spike1

Last Login:
April 28, 2017
Warn:

Rank:
Member



User Profile
Follow

Hits: 21,174
Joined July 09, 2013
Games (5)

Trick or Treat!
November 18, 2013
Santa's Gift
January 22, 2014
Sleepy Robbers
May 04, 2014
Mouldy Apples
August 17, 2014
Pomme!
December 23, 2014
Favorite Users


The piles of limbs scream to the void...
Posted on April 19, 2016 at 23:28

How's that for an emo title for ya?

Anyway, been a while since I posted, in fact it's been a while since I visited here, I only started lurking again a few weeks ago. But I miss this place and the community so yeah, I'm gonna try and be more active...I say that every freaking blog don't I?

So, stuff that's happened in the meantime.
Well, Shader Sandwich is still selling well, so that's cool. I practically rewrote half the codebase two weeks ago and pushed out the latest version after not having spoken to any of the customers for months...oops. I pretty much left the internet for the first few months of this year actually, only really using Youtube to upload private videos and such. So that was weird haha.

Umm, made a couple more short films. Ooh, I got a new camera! It's SOOOO GOOD!!! Sony A7s II and coupled with a 50mm f1.1 lens it's just aaaaahhhhhhhhh-
A bunch of slow loading browser crashing Youtube embeds (Show)

It's funny since the camera is so good I feel pathetic in my use of it, I really want to step up my game and make something actually decent with it, will happen eventually...

As part of my Internet resurgence I've created a Twitter account! So now you can hear my bullshit ramblings about eclectic topics such as movies, programming, self-referential emo jokes, songs, whatever. It's shit. Twitter is seriously just a cesspool of limbs screaming to the void hoping to be noticed...that's probably projection. I'm actually pretty conflicted by how incredibly narcissistic I am, and my Twitter account just exemplifies it. It's funny because my friends think I'm humble haha, sure. Ah well...

Art wise, I've done drawings and songs!
Here's a semi decent song about the stuff below:
Edit: Hopefully one of these work XD
No content


Time for some Reiddsan styled shit (sorry man but your posts are...certainly something...)
I've really been trying to "connect" with myself more or something. I basically shut myself off from the world for a year and a bit a few years back and kind of forgot how to human, but I'm getting there. Most recent realization was I had a crush on a girl, which was kind of surprising for me. And I realized I'd had it for about a year. Just the more I got to know her the more amazing I realized she was and since she joined the little filming group I'd just gone kind crazy (that verb noun agreement). So anyway I was pretty sure she didn't feel the same way so I figured I'd get it over and done with and told her, turns out she's gay, so yeah... ah well XD. We're still really great friends and that's really what matters to me anyway so I'm pretty happy with how it turned out all in all; I'm just glad I was able to admit something like that, both to myself and to another person, makes me feel better in some way I suppose.

I wrote a few other songs but they're shit and I can't sing, so I won't make you suffer through them XD.

Done some drawings too - all just copies of references because I suck:
Shit (Show)


So yeah, that's my dump of stuff. Now that I've returned to the Internet I'll try and be more active but yeah, we'll see...
Thanks for reading! :)




Yeah ok I'll post :)
Posted on December 16, 2015 at 19:48

Hi everyone! Haven't posted in a while, done some stuff and whatnot :).

The Wolf's Lens BTS:


Talks about production issues, VFX tips, and a few non-sequitur rants on marketing strategies and Lynch's films.

Lorne:
Went up to Lorne (a small coastal town) for a mini holiday. Was really fun, went horse riding, came up with an older version of Moirai (below), and just generally unwinded. Also decided not to take a single photo throughout the entire thing, which managed to annoy my mum and sister incredibly. I'm not really sure why though, think the experience was better personally.

The Triumph of Trevor Truelove:
Was a part of a god-awful play that depressed everyone that was a part of it. I was the main villain (bloody Jasper Villius), so that was fun. I got to yell at everyone XD. I actually felt really uncomfortable doing it though...

