What better way to see out January than to reconnect with the Unity community.
It was our eighth London Unity User Group last Wednesday (at the time of writing!), and whilst I can’t speak for Jasper, I’m sure he’ll agree that we didn’t think that LUUG would be the success it has been so quickly. From the very first meeting we’ve seen a steady increase in attendance, with the regulars that sometimes can’t make it having their seats filled with new attendees.
The biggest news over the last month has been the release of the developer preview for Unity 3.5, which includes our first look at the Flash exporter. The clever folks at Unity HQ decided that the best way to get us testing this new feature was to make a competition out of it. Over the Holiday period. Excellent.
So, we took time out from our time out with the families and leftover turkey to create something for ‘Flash in a Flash’, which is what we made the main topic for this months LUUG.
We sent out the call to invite those who had entered the competition to show their projects and offer their experiences, and the call was bravely met by LUUG regulars Cat Burton, Mike Renwick and QuickFingers.
Cat Burton - Find Heidi.
Cat did an excellent job of explaining the iterative nature of game development and design. Sometimes the initial ideas, whilst on paper might seem the best way of marrying form and content whilst taking into account strict time constraints, can sometimes come crashing into the brick wall of logical gaming sense. A hamster in a ball is a great way to get around the need for any complex animations, until the player needs to jump that is.
A quick redesign and a favour from a friend later and Cat was well on the way to creating a cute game of love, cats and mice.
We also got a nice insight into the importance of testing and user feedback during the early stages of game development, which might be one of the most important messages delivered on the night.
You can read an in-depth blog post into developing ‘Find Heidi’ as well as links to playable builds HERE.
Follow Cat on twitter here.
Mike Renwick - Spitfire.
Mike took a different approach to working with Flash, mainly by ripping apart an older project and shoe horning it through the Flash exporter, piece by piece. It might not have been a complete success, but what we saw of Spitfire looked very interesting. A comic book inspired player feedback system, supported by controls that look tight and fun. The real shame here is if Mike never goes back and finishes it off, because I for one would love to have a go!
Follow Mike on twitter here.
QuickFingers - Covert.
Born out of a love for Deus Ex key code systems and reading mundane emails for subtle clues, Covert is a remarkable piece of work for such a short development period, which isn’t surprising really, coming from QuickFingers.
Play Covert Here.
Follow QuickFingers on twitter here.
Jasper Stocker - Hot Wheels
Jasper discussed how the Hot Wheels game was built, the lessons learnt and how much fun it was making it. Covering the basics of implementing analglyphic 3D in Unity and using Flash with Unity to allow the game to use AR binary markers to steer the car.
Many of the challenges facing the project involved allowing it to be fun while easy enough for a kid to play it with the AR marker. He covered the physics, setup and tricks he used in implementing a loop the loop, jump and wrecking ball. Along with useful tips on building racing games in Unity, putting experience before simulation.
You can follow Japser on Twitter here.
You can play the Hot Wheels game here..
Open Mic Sessions
We also had a couple of ‘open mic’ presentations from members of the group. One in particular was Rob Stringer’s ambitious ‘Moon-em-up’, ‘Galaxy Seed’. I’d promised I would update you all with the details for Rob, and he wanted to extend his thanks, as well as offering contact information…so I’ve pasted it below.
I want to say thanks for the positive and honest feedback that many of you gave after LUUG, I really appreciate it. Here are a couple of links for a more cohesive idea of what Galaxy Seed is and the game’s story:
You can also play the current version in it’s glorious (but ugly, buggy and short) form here: Windows - http://bit.ly/x4pGAo Mac - http://bit.ly/wwqJmI
If you want to help in the production of the game, or just have some questions about it, feel free to get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since the event, and the original writing of this blog post, Unity have announced the winner and runners-up of the Flash In A Flash Competition. Huge congratulations to Cameron Owen, who’s ‘Tail Drift’ claimed first prize. Our very own ‘quickfingers’ was amongst the runner-up awards, with Covert, which you can play by following the link further up in this post.
You can see ‘Tail Drift’ and all the runner-up games by clicking here.
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