Thursday, 28 May 2015

28/5/15 - Games Updates!

Hello, everyone!

A few updates about what's going on right now.
Tomorrow is our end of year show! We've finished our game on time, but we're having some technical issues after realising it might not play on a University PC, but we're working on that, at the moment. There's a few things that we've not been able to implement, such as the beginning animation part, and a few things that made the cut, and was subsequently cut off because of lag issues.

My favourite thing that my brother has implemented is the Mad Hatter card - which either gives lots of points, or drops you down to one heart - which really sucks if you're headed for a rock! He initially made it for instant death, but I like it better dropped down to one.

 Either way, despite our problems, I'm really happy with what we've done.

Secondly, I went to a Game Dev meeting yesterday, and met with a man called Karl which fixed all  most of my problems with triggers, which is really exciting after everything got working nicely. Now it's just a case of using the same code to implement animation on trigger. I'd really like to get my bomb working, which would be brilliant, but I'm happy either way if I don't get it fixed.

And now for a few sketches, which I did today waiting in the hair salon. Bonus cartoon of myself looking a little like Ellen DeGeneres.

Monday, 25 May 2015

25/5/15 - Game Jam - Polished Animation

This animated sprite was made by swapping out the movie clips in flash for polished artwork made by Ronja in photoshop. Certain assets, such as the dress, the apron and the hair were un-animateable, so I've been a little naughty and worked my way around it.


The apron was really beautifully made, but it wouldn't animate properly - in fact, everything that didn't animate had a 'flow' - cloth, hair, flowing nicely. Except it just wouldn't in flash. So I've gotten around this by making a shape tween where the apron was, and animated like that.


The dress was tricky. I initially planned out for there to be many frames to the dress as seen in my early animations, but when I used the warp tool in photoshop on the initial dress, it didn't play out in flash nicely. The dress is perhaps two or three of eight original warped images. Not the most flowing of all the animation, but it serves it's purpose.


I used the same kind of tricks as I did with the apron. However, the shape tween didn't want to play nicely as one big shape, so I split it into three with three colours, and did it like that. The downnside to this was that the texture of the hair - all the  nicely painted one in photoshop - isn't present, but adding the original over the top gives it a nice feel.


Dan and Callum have been working solidly on code. It's wickedly addictive, and now is just a case of adding in polished assets in place of placeholders

25/05/15 - GAME JAM - Animation Update

Hello all!

Last time I left off, I had just roughed out the basic body animation in flash with tweens and keyframes. Callum suggested that perhaps the original  -  on the left looked like she was jumping, so I switched the timing of one of the legs.

Today, I've been working on the flow of the dress, here's what I've got so far. I'm still not sure what one I should choose just yet, so I'll be working in both. The good thing about using symbols to animate is that I can swap them out for nicely coloured ones, and all should still be the same. 

Next is animating hair!

Sunday, 24 May 2015

24/5/15 - Another game jam progress post

Because this is on such a short schedule, I'll be updating here a lot this week. Combined with the fact that I'm on the art side and not the development this time, there's a lot more to show!

I started with crappy thumbnails in photoshop...

and refined it with this as a reference. I've been looking at all sorts of reference videos. I found one with women jumping on trampolines, and while that was really great for dresses and hair, they all anticipated the fall, so it would look really un-natural. This is why I was looking at diving in my previous post - it's slower to watch and more natural to a point.

After I couldn't find what I was looking for, I found these videos of skateboarders, where falling off is common. In this screenshot, the man was about to fall off, and it's the pose that one makes after being about to fall is what I'm looking for. It looked natural, and I decided to tweak it from there.

Now I'm currently working on animation, here's a peek in .gif form, no refinement, just movement.

24/05/15 - GAME JAM

Hi everyone. After finishing Uni, myself, my brother (the code guy), CallumRonja and Matt are teaming up to create a game in six days. Currently, we're on day two, and it's due for Thursday. Exciting!

Hopefully, it won't take nearly as long as me on my own, and now there's a dedicated person for code, it can't go wrong.

This is basically what we're trying to do.

This is Matt's quick concept of our game. The idea is that it's a never ending free-fall game controlled by A&D keys. Avoid the danger, pick up hearts, score points.

The theme for the end of year show is Alice in Wonderland, so that's what our game is based on. 

I look forward to seeing what we can get done! 

Also, looking at references, I found this. Absolutely gorgeous reference for climbing and diving. <3

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Things I've learnt

Wow, it's been a while, huh?

It's come to the end of my time at Uni, and this year's been a blast. I've had a whole lot of fun making my game.