Moirai:
Obviously those short-films we were going to make fell through, and after TTOTT we needed something more meaty anyway. Me and a group of friends from drama are working on a series of television long episodes (well, almost, just over 30mins each) about a group of teenagers who discover a book containing a list of thousands of people that will die.
So far I've scripted the first episode (You can read it here if you want), planned out the arcs and whatnot. Still not sure how to film some of it (locations, casting etc), but should be fun.
Here's the potential theme song:
Edit: Doesn't work on some browsers, here's a direct link: http://www.electronic-mind.org/RandomFiles/MoiraiMaybe.m4a

Friends:
Time to sound woeful and whatnot, but I haven't had a friend I talk frequently to in over 3 years. And now I have like, 5 or so which is amazing :D. It feels really nice, and quite different to my previous ones (that generally just wanted to use my computer skills to enhance their reputation by taking credit, and I'm generally too nice to refuse). So that's been wonderful :D. On another note I got ripped off $10 yesterday on a cupcake, didn't say anything, I'm really stupid.

Basically left school:
Ayce pissed me off in a variety of ways, won't go into detail but I decided not to attend the last few months. Probably won't go back. So much happier not going anyway. Currently I feel amazing, thinking about it puts me back in the dumps.

Shader Sandwich:
Shader Sandwich is going great, getting quite a few sales each month and the user base is full of really enthusiastic and friendly people :). And currently working on adding an in-built code editor (so you can add custom code, and keep changing the shader in the editor without overwriting it). Also working on in-built volumetrics:
, and of course some other stuff.

Browser (NEW):
Forgot about this, not sure if I mentioned it before but I've been working on a toy browser, can display pages decently, you can't submit forms or anything though. All rendering is done is OpenGL so I've had to reimplement standard controls from scratch, they work pretty well though (selection, copy/pasting, undo's etc).
Out of date screenshot (it does a better job of text rendering and layouting now...)



Lynch & Hitchcock:
Watched Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, Vertigo, Shadow of a Doubt and The Trouble with Harry. Hadn't seen a film for several months before that, was enjoyable.

So yeah, that's what I've been up to :). I'll go around a comment on all the other blogs now over the next few days, then vanish for another month :).




Surreal Dream Game Prototypish Thingy...
Posted on November 10, 2015 at 16:58

Hi everyone!

The past few days I've put together a prototype of game I'd like to make, a sort of dream-like surreal experience inspired by actual dreams. It wouldn't have a traditional plot or much cohesive gameplay but I figured it would still be interesting to play. Anyway, I've put a link to the game below so if anyone wants to try it out and leave feedback it'd be really great :D. The prototype only plays for about 5 mins, so it won't take too long.

Here's an image as well. I don't want to spoil too much but I figured it might make the game seem more interesting haha XD.

https://www.mediafire.com/?kaaatu6a5n3mksa

Not much else happening, finished an update to Shader Sandwich (V1.2), so that's cool. I'll be making another short film over the weekend, hopefully this time with a more coherent plot and (maybe?) less focus on VFX.

Thanks for reading :D.




I'm back!
Posted on October 06, 2015 at 18:55

And no-one cares....

Anyway, hi everyone! It's been a while since I've posted, but I've been online pretty much this entire time. I'm going to try and post a little more often since I've got tons of free time now.

So, stuff I've been working on. I've released a few updates for Shader Sandwich, and had a big sale a month ago that Unity promoted for me, so that was pretty great :D. Other than that, I've been focusing more on visual effects, film making and making friends. I have literally had zero non-family friends for the past year or so, so I decided to change that and now have 3! And two of them, my sister and I made a short film:


For the first time in about half a year I played a game (SOMA), so that was fun. Really great game, loved its look at consciousness and what it means to be alive (in a non biological sense, I shouldn't need to say this but I've seen many people comment "But there's a scientific definition blah blah blah").

The sound design was the most impressive part of the game for me, how perfectly every sound flowed from the clanking of metal to the oppressive sounds of ocean currents, they just nailed it. Voice acting was great, and the main character wasn't a complete moron like in most other games I've played. They really tried hard to make Simon ask whatever the player would be thinking at that point, which really helped with player-character immersion.

Visually the game was fantastic as well, the ocean floor was absolutely incredible. My only complaint there might be when you walked through seaweed it wobbled too much, but that's basically it. Compared to Amnesia this game looked much better.

