App Jam Submission
Having reached 40 hours it’s time to submit my project. Looking back I can say it’s been quite a learning experience. I started out with a basic idea and quickly realized that it wasn’t going to be anywhere as easy as I had imagined. The video below shows my progress to date.
I started off with just a cursory knowledge gained from watching a few youtube “how to’s” and Unity UI basics and understand a bit of the menus. After jumping in and quickly failing, I had to look for some help on Pluralsight and Lynda. I can saw there is quite a wide range of depth to the Unity fundamentals video. I had problems bringing in assets correctly and understanding what a prefab really was. How to correct prototype primitives and add basic game object actions with scripts. Eventually I found what I need between videos, Unity forums and Google. I have to say the biggest time sink was environment setup. Dragging, duplicating and snapping all the materials together, adding the textures to the right areas of the inspector was time consuming and far longer than I had imagined it would. I did learn about the different texture types and how to tweak their appearance.
I discovered ProBuilder and Pro Grids, learned the basics of Player and NPC movement and thought about level layout a bit more. The next learning experiences were lighting and baking, overlapping UV’s and particles. Along the way learning about NavMesh, Box Collision and how to fix dropping through the world which happed quite a few times.
Getting the player controller setup and running before time ran out was my final goal. I got my character moving around the level but not after having a problem with it stuck halfway in the floor. The bit of setup seen in the movie clip was getting Cinemachine hooked up and following the player character.
Overall, it was an amazing learning experience because it pushed me to grasp the basics of building a functional “prototype”. I had work through the process in a way where each new step built upon the last. The time constraint kept me from getting side tracked with experimenting too much. Some of the bigger challenges I ran into were trying use assets that were not compatible with the version of unity I was using, not understand the parent/child relationship early on, and having problems with character animation and staying above the floor.
In the end, I own a huge debt of thanks to Unity Instructor Joshua Kinney. He was able to really explain how to get things done and what settings needed to be tweaked to get things going.
Next steps for me are looking scripting, animation and UI interactions. I also wanted to explore character creation and rigging for a better understanding of character movement. I have started two new Unity modules recommended after completing the fundamentals training.