A day in the life of a Unity Game Developer

Here you can follow the dev logs while we develop Noah’s Ark: Splash and Dash


<— Noah Change Logs —>
June 25, 2016

12:50pm Read up on Git, signed up for a Git and BitBucket account, installed SourceTree, and struggled to commit the files.

Setup SSH Key from Unity Cloud Build within BitBucket.

Finally got file to commit and they are uploading. Not sure if all project files are included in the initial commit. Wasn’t clear.

2:37pm Created Layout for 2 monitors, saved it as: Noah – 2 Screen

2:40 Dived into a refresher Tutorial of NGUI on how to make the GUI elements, as this is quicker than re-learning it myself.

5:04 Uninstalled Unity 5.1.3f version, since it was crashing constantly and installed 5.3.5. Hello new build!

5:09 Created new project: Noah, since the original had way to many assets added and kept crashing.
– Installed and imported asset “Open Recent Scene” 1.3.1
– Installed and imported asset “Complete Physics Platformer Kit” 1.51

5:14pm What’s this? Changed to Android build and had to download an additional android module for Unity…
Installed it, nothing changed. Restarted the Unity Game Engine and Android Build options are available.

5:22pm Set Android build options with name : com.justintime.noahdashsplash

5:24pm Built first version 1 build of physics platform demo to try out on the android device.

5:40pm Replaced the Player Move script with the modified script found here: http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/released-complete-physics-platformer-kit.203279/page-20
Added the CN Control Free Asset for joystick controls. Added a prefab: Button & Joystick to the Canvas.
Checked the Input project settings: and confirmed “Jump” is already there.

5:52pm Android Build Created: Noah first platform 1.01.apk

6:06pm Adjusted the Android Player settings for auto-adjustment, allowing for only landscape left and right.
Android Build Created: 1.02 Jump Button works. Joystick works, but doesn’t appear on-screen until pressed.

6:34pm Disabled “Hide on release” to show the joystick all the time. Disabled “Move Base” and “Snap to Finger” so the joystick doesn’t move around.
Android Build Created: 1.03 Joystick now doesn’t hop around the screen with the finger.

7:08 Added a button: Grab and a placeholder graphic to the on-screen controls.
Android Build Created: 1.04
June 26, 2016

2:44pm Wrote out the scribbles from my scrap paper, with the details of the “animals on the loose” task, “Timber Trade” mission, “Opening Screen #1″, and “Hammer-Time” repeat task. Created a checklist of tasks to do, and added this checklist creation to the blog posting pre-write-up about things to prepare before making the game.

3:10pm Decided to check the backups to see if my project was being backed up… wasn’t… amended the already adjusted backup settings, and ran an incremental backup. Ah, that’s better. Project is being backed up. Added the last item to the pre-write-up about things to prepare before making a game… check your backup…

4:25 Printed out a bunch of houses, and art, so as to plan out the village/environment area on the floor to design the environment of Noah’s ark.
June 27, 2016

3:00pm Researched easy method of sending new builds to my android devices. Settled on Filedrop. Installed on Windows PC and Android device. Filedrop small window appeared and I dropped a shortcut file from the Windows desktop to the Android device, and the file was transferred. Wow, easy. :)
July 9, 2016

7:55pm Set the “main camera” to “Lock Rotation”. Now the camera just follows the player.

9:53pm Imported the Ngui package from my laptop with the initial water GUI, and added 2 labels, forgetting to add a collider to them. WHY DOESN”T ONCLICK () Work? Yeah, remember those colliders. Added the Menu scene to the build, and created exit and play buttons.
Built ver 1.05 and tested it on the tablet. GUI doesn’t size to the different aspect ratio on the tablet screen. Added it to the checklist…

10:45pm Adjusted the “water” background of the GUI menu to be zoomed in a bit more by the camera, which fills the whole screen with water now. Also resized the Play and Exit text, then added a wooden sprite frame behind, while doing the same to the title of the game as well.
Added Credits button, non-working at the moment.
Built Version 1.06. Tested and works.

July 10, 2016

8:10pm Added Floate asset to project. Used it to make the GUI wood buttons bob up and down on scene 1 menu.

