Archives by Month - October 2012

OddBall Screenshot Saturday #22

10:50 AM October 28, 2012
Here's Screenshot Saturday twenty-two for my OddBall game! I've been continuing to work on new levels for the last few weeks. World 4 is now complete and I've started creating textures and levels for world (or area) 5 of the game. This is the last world!

While I continue to work on this last world, I will also be making the graphics for the Energy Charges, creating a magnet model, researching and testing sounds, revising and implementing the story elements, and of course testing and tweaking level gameplay. I'm still aiming for a very early 2013 release of the game in the App Store. Progress is going good :)

OddBall #screenshotsaturday #22

OddBall Screenshot Saturday #21

12:26 PM October 14, 2012
It's one day late, but here's Screenshot Saturday number twenty-one for my OddBall game! This week I've been tweaking some graphics, working on new levels, and working on yet another new aspect ratio to support.

On Friday evening my new iPhone 5 finally arrived and of course one of the first things I did (after restoring the settings from my previous device) was to get a development build of OddBall on there for testing. My first problem was that I needed to update XCode, then update my version of Unity3D. Eventually I needed to add the iPhone5 to my Apple device developer profile and re-upload that as well. After a few hours of installing and configuration fun I finally got OddBall on my new phone. The first thing I noticed was that my game play area was not designed for this stretched aspect ratio of 16:9.

OddBall already supports the aspect ratios of the old iPhones (3:2) and iPads (4:3). Those are close enough that a few differences in my GUI and camera placement can allow the gameplay area to fit perfectly in the view. However, the new iPhone5's aspect ratio is much wider with the same height. I can't just make the levels wider as they are specifically designed with a size in mind. At first I thought that adding additional 3D wall sidings to pad the sides would look nice, but this would require remodelling my border walls and redoing all the UV mapping which is a pain in the butt! I tried a few variations of this but the result did not look very good and would require a lot of work to update all of my world border walls. So after numerous hours of trying things on Friday night, I went to bed dejected and grumpy.

Saturday I woke up revigorated and determined to find an easy solution to my new problem. Eventually I came to the conclusion that the extra space on the sides would not add anything extra to the game because the levels were designed with a specific aspect ratio in mind. So I might as well just find the easiest way to hide the extra space. The simple fix was to add black "bars" to the sides. This would hide the extra space without disrupting the currently designed game area. So yesterday I spent most of my day implementing my new fix, which resulted in this week's Screenshot Saturday update coming on day late. OddBall once again supports all iOS devices with the 3 different aspect ratios, and now I am back to working on new levels. Let's hope the rumoured new iPad Mini does not introduce yet another aspect ratio later this month :)

OddBall #screenshotsaturday #21

OddBall Screenshot Saturday #20

9:46 AM October 6, 2012
Here is Screenshot Saturday number twenty for my OddBall game! This past week I finally got around to modelling and texturing everyone's favourite video game trope object: the wooden crate! Now I can finally replace the placeholder art for OddBall crates, and I'm quite happy with the results.

During the next week I plan on making new levels and tweaking some textures. I may also get around to making the animated texture for my Energy Charges (which are still just pink cubes in the game right now). Making this animated texture is going to be a bit tedious and so I've been putting it off for a while. But I do have a special plan for it: making real animated rotating suns!

I have an up-close NASA video of the sun rotating (which it takes about 30 days to do). I'm going to try pulling out each frame of this video, changing the colours to be blue, filtering it to remove distortion, adding my Energy Charge icon into its center, and then building a texture atlas of each of these frames that can be animated in game. The end result may be horrible, so I'm fully prepared to ditch the idea if it doesn't work out. However, if it looks anything as cool as I imagine I may have hundreds of small rotating suns in OddBall :)

OddBall #screenshotsaturday #20