I've been using the tutorials from Brackeys and Wabble, which for whatever reason, when I couldn't get things working, Wabble managed to make everything simple.

Speaking of simple, I learnt a thing today going over everything with a fine tooth-comb.


What is this?
It's a physicsMaterial2D, found by right clicking and finding it in create. 
What does it do?

As you can see in this post where my character was getting stuck mid-air jumping into a collider - it stops it getting stuck! Wahey! It was literally as easy as adding that onto the colliders on the player and turning it all down to zero.

What I love and hate about Unity is it's simultaneously difficult and ridiculously easy.
When you know what to do, everything flows seamlessly. When you don't, it's always on the tip of your tongue that you know what you want to do, but you've got no idea how to implement it. 

The worst part is it's always right there.

The second thing I've learnt is that I am not good at coding.

I liken it to learning a new language - you know some beginners' words, but know none of the grammar, so nothing makes sense. Fortunately in spoken languages, people can guess what somebody is trying to say despite horrible pronunciation and grammar.

Unfortunately for me, a computer won't do that. 

Usually, I've found my biggest mistakes are in punctuation. Curse you, parenthesis, semi colons, capital letters, tiny letters, full stops!

The third thing I've learnt during this is that note taking is so important when trying to code something.

//Take notes for everything. Does this look important? Take a note.
//What do I want to do here? Take a note.

The first few tutorials I was looking at had no note taking, so I was relying on audio to help me to remember what does what. Then, my brother told me the magic of the // to take a note to help write a code. 

//Thanks Dan! Best brother ever.

Perhaps the most important thing I've learnt is to never stop trying to better myself and to always ask for help. Everyone who I've spoken to have been so supportive, and believed in me even when I didn't. So here's to you guys. What brilliant people.

Also I didn't post for a whole month and a half. I have shamed myself. I can no longer call this a bi-daily blog. 

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

31/3/15 - Whack-a-Mole no more!

I've likened my problems in Unity to Whack-a-Mole.
When one problem goes down, another pops up.

So here's what's happened so far:

***Problems working out how big the sprites are when imported into Unity***
Cheating with a sized box around each sprite won't work - it's a case of going into photoshop, cropping it down to the pixel, and dividing the dimensions by how many sprites are across/down

***Problems with sprites not lining up***
That's a case for pivots, and not sprite sizes, as I initially thought.

***Assorted coding issues***
For whatever reason, I missed whole lines of code. I don't know how. The secondary issues were missing curly brackets and capital letters where they were/weren't supposed to be

Turns out, I had my gravity on waaaaaaaay too high. The next problem was getting the animation to play properly when she falls. That was just trial and error.

But guess what?
I've done it!... For now at least. 

I've got a minor issue going on with the camera tracking, but I'm pretty sure this is easily sorted out with a bit of code that keeps the Y axis fixed. I'm not a coder, so this'll take a bit of research, or some help with someone in the know.

Ahhh. The sense of accomplishment is overwhelming right now.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

26/3/15 - Oh.

This post is just oh.

Every time I fix one problem, another comes up. I think this video can explain it better than I can. I've no idea what the hell I've done here.


Monday, 23 March 2015

23/3/15 - I owe you some progress

From my last post a few weeks ago, I've been trying to get things to work in Unity.

Here's what I've got so far!

And sweet baby jesus has this taken a long time to do.

I've had such a problem with sprites. I never would have guessed that would be my biggest problem.

My first problem was getting everything to slice nicely so I didn't get a jiggly frame without guesswork. With the help of Wayne Peters, a game art tutor, I've managed to get that bit down! Great!

Problem two was an issue with the code. I followed this tutorial, and for whatever reason, I could swear on my life code just kept appearing out of nowhere. Thankfully, I have my talented brother to help me see where I'm going wrong - hint: It was capital letters, lower case letters, wiggly brackets and semi-colons.

So! All coded up, and problem three is again an issue with the sprites. As you can see from the video, there's a nasty jump there between an idle animation and the run. I'd wager it's because the sprites aren't the same dimensions.

Either way, enjoy my progress and look out for more stuff. I might need to change that picture on the banner, I'm not going to have much hair left once this software has made me pull it all out.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

10/3/15 - It's been a while, hasn't it?

Hi folks.
I've got nothing artsy to show for the minute, but I'd like to show you a few tutorials that I've been using to help me get to grips with Unity.

Sprite Sheet Generator - This was a pain in my side before I realised I could do this. I was struggling with how to turn my animation into a sprite sheet, as it's pretty easy to make sprites with a sprite sheet in Unity. I thought, well, instead of trying to put my .png sequence into a big sheet, surely there's a button. Hint: There is!