And finally gameplay wise, it was an improvement in a few different ways. It had a few more mechanics, but that wasn't what was impressive. It was how smooth everything felt, nothing ever felt clunky or badly designed, the entire game was perfectly designed and you can really tell how much effort went into it. In their previous games the gameplay didn't feel as cohesive as this (particularly in Penumbra, but Amnesia was well).

So, the story. Look, I can definitely poke holes in it, there are a few things that don't quite work and I think this is because of huge rewrites occurring write up until the final release (getting this idea from how different the Transmission video's story (filmed in 2013) is compared to the final game's), however how competently it was told more than made up for it. Every room in the game told it's own story, the characters were all fleshed out and Pathos-2 just felt like a real place. This is the first time a game has really pulled that off (in my extremely limited experience admittedly, but I've watched alot of games being played), so I was very impressed by that.

So yeah, SOMA was great and you guys should go buy it because it's awesome Frictional give me mah monies.

I have no idea what this post is about, but whatever. I really want to post more often, both here and on my website which you should totally check out by the way...., so yah. Thanks for reading!




A rant about Microsoft's wonderful HLSL compiler.
Posted on May 04, 2015 at 12:41

Ok, I have seriously got a bone to pick with the Unity team. I've been developing a shader generator quite a while now, and while Unity 5's new lighting and GI system kinda slowed me down, they were an improvement, fair enough. But they also decided to do a wonderful switch in regards to their shader compiler. Previously it compiled NVidia's CG shader language, which is pretty good. The new compiler uses HLSL, which looks about the same (It's just a bit more strict, for example previously I could put float3(0.2), and it would equal float3(0.2,0.2,0.2). Not anymore, but meh), however the compiler is genuinely broken. I'll give an example.

I was working on a coherent noise generator (Like perlin noise but blockier), that get's fed a coordinate and outputs a value. When working, the noise looks like this:

The way it works is pretty simple:
1. Receive coordinate (UV), and feed it into the function NoiseB2D(float2 P)
2. Find the cell that the coordinates are within, then calculate a random number for each bordering cell corner.

3. Interpolate between each cell point based on the relative position that the coordinate holds.

Here's the code:
Code

float NoiseB2D(float2 P)
{
    float SS = Unique2D(P);//Always returns the same number for the same point.
    float SE = Unique2D(P+float2(1,0));
    float ES = Unique2D(P+float2(0,1));
    float EE = Unique2D(P+float2(1,1));
    float xx = Lerp2D(frac(P),SS,SE,ES,EE);
    return xx;
}

But for some reason, the noise was appearing strange, points would randomly cutoff and flicker as I moved the camera.

This is the kicker. I looked through the generated assembly code, and found that it referenced a number that was in another part of the code, 0.99999. It decided they were close enough, and managed to bundle them together in a few "mads". So instead of being +float2(1,0), it was +float2(0.99999,0), which thew the entire calculation out. I ended up having to change it to 1.0000001 just to fix this silly, destructive compiler bug. Looking through assembly code isn't fun.

EDIT; Just to clarify, the 0.9999 wasn't the entire problem, as you probably may have guessed it would just output different numbers. However, due to the precision of the floats on certain GPUs, it would cause the flickering as sometimes it would just add closer to 1, and other times not.

And this isn't the only case of the compiler doing destructive optimizations. In my perlin noise function, the frac function ((Returns x-floor(x)) or (In goes 16.45 , and out comes 0.45)) was being removed when the number going into it was a constant, fair enough. Except it didn't do the correct operation. I fed 1.9 into it and in the assembler it output 78.4! wtf!

This stuff is absolutely mind boggling, and also incredibly difficult to predict. The number of if statements I've had to add to Shader Sandwich has been enormous to try and predict these little compiler quirks.

Ok, that was cathartic, back to work XD.




Dark Steampunk Survival FPS Puzzle Game
Posted on April 13, 2015 at 23:39

Hello! Anyway, I made a prototype, but when I build it Unity just spams UnityShaderCompiler.exe instances then crashes. It was plagued by the GFXWaitForPresent bug so it ran terribly anyway anyway, wasn't really worth it. I might post a video soon though.

