will be available when etc.

There are probably other ways to do this, but excel was very easily available to me.

Good luck in creating meaningful quest trees.
Da Voodoochief

Monday, February 22, 2016

Announcing Very Bunny Haha #gamedev

I have just received my wonderful Very Bunny Haha Logo artwork. This means it is Finally time to announce the game on my Sorcerygames Home page.

The main Logo picture artwork is now on that site to show off how cool it is. I will be posting a lot more of the artwork in the coming week, though I have to go out of town fro a few days this week and I believe that will slow down my posting till later in the week. I shall do my best to keep posting though.

I have the title page artwork, and also an Icon and a few other pieces that will allow me to brand the game in a good way. I am looking forward to adding this artwork to my videos and screenshots in the future.

Hope ya like it as much as I do.

Da Voodoochief

Friday, February 19, 2016

Hashtags in my Blog Posts Title Report #gamedev #blogging

Here is a summary of what has happened in the last couple of weeks. You can see that Mondays when people go back to work my Blog appears to get more popular hehe. Like most web pages I presume.

This is effectively 3 weeks and as you can obviously see the LAST week has a higher average on every day compared to the previous two.

The IMPORTANT thing is that the last week of that graph was when I was adding a Hashtag to each of my post titles. I alternated with #gamedev and #indiedev. I don't really know any others, well perhaps #gamedesign might be one I should use as well.

Still one cannot get over the stark reality that it made a difference. I will also add that for the first #gamedev, my first hashtag used got me a startling response. My most visited day in the last year and I got 127 visitors.... YAY!

I think it is a HUGE success and I intend to use them from now onwards. Though there has not been a significant jump since this first week .. in fact my visitor numbers have remained about the same. Which was a bit of a surprise, as I expected it to continually grow for a while, in fits and starts perhaps depending on my posts. hmm.

In Summation:-
Using Hashtags in my Blog post titles got me more visitors the first week.
Following week did not increase the new viewership number.

I hope you bloggers find this information useful and if anything changes, I will do another post.

Da Voodoochief

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Minigame Discovery in VBHh #gamedev #indiedev #prism @NCHsoftware

This is a little video I knocked out a few days ago. This is important to me for several reasons.

#1 I have been struggling to create videos of the game. Every time I put what I had recorded with Fraps into Pinnacle video editing software. It made it look VERY pixelated. The main reason I think is because pinnacle could not handle non-standard resolutions.

As you can see I fixed this by using Prism by NCH software to convert the video into a standard 720p format. Pinnacle was then AOK with it.. except well....

#2 Pinnacle the video editing software I use has issues playing some video streams back all the way through properly. The initial .avi file I created for this would play properly till about half way through, and then just stop playing the video, but keep playing the audio. Gah!

I fixed that by using Prism again to this time convert to different movie formats. In the end Pinnacle really worked well with the .mov format. Phew, another annoyance averted.

#3 I was successful at recording ME. I used the laptop microphone and I am very happy with the results. To get the recording to match what was going on I had Wavepad Sound Editor open in one half of the screen and pinnacle playing the video in the other half. It worked out so great for me that this was my second take.

#4 I have been promising more videos of the game for a while now and when I have tried to create them they have been generally bad. Finally I feel like I have the method down to create the videos with enough quality that I won't be embarrassed or show the game in a bad light.

I am sure some of you are wondering why I use Pinnacle when I seem to have so many issues with it. Well I am only on version 12 (current is 19 I believe), and I love the way it works. The simplicity of it's timeline just gels with me. I can knock out great stuff with overlays and multiple audio tracks so fast. I just don't want to give that up.

Unusually for me I have listed several tools that I use for making videos of the game like this. I hope anyone else looking for these kinds of tools finds this information useful.

There is one last tool I do recommend. It is called CN Levelator. I use it on my recorded voice work as it cleans it up better than anything else out there imho.

Ok, done for now,
Have fun,
Da Voodoochief

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Too Many Quests? #gamedev

Check out that image above. I'll bet like me you are very surprised to see so many objects with exclamation marks above them.

How did this happen? Surely it isn't right? What do those plings mean?

I'll start by answering the last question first, and then in reverse order. Those plings mean that the object they are above has a quest for you to take.
They are not right. In fact only Chucky the Beaver in the middle of the image near his large stump home should have a quest to give you.
It happened because of a programming change I have made. It is an important one as it happens for a couple of reasons I shall talk about in a bit. The short answer to why do all these stumps have a quest for me is because they ALL think that they are Chucky. Personally I think they are delusional.

When I first saw this screen I was stumped (ta dah!) as to what had happened. Then it dawned on me that a change I had very recently made had caused this effect.

Going to the Code now...
In my code I have an enum array that lists ALL of the objects used in the game. I use a prefix like 'W_' for a world object (house, tree etc), or a 'C_' for a consumable (pie, apples etc). Lastly I have a 'S_' prefix for seeds. Here is a portion of my array. (the yellow NONE was not there previously).
public enum ITEM_IDS : int {


The way I knew how many elements were in this array was to use the 'END' for loops and creation of arrays to match this list. It works great for those kinds of things. However I also used it for an INVALID object ID. I need this as I have objects in the world that do not really need to be anything. Walls, some plants etc. So I set them to the default END and have been testing for that as an early out when a player uses an object for instance.