This is my crappy little box jump I'm playing with, and this is the sprite sheet it made.

Then, there's this tutorial I've been following, how to get my character into a controller. I think this might take a while, folks. Don't forget about me if I don't post!

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

24/2/15 - More Animation

Time has flown by this week. I've no excuse for not posting other than that I honestly lost track of days.

Firstly, the run is near enough finished (to a point that I'm happy with). The trouble with my references was that I hadn't bounded like the run is supposed to, so I didn't get the cape right. In my video, where it was a light jog, it was a little swish from left to right - so the cape swish that worked well in the jog didn't transfer over properly to the bound.

There's a good chance that the cape might be too heavy on the way down, but at least it doesn't look like a solid object now!

Secondly, there's an idle animation done now. This is for when there's a period of inactivity. I started with a longer arm swing, but was told to shorten it by Callum

Monday, 16 February 2015

16/2/15 - Princess Pants Logo

Howdy howdy howdy.

Today, I've been working on a logo for the game.

I've been inspired by the Fat Princess logo, Candy Crush,  and assorted bubble fonts, and superhero-esque typefaces. I had a look for princess fonts, but dear lord, they are woeful, and inappropriate for everything but headers.

I had a bit of trouble deciding what sort of look to go for, and after a bit of trial and error, I took inspiration from all sorts of places and came out with this.

Personally, I like the Princess bit, but I'm not hot on the "pants". I feel like that's a bit unreadable. 

Fun fact - today I learnt how to mask in Illustrator. I always love learning new things about that software.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

14/02/15 - Princess Pants has a cape!

Today, I've been working on Princess Pants' cape. There's some overlapping action in the cape knot, but this needs work and it's just a basic thing at the moment. I've been looking at my own running reference, but I feel like I might need to be running on the treadmill to get the run right, as my own is more of a jog than a bound.

Looking at it, the cape definitely needs to be higher up for longer. That's for tomorrow!

Lastly, Happy Valentine's Day! Here's a picture of Princess Pants and Carrot the Rat having a cuddle. Remember to tell everyone that means something to you "I love you."Valentine's day is for loving everyone, including yourself, so make yourself a nice meal and put your feet up for the day.

From here on in, the work on the Princess Pants Facebook Page is going to be completely different to the blog, so be sure to head on over there from time to time. 

Friday, 13 February 2015

13/2/15 - Meta Post

Hi everyone!
Today I've made a Facebook page for Princess Pants. This blog is for all the development, but the Facebook page will be full of finished promo pieces, so be sure to look both here and on Facebook.

You can find it at , be sure to chuck a like my way!

Thursday, 12 February 2015

12/2/15 - Princess Pants run

Today I've been working on backgrounds and Princess Pants' run cycle. It's not yet finished - there's definitely some things that need refining, and there's a cape that needs adding, but here's the work from today/yesterday!

This is the first run cycle I made, using the legs from the previous post. Julia Young pointed out to me that perhaps it was a bit fast, so I added some frames in.

This is the slower bounding run. It's animated on twos, and is a total of 24 frames.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

08/2/15 - Run Cycles

I've been a bit inactive as of late, and that's down to doing my dissertation. For the love of God, I hope to never write another essay for as long as I live.

I've been itching to get started on production, and today after my marathon shift at work, I've started some run cycles. Here are my first couple of attempts.

Now this first one was done by looking at a reference sheet, and making similar poses. I only did one side for quickness, so I don't really care about it at this point, I'm just getting some basic looks done.

This one here was exaggerating the first one. I didn't really like this one to be honest.

In between the last one and here, I decided to give the bone tool a shot for quickness. I was really struggling with the legs drawn by hand, and, so I wanted something a little speedy. I actually quite like the look of how this is going.

This was a happy accident. I went to loop the top one again, and accidentally chose only half of it. Now it's quite an animated, jumpy run. Imagine that's fully done, again, these are only in halves just to see how it'll look quickly and save my time. I'm not a lazybones, I just work efficiently.

This is a continuation from the one up there. I decided I'd give it a go, and actually fill in the legs over the top.

This one is more or less the same as the one up there, except I deleted every other frame to work on twos. I don't like how this one looks so much, so if I choose to work on twos, I'm going to have to have a look at re-doing the shapes.

Well, I hope you've enjoyed today's post.
I done a dumb and forgot to save what was driving me so crazy. I'd had one leg done really nicely, but whenever I tried to add the other leg, it just looked wrong. Thank Ra and all the other Gods for the bone tool.