Game Designer & Programmer

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Senior Project - PPJ #22

I had a pretty busy week. This week, I worked on fixing issues with the character textures, did a whole bunch of animation troubleshooting, and got animated/textured characters in the sign-in screen. I also helped bake cupcakes.

Char Texture Fixes
This is pretty simple. The first pass of character textures was pretty good, but there were just a few instances of me not having the correct mesh with the right UVs. This week, I swapped out all of the hair meshes and braid meshes for the UV’d versions. There were also some small character mesh issues, so I went through the character import process again which always takes a bit of work to get all hooked up. This second pass looks much better though, which is good since the characters are on display in much more detail in our sign-in screen and gameplay recordings.

Animation Troubleshooting
Woo boy, this task was a biggie. Gillian has all her first-pass animations done and needed to know the correct export/import process so that she could get them ready to be used in-engine. Thank GOD Gillian recognizes the importance and length of time required for this step, because she blocked out time for it and it is one of the hardest parts of making a 3D game in my experience. So, the main issue was that, once the test animation got into Unity, it had a whole bunch of incorrect rotations and transforms. That itself isn’t uncommon, but this time none of the usual fixes worked. I spent all of Saturday working with Gillian to troubleshoot the export process and, in the end, it turns out the export was being done completely fine, Unity was just having some issues finding the right rotations on some of the bones since the first frame was so far off from T-pose. All we had to do was add a frame of the rig in t-pose and Unity read it in fine.

Sign-in Screen
My main task for a while has been to get the textured characters into the sign-in screen so that players don’t have to have their choices be represented by placeholder assets any longer. With the texture fixes coming in, I finally got to sit down and bust this task out in a day. The main focus of this task was that the characters have to have the correct representation of their position on the team — each team has a primary and a secondary texture. Assigning these aren’t too difficult when the only changes players can make are their gender, but the main issue come with the ability to switch teams. It’s easy to assign what position you are (Red primary, blue secondary, etc) when players are assigned a team when they load in, but when players can switch what team they’re on, a whole bunch of scenarios pop up where two players might get assigned the same textures. This was the hardest part for me, working out the logic that determines what player gets what position/texture as people are signing in / switching teams. In the end, I think I got all of the cases covered and, in my testing, have a tightly-sealed logic machine working. I had to do a couple small tweaks to how the texture assignments transferred over into the main game, but everything now move over smoothly again. The basic gist of the sign-in screen now is that it will assign teams as the players sign-in based on whichever team needs people. Then, as people are switching teams, it keeps track of who is switching and what positions (red primary, blue primary, etc) are being vacated and need filling.

Events
I also did a bunch of other stuff this week. Earlier this week, I went to Tylers place to work out some of the new hill actions/events/effects. I also helped make cupcakes for the bakesale and, honestly, the programmer cupcakes were the best thing there (they were not). I attended the bake sale, and it seemed to go really well! We sold out of everything we made and we’re looking forward to the next one this week! Yesterday was a busy day: we had our team meeting and the Spring Tech Spectacular that Evil Quacks put on. As that was going, I also helped half the team record new gameplay footage for our website and trailer using my All-New, All-Powerful Dev Camera Controller™. It was a blast. The playtest event seemed to be successful and we got to show a new build in a pretty casual setting. It was a nice warm up for Senior showcase and some other events we have coming up.

What went well:
Everything. It was a busy, productive week for everyone and the build is looking AMAZING right now.

What went poorly:
It’s hard for me to remember that I have other classes. I care about this project so much that doing work on other stuff just drains me.

 

Time:

-Tyler work and bake extravaganza: 6 hours
-Character Texture fixes: 4 hours
-Anim workflow troubleshooting: 7 hours
-Character Sign-in implementation: 5 hours
-Spring Spectacular / Gameplay recording: 5 hours
-Meetings: 3 hours

Total: 30 hours? (that doesn’t seem right but whatever)

Visit our senior project blog here.

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