There is a problem with using an ID at the end of the enum array to mark my objects as nothing. That is when I add a new ID into the game it goes before the END... which means that any objects I had marked as END now think they are the new ID.. GAH! This isn't a good solution obviously.

The Fix:
I finally got around to fixing this in the last week. I created the 'NONE' as the first enum in the array and have set all my default objects to use that. It will not change no matter how many more IDs I add to the array. So no more fixing up IDs on objects in the game each time I add a new one. Phew.

The Down Side:
Well there was a down side. Adding the NONE to the beginning of the array meant that ALL my objects in the game IDs have been increased by one. So I had to go through every single object in the game and set them to what they should be again (I set them using the Unity editor and a public value). This will be the last time I will have to do it though, so that is a good thing.

Da Voodoochief

Monday, February 15, 2016

Those Hiding Eyes... Will I be noticed? #gamedev

This video shows off the new animation I have created.

It is of a creature (Hedgehog? Porcupine perhaps?) hiding in a very large pile of leaves. This is not simply a background animation however. I am hoping that it is enough to attract the players attention and they will go over to the pile to see what it is all about.

In fact the player will get a Huge surprise as they open up another part of Very Bunny Haha. This is part of the Discovery system and I hope that when the player finds this they will be in awe of the Discovery reveal animations that then take place. That video will be published once I get a commentary sound overlay completed for it.

I have been having a lot of fun these last few days working on animations... I actually seem to be getting much better AND faster at working on them now, thanks to Unity.

Da Voodoochief

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Rope Swing Test Part 2 #indiedev

Well here we are again, this time I have a video of the finished Test product. It all works rather well (as good as I had hoped). Though you will see some anomalies in the video, but they all have a good logical reason to be there.

As you can see When I attach to the Rope some times I am rotated to the side. This is in fact because I take the Rope segments rotation and put it on the player. So these segments have a rotation that puts the player on his side. In fact all the segments apart from the very last one (which is the right way up) are rotated in a odd fashion.

We now have the Rope launching out from the player in the direction he is facing and IF there is an Anchor point detected it fires directly towards it,.Pretty nifty eh!

When the player jumps off the rope you can see that he will always correct his rotation in a lovely smooth way and land on his feet, just like a cat!

This completed this test App and I have passed along the whole project to my friend. I will now do support for him until he gets the parts hooked up into his game. I hope it is soon s this app gets me excited about all the Rope Swinging possibilities.

Da Voodoochief

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

New Flower to Grow #gamedev

Firstly I am sure you will see that I have put a HASHTAG into the title of this blog post. It seems simply writing about game development is not enough to attract an audience. I would like to attract an audience for all my blogging, and I selfishly believe that some people will even find some of my posts interesting, or enlightening or hopefully entertaining. Obviously if you are reading this you probably know my posts already. So I am trying something a little different. I have noticed that many of the blogs and twitter feeds I read always use such hashtags, so perhaps I need one as well. - I will update everyone with it's results at some point.

Now onto the meat of this post.

This is my new flower as drawn by Leilani.
Looks a bit of a mess doesn't it. Looks like I attacked it with a scalpel or some such sharp device. This is what the flower looks like now I have chopped it up into it's animating segments. I need to do this so I can do a couple of animations for Very Bunny Haha, that is to have it grow from a seed and also have it Dance once it has fully grown. You should recognize the dance when I have it done (shhh spoilers).

As you can see in the above image it is from the Unity Animation frame. This is all the segments and their properties opened up to show how much work it is to animate this lovely sunflower. I have all the usual Transform properties and I also have a spriterender property on the eyes and smile, so I can make them appear and disappear in the animation. Pretty neat eh!

I already have the growing animation, and if I knew how to make a Gif of it I would. But it isn't the most interesting animation, and I think in the game it will play out over 24 hours... so ot going to be fast eh!!

I love this part of using Unity. It is using a tool to do the job that would be hard for me (heck I am a programmer really) in any other way. It is also provided for Free right there in their editor. Lovely eh.

I will get a video of the plants growing at some point from the game, but that is likely a few weeks away.

Well I am done, need some kip,
Da Voodoochief

Finger Helper Redo and Button Text

I have two things to mention today.

1.The Finger Help that I use to show people points of interest when they are new to the game has not been great. I couldn't quite put my finger on what was wrong, though each time I wanted to set and use a Finger Help I found I had issues.

There were several reasons for my having issues I now realize. One was that I could only have one Finger helper, and I simply moved that around, which caused me annoyances when trying to use it in multiple places. The second reason is that I really didn't like the way the code felt.. the class was dependent on another class creating it and yet then it was permanent etc.