9:00pm Found http://answers.unity3d.com/questions/588786/is-it-possible-to-simulate-a-keypressinput-in-code.html and used the InputSimulator, by adding it to the Assets folder, then making a script for the Grab button to simulate a key press of “K” using OnClick(). Tested it and it worked!
Built Build 1.08 for Android. Grab Button doesn’t work in Android… The button responds to taps, but doesn’t grab a an object for pickup…

10:52am Added the “Unity Remote 4″ Asset for troubleshooting the grab button not working in Android builds.

11:49pm Added Art Assets: Modular Ancient Alien Pillars, Dark Wood Texture, Cartoon Food Pack, Rocks environment pack,

July 22, 2016

1:44pm
Modified script: throwing to set “Grabpressed” variable to false after pickup or throwing object, so the Grab button will work from the button being pressed on a touchscreen.
Built version 1.09 to test: Grab button works in an android device now!

2:00pm Added a label to the GUI from the NGUI menu and all the GUI elements disappeared. Undo does nothing. Closing the project without saving and re-opening it brings back the GUI elements. Cannot add a label…

2:05pm Backed up project files manually, just in case…. Incremental Backup successful.

till 2:55pm Messed with scripting trying to display the QualitySettings level on screen…. then I wondered why I needed this…… 😛
July 23,

Sometime around 12pm: Ran an incremental backup of the project.

3:45pm Added Auto Quality chooser to the project, and added it’s script to the main camera of Test Level scene.

4:10pm messed around with creating a script to show the quality settings on-screen, again… then realized that autoquality chooser loads another script showing the quality/fps on-screen already…

July 24, 2016

3:15-3:45pm Added Pause Menu and added quality options to the menu of the game. Made the PauseMenu script open when clicking the on-screen Menu GuiButton.

Aug. 1, 2016

12:09am Added Asset: Inventory System to the project. It was not compatible with Unity 5… Deleted the “inventory” folder at the root to remove the project.

12:27am Added Asset: RapidVentory. Completely replaced the already wonderfully setup project settings.

Restored backup from the day earlier and all was back to it’s original place.

Aug 7, 2016
5:30am Manually started finding and dragging meshes into the corresponding prefabs for the 100 Fantasy Medieval Buildings Asset, which hadn’t properly imported…

Intermittently, until 10:30pm

Aug 9, 2016

11:23-11:48pm Continued the mesh dragging into the corresponding prefabs… not fun… no response from the developer on a better way to this…

Aug 16, 2016

10:15-11:43pm Continued to drag meshes into the prefabs for the houses, finished up to the 51st building.
Worked on the pausemenu script to have the pause menu and it’s parts onto the top-right area of the window. Finished the main menu items, and need to move the different quality choices to the top right area as well.

Aug 21, 2016

6:00pm Added Asset: Treasure Chest Maker, and Cartoon Low Poly Pack Ver 2.1

Aug 25, 2016

7:40pm Added Asset: Castle Supply Lite to use the furnace/anvil models, Old Wood Row Boat 2.0, Nature Starter Kit 2. Selected assets which match the time of Noah for use in scene.

Finished the pause menu arrangment, and resized the frame rate on-screen counter.
Started a Terrain, and drew some of the mountains.
Aug 26, 2016

10:20pm Drew mountains on the terrain, marked out house area with “h” on the ground, “Farm/field” with F, rivers in blue, colored some brown dirt,
Aug 27, 2016

8:07am Write out inspired mission ideas so I don’t forget to implement them in the game.

10:50pm Added extra scripts for functionality in the PHysics Platformer Kit>Extra Addon Scripts folder.

– Added tree into the terrain tree/detail paint area, and found all trees are painted lying down on the ground….

Aug 28, 2016

– Raised the mountains on the side of the terrain higher.
– Located “fields” asset, which was actually called “crops” to put fields onto the farm areas…. Messed up the Projects “Library” folder somehow, and saved the “new terrain 2″ files, before restoring the backups of that project folder…
– Placed farm fields onto the map.

