Website Development. Devlog Week 4.

Work has continued on overhauling TernaryGate,com at the expense of working on the game.   A new version of the planned site can be found temporarily at PhosGames.  The goal is to have the studio website and game website look nearly identical in style, but since the new changes are still a bit buggy I am waiting before I install it here.

I’ve been learning wordpress hooks, php, and jquery, in addition to the genesis framework from StudioPress.  I probably should have tried to master first one and then another, but my stubbornness is paying dividends.  Getting parallax scrolling to work with dynamic menus should be easy, especially for a game programmer right?  Apparently not for me at least.  I spent the better part of two frustrated days wrangling with genesis hooks so I could get some css classes where they needed to be so I could apply proper image styling with transforms… and believe me, I am probably just as confused by what I just wrote as you are.

At this rate, I’ll be a real web master.

I did, however add some new animations to the mediablog on tumblr.  They are super basic and need a bit more work, but the idea is there.  Check it out:

This run cycle is 6 frames.  There is also a 360 cycle:

You can follow Ternary Gate on Tumblr or on FaceBook.  You can also find me, author, artist, gamedev, and now webmaster on Tumblr as well.

Week 5 will hopefully be about tilemaps, though I am sure I will continue fiddling around with web stuffs in the coming weeks.  In the meantime, Cheers!

CSS and Unity Assets. Devlog Week 3.

I had goals this week.  Working on the game was at the top of the list.  Instead, I dove further into CSS, SEO, web security, and PHP.   wpmudev has been an awesome place to learn all things related to word press and I highly recommend checking theme out if you want to learn about using WordPress in a technical way.

Currently, this website is using a slightly modified twenty-seventeen theme.  I created a child theme as well as some custom widgets and hope to get that published next week.  Woot.

Despite my potential to be distracted I still managed some actual progress this week.  I mostly worked on art assets and animations.  In order to speed things up, I bought two unity assets.  Both have been invaluable and I highly recommend checking them out if you are working on a 2d project.  Here they are:

 PowerSprite Animator

Run pink panda bear! Run!

This tool is super sleek and makes editing frame based animations not suck.   You can hook events into frames, call animations from scripts, and more.  If you are more accustomed to a 2d game engine, and a 2d workflow, this asset can’t be beat.

I was able to set the following animation up in about 5 minutes and that included reading the manual.

Run little robot! Run!

You can also add attachment points to the frames that can be called via scripts allowing you to do whatever you like with that info.  Like add hats and guns.

Super Tilemap Editor

This is another great tool.   It does what it says it does.  Plus you can set up parallax scrolling to boot.  I got it because it integrates well with Tiled and I am already familiar with that software.  As it happens, Super Tilemap Editor is just as easy to use as Tiled.  Consequently, I imagine I may just produce all my tilemaps from within Unity now.

CSS, WordPress, and Hosting. yipee

There is more to making a video game than just making a video game.  At least, so I have been told.  Apparently, marketing is super important.   I find this rather unfortunate as I hoped to avoid it.  But here I am.  Week #2.

My journey in video game making has lead me to website building.  I am already familiar with javascript and have used it extensively for everything except making websites.  I also hate javascript.  I know, that’s a strong word, but so are my feelings.   I learned HTML and CSS at some point last year when I first decided I needed a website, but I still wasn’t looking forward to it.

I bought my domains through Google Domains, which has been a fine experience.  I got hosting through DreamHost.  I spent a number of hours comparing other providers, but DreamHost had good prices, the ability to host multiple domains from one server, unlimited sub domains, and did I mention the price?  All in all, I have no complaints yet.

After getting my domain and hosting squared away,  I needed to figure out how I would build my site.  I originally thought I would make it from scratch but soon realized I was supposed to be making a video game, not becoming a web master.  Therefore, I opted to use WordPress to manage my content and make it easier to add more pages in the future.  Of course, several hours were wasted looking for the right theme, and then several more adding to the CSS.  I’m sure I will be fiddling with it some more, but for now I think I will leave it.

After that, I messed with security, which as it turns out, is another topic entirely.  Minus another few hours from my life.  Then I spent another hour learning about SEO.  Apparently, google needs directions to properly find your website and display it in search results.

At the end of all of this, I have a running website that is painfully devoid of content.  I suppose that means I need to ditch my web developer hat and don my artist cap.

Hello world!

In late 2013, I began learning how to program.  I started with C# and XNA.  My goal was to make a video game.  In the past 4 years I learned a lot.  Making video games is difficult, frustrating, and at times, tedious.  But it is also fun.  I started a number of projects and have been sidetracked quite a few times but I have maintained work on one project.

During the summer of 2015, I wrote a custom physics engine for use with a game engine called Construct 2.  The physics was loosely based off of Nintendo era platformers, such as Super Mario Brothers 3, but included the ability to arbitrarily flip gravity and invert navigable space.  Within a few months, I developed a prototype for a 2d adventure platformer game using the physics system I had made.

Later that fall, I abandoned Construct 2 and moved my entire project into Unity3d.  Construct 2 didn’t allow projects to scale very well, and I encountered numerous problems managing data and the scope of the project.  I had also been encountering performance issues as well.  Combined with a poor coding environment, I ultimately decided to use Unity.   It took about 2 months for me to move the project and resume progress.  I had been dappling in Unity for several years but I still had to commit a fair amount of time to learn its quirks while adapting my code from javascript to C#.

In 2016, I rewrote the entire project library in order to take advantage of OOP principles and to apply better coding practices.  My original code was a mess,  tedious to maintain, and difficult to decipher.

2017 saw little forward progress in the code base as  I mostly worked on art assets which consumed a ridiculous amount of my time.  I made the decision to upscale graphics from a general 8bit look to 16bit which essentially quadrupled my art work load.  I would create assets and then rework them and then rework them again.  I am slow at creating art, and get easily distracted.  But things are starting to fall into place.

Today, I am happy to be at a place where I can begin sharing my creation with the world.  I present:

Every week I will be updating this devlog with whatever I happened to be working on.  From time to time, I will also post tutorials on various aspects of the creation process.