Seeing as how this Easter weekend, that got a lot of attention – Zombs, however, did not.
I put a bit of work in on a mini-game for my kiddos that lets you toss Easter eggs onto baskets for points. It’s really hard to miss the baskets, but then again, it was for my 7-year-olds. 😉
You can see the details here, but the general gist is that you get an egg spawn directly in front of you. It gets tossed slightly vertical – like a baseball that you’re about to crank into the outfield – and when it “feels right” simply [LMB] and watch it fly. Hit [Space] if you DO mess up and miss (or if you just really want to zip through the rando and see the different eggs). Get the eggs in the basket to increase the score.
Again, nothing special from a “game” perspective, but it was fun making all the different eggs and my kids seemed to love it!
Zombs was under-loved this weekend, only getting a slight bit of modeling work done for “actual” zombies (not the iPhone joke ones). I’ve been really inspired by Patrick Spens‘s zombies, and while I have next-to-no modeling talent, I’m still giving it a go. If you look at his zombie style (Acquired Taste / If I Only Had a Brain), there should be no question that those cute little undead menaces need some 3D love and a game to help further glorify them. 😉
I did however, finally decide that the aiming/movement system that we were going for just simply will not work – at least not for what I want. I’m thinking we’re going to need to go back to the way it was; standard mouse-look for Y-axis rotation as it is now when moving, but with the added ability to aim up and down as well like standard FPS control. The “shooter”-style was great for a moment, but the more I get into it and go that direction, the more obstacles I hit and the more the style just generally displeases me.
I’ve noticed something in this short time that I’ve been working with PlayMaker that I wanted to share. I’m sure the Hutong videos probably go over this much better than I will, but in my experience, there’s nothing quite the same as hearing about a product from a real user.
One thing that I’ve found over time with using someone else’s work is that when a refactor or reorganization is needed, third-party products typically leave you dreading the rework so much that you continue to pile more spaghetti on top of what you already know to be faulty.
Well, I am pleased to announce that with PlayMaker, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. It’s actually quite delightful to graph pretty state machines.
While the idea of an object’s FSM may be simple to start, it doesn’t always end up that way. For example, I started Zombs off with a character that could move. Simple enough. Then I added a state to let him fire. Again, simple enough. The next thing you know, the “simplicity” of it all had me taking damage, switching between weapons, controlling firing rates, handling movement, etc… all in one FSM. At this point the instinctive “clean-this-koi-up”-gremlin came knocking at my screen.
So the first thought was “well, I have a Gun object under my Player object… maybe if I move some of this FSM it will read a little more clearly.” Sure enough, that was exactly what was needed. In seconds, a new FSM was created on the Gun object, and after copying the Player‘s FSM onto the Gun (to bring events and variables over) I removed the states of the Player‘s FSM that related to firing, deleted the non-weapon states, and viola!
Now it seems to play the Player/Gun states even smoother… and I can find my logic!
Things were literally a copy/paste/delete away from being cleaner, more functional, simpler to expand upon, easier and debug and maintain than they had previously.
In the 15+ years that I’ve been coding, I can honestly say that this kind of foresight isn’t even one that developers usually take into account when writing their own code, let alone an expectation that they can put on a third-party tool.
Okay, so unfortunately, nothing was updated this past weekend. I got to (very) briefly use the new Blender, but other than that, no new developments.
So Zombs hasn’t had an update in a few days, but that doesn’t mean it’s not going anywhere. It just means that I didn’t get to work on anything over this past weekend.
Zombs has a few things still upcoming in the very immediate future, including (but not limited to) the following:
Also, about Blender 2.5, if someone knows a shortcut to the original menu, I would be much obliged if you’d throw me a comment here, or send me a message @Nekoyoubi on Twitter.