Sept. 4, 2016
– Moved Player object to the main Noah’s Ark map. It works, the main player can move and jump around the map, however, running up hills which are steep, requires jumping up them.
– Moved Main camera object to player’s location.
– Imported Asset packages: Realistic Water Pack 3.6, Water FX Pack 1, Traditional Water Well 1.1

– Added Noah’s house prefab, and some trees, bushes, food around his house. Built APK ver 1.1

Sept 5 2016

– Added trees to farmland, an oasis in the middle of the map, and arranged the game objects together under “farm” areas.
– Experimented camera angles.
Dec 29, 2016

– Raised the terrain by 6 meters with a script, then added one piece of water just below the terrain, so I can now lower the terrain and water appears. Easy Rivers!
– Drew more rivers and painted the river bottom with water texture.
– Remembered that “S” painted on the map means a Shop/Selling area is to go there. Assembled some shop tents and buckets of food, and created all shop areas.
Dec 31, 2016

– Added Houses in the “H” spots on the terrain. Added a waterfall.
Jan 1 2017

– Changed Field of view for main camera from 70 to 86.
– Added Flock of Crows to fly around the whole environment/area.
– Modified “FrameRateCounter” Script to move the fps info down about 100 pixels on the screen.
– Added an option to the PauseMenu script to turn on the FPS counter, within the “Graphics” menu (Formerly the “change graphics settings” menu, renamed.)

– Added Coins and a small mission to collect coins for the testers.
– Smoothed and raised river floor, so player doesn’t get caught in a hole, as per tester’s requests.
– Added Music to the game’s first scene and main Noah world area, after consulting with the testers.
– Added Mini-Map to the game, with input from the testers on a correct location on-screen.
– Added MasterInventory to the project to use as inventory system.
– Added Scene Manager to project fo rscene management.
– Added LazyClouds for clouds, and disabled the clouds in the game beginning, to enable in later scenes.

January 8 2017

– Added Glow System 5 to the project.
– Created glow around the rotating coins.

Changed the button pictures to wooden-style jump, grab and joystick controls.

Feb 26, 2017

– Researched Quest/Mission systems, and found S-Quest to be suitable. Purchased and Downloaded.
– Drew out the Progress map for the 9 Noah’s ark levels.
– Wrote out the 9 “ark” missions and realized that each level need to have “food” and “animals” missions too. Updated the High Level Overview with the details.
– Screenshot of work saved.

March 1, 2017

– Purchased and imported S-Quest. Opened the scene: Test level and created a collection quest, to collect 3 cylinders.
– Purchased and imported Time Tracker to start tracking time worked on the project, automatically.

March 2, 2017
– At 12:58am added S-Quest to the main scene, converting the coins by adding the quest script, and name “initialcoins” for all the coins to collect.
– Worked in the Editor the first time like a charm. Made some tweaks and added glow to the initial ball/quest giver… and it broke for the next hour. I think I fixed it by restarting Unity 3 times, then it worked… at 2:30am… have to watch this for more bugs… Built build ver 1.19

After 1:45 pm
– Added Unity remote settings and connected my phone. Can see the game after pressing play in the editor, but no controls are available….
– Change mini map type to “World Map” from “Mini Map” since the mini map is still rendering the first scene, when loading the 2nd scene.
– Built: 1.20, now no map is rendered at all, and there is no quest opening up when clicking on the quest giver ball…

March 4 2017
– After 11pm backup. Added Scene Manager 1.5.2 and imported it.
– 11:19pm Setup Scene Manager to start with the Menu scene and load the Noah Main World scene after that and end at the Main menu scene. Setup the Main menu to load Noah’s ark main world through Scene Manager. Due to Javascript, didn’t set the “Pause Menu” to use Scene Manager to “leave the game” but manually wrote into the pause menu script to load the first level.

March 5, 2017
– Imported the CollectionItemc.cs script modified by S-Quest’s creator. Replaced the original and renamed the original with a -original in the name.
– Revamped the Layout of the view for the TV on top and LCD on bottom and saved the layout.
– Used the drawing of the Tar Pit Scene, and created the tar pit with grass, cacti, dead trees, black water, bubbles, and a mountain range all around.
– Added @ 10:04pm the FX Mega Pack for the bubbles fx to use in the tar pit.
– Modified the Procedure Water for the tar, to not have shadows or light/reflection probes.
– Smoke 3, Bubble 1, Rain 02
– Ate some Nacho Chips with Salsa and Coffee, then turned into Iced Coffee, to gain some brain power.

