This week also saw yet another change to our Tuesday lectures. We will no longer be doing Unity fundamentals. Instead, James will be helping us on our projects individually. This same approach was taken in the latter stages of last year and I think it’s probably for the best. Sadly, I think it’s quite difficult to make a lecture series which caters for a broad range of skill. You either bore the people who already know it, or confuse the people who don’t. I think this new change to these lectures will be a permanent one and will most likely benefit everyone in the end. I think the only way to get better at anything is to practise. The two hours a week of coding we have is just not enough time.
During the lecture we were task with getting on with our current projects. I didn’t yet have a concrete idea for what my first game would be, so I chose to play around with movement mechanics instead. I essentially spent the entire lecture trying to remember the stuff I had forgotten over the summer break. Next time, I will probably use this lecture to develop my prototypes or start to create a side project. I quite like the idea of a side project because it could provide me with a nice change of pace from my main project this semester.
Speaking of my project, this week I began to prototype my first game idea, Faded. So far I have coded all of the fundamental mechanics, written a story and a music track for it. The only thing I have left to do is create the sprites and polish it up a bit. Next week, I’m planning to work on it for a few days, but then move on to the next prototype. I don’t want to spend too long on each because I might get bogged down by trying to make them perfect. Ideally, I would like to spend maybe a week for each. This way I should have at least three completed before the end of this semester, but hopefully more.
To document the development of my prototypes I’m creating developer commentary and time-lapse videos. I’ve found that making the commentary videos is especially useful for me. They give me a break from the development and a chance to reflect on the project and where I’m going with it. I think they offer a good insight into my ideas and how they develop from paper to code. I’m planning to make these videos for each of my games, hopefully they will continue to help me reflect on my progression.
Next week is reading week, my plan is to go home for a few days and return on Wednesday or Thursday. When I get back, I’m going to finish developing Faded and then move onto my next game. I will also attempt to contact some homeless charities to gauge their interest in my project. Andy suggested that if I can get the support of a homeless charity, the university might also be willing to help in some way. Time will tell what form, if any, this support will take. I think I would be happy enough if I managed to have a link to a donations page or something similar. Anything would be appreciated.