I solved all my issues today though after a discussion with my daughter. It brought home the fact that I NEEDED to be able to display multiple Finger Helpers. This was then a catalyst to rewriting the code and making everything feel so much better. Now I can have this:-

As you can see in the Image above. I now have in this situation two helpers and I actually have a third just off the left side of the screen. This is very early on in the game and they al point out how you can leave this scene and get into another one. Great stuff. The code is not only cleaner, but also smaller and much more object oriented. Double Win I say.

2. Button Text
Now I have an issue currently with my buttons. Weird thing to say I reckon but let me show you the buttons I have from my Inventory overlay.
Now I placed them next to each other as the rest of the screen does not play an important role in this issue. What you can see however with these buttons is that the Cancel and Use both butt up against the right side of the button background. The button help (A and B) images are simply placed on top. That is why the Text is right side justified. I really need to leave a small border so the text does not butt up against the side, but I cannot figure a way to do that. If this was the left side then I could simply add a space into the text string. On the right side the Unity system simply ignores it. I added a '.' and that was alright, except now there is a period there, bah!

I am not sure what to do about this at all, so I will just have to leave it till I learn more or have an epiphany.

G'night all,
Da Voodoochief

Friday, February 5, 2016

Jump on Rope and Swing, Jump off with Momentum

Here is what I have been working on for me mate. So far I have the Dude attaching to the pre-animated Rope and jumping off.

When jumping off it is important to retain some of the Ropes velocity from the position that you are attached to the rope and its swing. This was a bit tricky as the rope being an animation meant I did not have any velocities to simply inherit. So what I did was to record the last 4 frames positions of the attached segment are. I then deduct them from the current position and then average them. This gives me a curve and not too sharp a set o velocities to inherit. As you see in the video it works rather well eh :) (yeah, I am pleased with this one).

Lastly when I was jumping off the Dude was rotated on his back or front and simply landed that way. This meant I had to adjust this, as he should really land on his feet. To achieve this I record the rotation when I get onto the Rope. Then I used this Rotation as the Target, and the current Rotation to Slerp with. As you can see in the video it looks like a great acrobatic jump and landing. It worked out well I reckon.

Next up is throwing the Rope out to find the Anchor.. or not.

Da Voodoochief

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Side Project - Rope Swing

One of my mates has been working on an AWESOME logo for Very Bunny Haha (to be revealed soon).

As a way to pay him I am working on some code for him. This is my side project now and to be honest I am rather enjoying it. I am having to learn a bunch of new stuff as I have yet to do any 3D work in Unity. Of course all my 2D experience will stand me in good stead as the same principles apply only in an extra dimension. Yeah I have a lot of previous 3D programming experience doing other games).

So that image shows what I have knocked up so far. The Rope that I have attached to the Anchor sphere does an animated swing. Of course this would all be very different if the 3D hinge joint physics worked in Unity, bah!

Ok, onto this project again. I have two pink platforms that the dude is standing on, the idea is that I am going to attach myself to the swinging Rope and swing with it... then jump off when I desire and impart some velocity from the swing to my Dude.

This is going to be fun :)

Da Voodoochief

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Improving Code because of bugs

So here I am fixing bugs when I realize when testing that I have a major bug. This one happens when you drop a quest.

You see some quests give you an item to deliver, such as a Note to deliver to Aaron from the Mayor. Now this quest had some special code to give you the Note in your inventory when you pick up the quest. It also has some unique code to handle removing the item from your inventory when you complete the quest.

The bug was that when I chose to Drop the quest this did not have any special code to remove the item. So I was left with the item in my inventory... then if I picked up the quest again I would end up with Multiple of the quest items.

When I was looking over the quest code I realized that I already have a lot of Unique code to handle all these quests that include items. hmm, perhaps there is a better way?

YES, there is a better way. I can include the Quest item in the Quest setup data. Perfect I reckon. I can just use a standard bit of code to handle the giving and removal of the quest itmes into your inventory. Then if you drop the quest the same code can easily tell there is a Quest item associated with the quest and remove that.

Well I did it, and it works GREAT!  This is one of those times where finding a bug allowed me to remove a whole bunch of code and write a much better set of code instead.

Da Voodoochief

Monday, February 1, 2016

Bakery Update in VBHh

Leilani has been busy and finally got those darned Cake counters created (try saying that 3 times fast!). They were a bit of trouble to create, but I think well worth the trouble. A good addition to Very Bunny Haha.

As you can see the new display cabinets with more orderly cakes (compared to me previous test cakes all over the screen) is a huge improvement to this scene. I am there on the left side about to head over to Diana to buy a Pie (I need it for a quest you see).

This screen also shows off the other element I mentioned in my previous post about the Bakery. That is the random chance that a cake (cookie etc) will be destroyed upon creation. As I can set each individual items percentage in the editor it makes it easy to make more plentiful items have a higher percentage, and rarer items (such as the Massive cakes) have lower chances of not being there. This really makes the scene feel more alive when you go in a few times and see the variation.

We have the backdrop to do something with, and Leilani has several ideas for that (which is good as I have none). Then I am wondering just what kind of Music goes into a scene like this one ? Hmmm, bakery music is not a class of music if I am correct..... research needed on that score I think (pun intended!).

Have a great day,
Da Voodoochief