March 12, 2017

– Setup my Desktop Development Machine.
– Adjusted the Unity window layout to cover both screens, and saved the layout as “One Window Over 2 screens”.
– Backed up the project on the development laptop and restored it on the development Machine (desktop).
– Created a system of scripts to load Tar Pit Scene and gameobjects at the entrances/exits to load scenes. Need to set player position after returning to main world at the appropriate entrance and Kill the Player gameobject if it already exists when loading the main scene.

March 19, 2017

– Read up on backing up projects with GIT and sourcecontrol tools. Opened the Noah project and changed the settings within Editor: Version Control: Visible Meta Files and Asset Serialization: Force Text
Saved, closed and re-opened Unity. Closed Unity.
– Ran a Full Backup of the Noah Project. cANCELLED. Removed the “Project” folder, ’cause it’s not supposed to be needed in backups now… I think.
– Ran a Full backup of the noah project. Saved it manually to OneDrive in Projects/Noah location.

After 9:30pm
– Checked and found that the script for changing the location was checking and running, but that the line to reset the play location variable fired too fast, upon re-loading the Main Noah World, and didn’t change the player location. Removed the reset of the player location variable, and the transition to the proper exit/entrance location to the Tar Pit worked.
– Opened Test level and used the newly modified Collision collection script to pickup items needed to complete the quest. Works properly, as long as there’s a rigidbody/collider, with “is Trigger” selected.

After 10:20pm
– Imported Inventory Master – uGUI into the project to learn the inventory system, and create items.
– Reviewed Video Instructions/Documentation for Inventory Master.

March 22, 2017
– Made a test inventory from Inventor Master in the Test Scene.

March 25, 2017
– Sifted through the scripts of the sadly, abandoned Inventory Master asset to figure out how to pickup an item and have it added to the inventory, then be able to drop it on the ground again. Figured it out with the example scene’s help…
– Remembered to take a screenshot!
– Setup Desktop to use a larger sized SSD (512GB) for storage.

March 26, 2017
– Created a pathway to the Ark Site. Modified the script to load the Ark Site scene when travelling up the hill/mountain path.

April 1, 2017
– Before 11:30pm: Asset Added : Low Poly: Free Pack 2.0
– Added Asset: Flies Animated Model 1.04 to the project.
– Added 3 flies to fly around the 5 marketplaces in the Main Noah scene before 11:30pm
– Imported Asset: QS Mega GUI – Wood in order to use these GUI art in the game, to replace the current hold-over art of the menu/GUI.
April 2, 2017

– Changed the collect 12 coins mission into a real mission using Squest and discovered I have to set the minimum ? distance from a quest giver to a higher number, or they’ll never give you the quest, unless you are nose to nose with the character…
– Quest doesn’t seem to finish after collecting 12 coins, whether I choose “come back to mission giver” or not…
– Ran a build of an android image, and realized I didn’t install ADK on this Development Computer yet. Downloaded, installed, and set Unity for the locatin of the ADK…

April 8 2017

– Noted that the “Save and Load” option from QuestManager script on object QuestManagerC actually saved the state of picked up quests. Disabled that for now, but need to enable for real game/testing. Recorded that as a task to do before game end.

– Made a change to a checkbox on something SQuest related and broke the click recognition on the beginning quest… Tried to fix it, GAVE UP, and went to bed.

April 9 2017

– Tried to see why I cannot click on the quest giver anymore to get a quest… it’s just not working.
– Restored my work from the April 3 backup… Fired up Unity, project loaded ok, and… the quest giver gives the quest now… AAAAAAAAAHHHHH!
– Changed the box collider to a sphere and the click detection works more smoothly now…
– Made another collection quest from scratch, using Hay Bales, and the collection quest works until the end, when nothing happens after collecting the 4 hay bales and returning to the quest giver.
– Removed SQuest from the project at 1:34pm, closed Unity, Re-opened Unity and re-added SQuest in hopes that I can have Collection quests working again through this hack of a reset.

