RageSpline…

I bought RageSpline last week and wanted to take a moment to give my thoughts and opinions of it.

First off, let me say that Keely (@JuhaKiili) has done an amazing job on this little marvel. Given that this set of tools was simply intended to assist him in making a particular game (RageCube) it is truly inspirational how professional and capable this turned out.

What it is…

RageSpline is an amazingly simple way to draw vector graphics in Unity. It can help you improve performance by reducing your loaded texture memory (which is very important on mobile devices). It can greatly simplify a lot of the process of creating a 2D game in Unity if the Flash-style cartoon look is what you’re after. It will generate colliders from the shapes you draw to allow you to create levels and simple objects to physically respond.

What it is not…

It is not Flash in Unity. Don’t expect this to be an entire solution to writing a game. Sure, you may be able to pull that off as a challenge, but that’s not what it appears to be there for. It’s not a cartoon animation system. As a matter of fact, it currently does not support animation at all. It is also not forgiving of the predefined coordinate mapping where colliders are concerned, but that’s another story. 😉

What it will be…

Of course, this is subject to change and whatnot, but Keely has said that he intends to do many things with RageSpline over time. His official comments on the matter can be found here, but these are just my highlights. It will have animation support at some point. This alone would easily double the value of this tool. He will be working to improve the collider support, which again, will make this even more amazing. It will also get SVG importing and exporting so you can work on your vector resources in other (more familiar) software than Unity (Inkscape, Illustrator, etc…). He will also be improving upon an already solid set of drawing widgets and capabilities.

My final word on RageSpline is this…

If you have the $50 (USD) to drop on this, do it. Not kidding.

I had a plan for this. I was going to write Fizzle with this solely comprising its visual resources. That didn’t work for a few reasons, but all-in-all, I’m still extremely pleased with the purchase. I am using it to create 2D resources for Fizzle still, just not all of them, and let me tell you – it’s fun.

He’s made 2D resource creation not only possible in Unity, but fun and easy as well. I have no drawing talent, and I’m still creating vector drawings very easily with this utility. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed if you know what you’re going in for.

Also, check out the Unity forum post for some really cool scenes and drawings that other users have already posted.

When it comes down to it, I’m glad it’s in my arsenal.

Weekend update…

Wow, is this guy overdue. Well, since I was ill Sunday through to Tuesday, this is the first opportunity I really have had to write this update.

On all previously active projects, there was no work done over the weekend. Again, with being sick, there wasn’t quite as much time as I would have liked going into development.

Fizzle

I did, however, start a new project. This one is not a test, playground, sandbox, or showcase, though. This will be my first “real”, monetized, full-featured game I will release as Nekoyoubi.

I will attempt to keep the updates going out as to its progress as well, but some things with it may need to remain undisclosed until they are more fleshed out or, in some cases, until release.

The reason for halting other projects in favor of this one is simple. I read a great quote on Twitter last week: “Indies make money to make games; non-indies make games to make money.” I realized on Friday that in order for me to be able to really make games… I mean really make games, I need money. Not for me, not for putting food on my table, not even so I can buy a new Woot! shirt. But so I can make more games better, faster, and for more platforms. If I can write games full-time some day, that would be amazingly awesome, but the tools are what’s needed at the moment.

So what is Fizzle? I won’t spill all the beans just yet, but I can tell you a little bit about who Fizzle is.

Fizzle is probably who would come to mind if you were to try and picture an emo Harry Potter in his early years. The main difference being that Potter was an amazingly quick study. Fizzle, on the other hand, can’t seem to get anything right. As such, he’s been thrown out of his wizardry school for youngsters, but unlike good-old Harry, Fizzle has no “simple” or “normal” world to go back to. This is his world.

With no help from anyone, Fizzle will have to “learn” his way back into school by showing that he can make it as a young wizard in a tough and sometimes tricky world. Spells, while not Fizzle’s strongest study, are now the name of the game for him. Learning how and when to use what he can remember will guide his progress and shape his future… hopefully for the better!

As of right now, Fizzle is only being worked on for PC (and possibly Mac – assuming Unity cooperates). I was originally working with Flash-style drawn vector graphics, but have since moved to a full 3D experience, as this feels most comfortable.

Anyway, it should be a fun trip (making it, that is) and I will try to keep everyone updated along the way.

That’s it for this weekend… (ish?) update. 😉

Weekend update…

Seeing as how this Easter weekend, that got a lot of attention – Zombs, however, did not.

Easter 2011

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

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.