working title: MOLD

working title: MOLD

production blog

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production crunch report #4 — > the engine

March 21, 2014 , ,

140305_unity

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One important goal of this crunch was to test Unity as possible replacement for Visionaire,

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risking to “pull a Duke

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I’m thinking about switching to Unity for quite some time now, I even researched path finding, inventory systems and all the other good stuff ;) nobody wants to write him or herself. (at least not when you are more a storytelling type of developer)

Unfortunately even the most basic 2D adventure features were missing or were sub-optimal or non-existent on the AssetStore. So just getting to the point of having one room and protagonist (with UI, Inventory, click&point controls, loading/saving, etc.) would have been quite a task. Honestly, I got a bad feeling about the sheer mass of scripting I’d have to do,…. still … the plan was to give it my best shot no matter what..

Luckily I’m able to use the words “would have” and not “was” (which would also be impossible unless i get my hands on a flux compensator someday in the far future).

Chris Burton, a fellow CG Artist and filmmaker took the challenge and created “Adventure Creator“, an Asset for Unity which almost feels like Visionaire… well “almost”.. There is certainly more scripting involved, and some features are still inferior to Visionaires implementation, but overall this asset provides a lot bang for the buck.

The support is great (and very patient with us click-action-export-run n00bs ;) ), I’m pretty sure AC will mature even further in no time. (I bought it less than 3 months ago….. 5 or 6 updates with bug fixes and new features were released since.)

…. so Unity it is.

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why not Visionaire?

as much as I feel bad for not supporting my fellow “hamburgiens”, Visionaire currently lacks in some pretty important areas (at least for Mold)… the biggest arguments against it were:

  • no other platforms except PC and MAC(beta) (iOS in development, but (more importantly)….. ->
  • no public info on ETAs, development milestones, planned features or even bug tracking… When i started Mold, Visionaires version was 3.7.1….. now, 2 years later, it still is 3.7.1.

there are quite a few additional minor issues, (like: everything moves linearly (no smooth camera, or acceleration of any sort..) which affected my decision, but the “no communication” issue was definitely the major one.

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advantages and risks of using Unity

more features are usually a great thing.. but the ability to do more, often results in ..well… actually doing more.

Unity is a native 3D engine, so using a polygonal set in conjunction with some kind of projection mapping seems to be the best approach…. but the effort to set up all layers, render them in 10K, bake them to new square UV maps (almost like “batching” in unity, but manually) shouldn’t be underestimated.. seriously….

..on the other hand the results are pretty impressive (when you imagine how the final art could look like with it), I’ll post a gameplay video montage in the near future, so stay tuned!

–s

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