– Figured out the script for collecting items upon collision doesn’t complete the quest after items are picked up. Modified the script and now collection quests complete as expected.

April 15, 2017

– Worked on getting the basket to be given to Noah after completing the first quest.
– While working on the above… noticed the controls/joystick/mini-map were missing from the game screen… Where did they go? Searched…
– Opened Difference scene and noticed, the “Canvas” prefab was missing from my main Noah’s world scene.
– Removed Inventory Master, not because it wasn’t awesome, but because there is no more support/documentation available for this item.
– Purchased S-Inventory, because it’s the same author as S-Quest, which is working well, and has active support from the creator.
– 12:37 PM imported S-Inventory into the Noah Project.
– Removed Parley Asset from Project, as not being used for a dialogue system.
April 16, 2017

– Had the kids test the game and found a whole bunch of items to correct/adjust/work on. Frame rate is at 7FPS! Almost unplayable, but the hardcore testers sweated through it!
April 22, 2017

– Created Empty Game Objects after testing for Frame rate slowness issues. Moved similiar objects under their categories.
– Disabled the mesh renderer on the “coin” objects for the beginning mission and left enabled, the mesh renderer for the child object named “default” . Didn’t seem to change the coin’s appearance or FPS/Set calls/Batches, but left them disabled.

Started at 540 batches with 150 draw calls

Used Simplygon to AggregateLOD Farms, Markets, Bridges, Oasis, Houses, and Food/Veggies.
Result: Now Running with: 430 batches and 135 An OK Result…

With a little more experimenting, found the 12 COINS for the first mission are hosing the draw calls and batches. Sadly, disabled the glow around the coins and now:
340 Batches and 60 draw calls (setPass calls)

Make a Build, 1.25, and found the frame rate was still unchanged… Noted that the Noah Farm was duplicated… the old and the new were there TOGETHER now…. Sigh.

Disabled the old farm.

Opened Tar Pit Level, replaced the Player in the level and set the canvas to do ?, noting the controls appear to be working now.

Noticed the base texture for the terrain was missing. Applied the “dirt” texture to the terrain and it’s looking fabulous.

Checked the Console Editor Log for sizes of uncompressed assets, which have caused the build size to double. Found the rock textures were set to a max size of 4096 which looks great, but takes 1-20mb each! Changed those to a max of 512, and waited out the calculations… now down to a miniscule 317kb!

May 14
– Updated computer to Unity 5.6 and added IOS, Win Universal, Android, and one or two other add-ons to build to those platforms.
– Imported the project into Unity 5.6. after 11 p.m
May 21

– Ran the various sets of groups of items through SimplyGon again to reduce the triangle count from 35-50 percent, hoping that this would reduce the amount of triangles. Went from roughly 185k in opening scene to 120k or so.
– Also corrected the missing terrain splat texture for the tar pit level.
– Additionally, modified within the Main level’s terrain details: Pixel Level, Detail Distance, Base Map Distance, to decrease the amount of triangles drawn.
– Built 1.29, Tested the changes on the Samsung Tab E, and frame rate went up about 1 fps… :(
– Addionally noted that the new groups of refined objects (triangles reduced) now look dead and lifeless, and darker in appearance…
– Adjusted the Menu level’s directional light power to increase the light within the scene.
– Marked the groups of triangle-refined objects as static, which (of course) none were marked as.
– Moved Player in Tar Pit scene, so it appears over the land, not in outer space.
May 28 2017
– Removed NJG MiniMap from the Project’s folder, as I have decided not to use this brilliant, but non-working mini-map solution in this particular project, due to strange behaviour in the mini-map that I cannot fix, and no support is available for this product anymore. 12:27pm
– Added Quest #51 collect blueberries in return for an ear of corn.
– Took the plunge at 1:38pm and updated S-inventory.
– Had lunch, came back and found that the 3 main scripts of S-Quest now have compile errors…
– Reimported S-Quest’s package, which fixed the script errors, but now I have errors in-game and Quest #51 is not created anymore… all details gone.
– Re-created Quest #51 and found that other errors were keeping the quest from being deleted…
– Spent the rest of the afternoon making a mess of S-Quest settings…

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