Dev update

It’s been a while since the last update, so I thought I’d do a quick post on what I’ve been up to!  A couple of weeks were taken up with travelling back to the UK for a bit, and I was sick all last week which took me out of action unfortunately.  I have been working on the game though over the past several weeks…

First person controller

The current first person camera controller in the game is basically a prototype implementation.  It’s buggy and missing a lot of features, for example: camera smoothing, crouching, head bob, and so on.  My plan was to switch over to the excellent UFPS from Opsive (available on the Unity asset store: which has all these features and more.  Unfortunately that didn’t work out, mainly because I couldn’t bring across only the code I wanted from UFPS (character and camera controller) without either modifying it or also including a lot of other stuff I don’t need (e.g. inventory, weapons, damage etc.)

I think UFPS is great as a starting point for a first person game, but trying to integrate it in at this late stage of a project probably isn’t practical.  So now my plan now is to keep what I have and gradually improve it, probably stealing code from UFPS as necessary!

Deprecated networking API

I have a rudimentary networked multiplayer mode for GearBlocks, and in fact even the single player mode runs through the same code paths.  I want to keep this working so that I have a good starting point should I wish to revisit multiplayer in the future.  Right now I’m using the old Unity networking API, which was causing a bunch of annoying “obsolete API” compiler warnings, because it’s recently been deprecated in favour of their new system, UNET.

I looked into what it would take to upgrade to UNET, using their high level API (HLAPI).  Unfortunately there were all sorts of awkward problems with this (like needing to derive from NetworkBehaviour, which didn’t play nicely with my generic singleton implementation for some reason).  The whole thing was turning into a massive change that would break the entire game until I completed it.  Not to mention it’s still fairly early days for UNET and it’s changing quite a bit as Unity continues to develop it.

Besides, ultimately I might be better off using their low level networking API, but that would obviously take even longer to implement.  Or, perhaps using a third party system like Photon Bolt would be a better way to go.  I’d need to spend a lot more time on this to figure out the best thing to do, so I’m leaving it for now.  Instead, I um…disabled those pesky deprecated API warnings, there you go, job done!

What’s next

So, it’s generally been a frustrating few weeks, hopefully I can get back to being more productive now!  I’ve been prototyping something for the game, not sure if it’ll work out yet, but I’ll be continuing with that.

Also, I’m going to work on improving the construction controls, in particular to help new players pick up the game and get started.  Well, that’s the plan anyway!