I'm not great at pitching ideas, but I'll try. I'll split it into two parts, the How It'll Feel and the What It'll Actually Be since I've got no prototype.
Edit: Hide tags don't work or I did something wrong, so I made them show tags :).
Edit2: Fixed, adding a ' in the tile of a hide or show tag bugs it up :).
How Itll Feel (Show)

What Itll Actually Be (Show)

tldr (Show)




2001: A Space Odyssey Theories!
Posted on April 04, 2015 at 09:13

Hello everyone!
I just saw 2001: A Space Odyssey at the Astor Theater (Which will close tomorrow :(, very sad ), and I thought, since I'm sure/hope a lot of you had seen it that we could do a theory thread :).

Basically just post what you think the movie was about, what the monolith was etc. I'll start (With a post below). Have fun :D.

Edit: Also, spoilers ahead (Obviously), although with this film it isn't too important.




Stuff I've Done :)
Posted on March 31, 2015 at 06:57

Hi everyone! It's been a while since I've posted, so I figured I'd update you all on some stuff :D.

First of all, I made another house! Someone requested I make another, so I did :). It's pretty nice I think, and fairly cheap since you get a ton of useful scripts and shaders with it. I still have to update this and my other house for use in U5, shouldn't be too hard though :).
Some screenies:




Anyway, I've also been working on a short film, although i'll probably never finish it haha :D. It's a super cereal action film involving a boy and his toy cat. It's really rubbish :D.



Anyway, on to Shader Sandwich. Now, I almost had it done a while back, but some things came up and I had to put it on hold. When I came back, I almost died when I looked at the code base, so I decided to reprogram it! I present, SS 2.0! Except it's still V1.0, meh. Anyway, here's a test tutorial video I did to show off some of it's more advanced features, take a look :D:

It's almost done, just one more feature to add before it's complete :D.

Anyway, I've done a few other things like model my head (Really well mind you, It's actually difficult to tell the difference between the real me and it, other than the hair :D), compose a decent piano piece (with sheet music! Will post it here sometime), and started writing a play for my drama school.

Anyway, see you in the next blog, I'm going to try and post each week or so :).




Blender vs Unity vs Gamemaker!
Posted on December 28, 2014 at 09:27

Pomme - Please comment on it :D
Cross-post from my website - Electronic-Mind.org :). Here you go Kilin, a bit longer than I expected haha :D.

But before I start, I just wanted to say that I've updated my website to a new, much nicer design. It'd be great if you could check it out :).

And so, the comparison post!
I figured it would be fun to compare the three major game creation tools tools I've used over my several years of game making: Unity, Gamemaker and Blender. I just want to quickly say, when I mention "games" I've made, I mean more like 20min long short games. And so, my comparison!


First off, I'll quickly cover my experience in these tools:

Gamemaker:
Gamemaker was my first love, what got me into game creation. I've been using it for over 6 years now. Gamemaker's primarily a 2D game creation program unlike the other two, although it has limited 3D functionality. I've created a range of things in Gamemaker. I've created platformers, top-down shooters and a pretty rubbish fps. I've also created several programs such as an After Effects remake, a dialogueue editor and a really, really bad game creator. Admittedly none of those programs were particularly great, so I may be a bit inaccurate there. Finally I also made a few extensions, an easier 3D tool, dialogue boxes, a dead simple physics engine, and a delta timing auto enabler.

Blender:
Blender was a somewhat shorter use, I moved pretty quickly to Unity. However, I still made two and a half games, one of which seems to be my most enjoyed. I've made a 2D platformer, a 3D tower defence fps, and a 3rd person sword fighting game with a branching story and dialogueue options. I've met many of the ups and downs of Blender, however I very quickly switched to Unity, my favourite engine!

Unity:
I've used Unity for about half a year, same length as Blender. Unity is by far my favourite engine due to many aspects, and as such I've made some of my best games in it. I've made a Top-Down/Fps game with some of my best looking aesthetics, like seriously, it was a really great looking game. It's called Sleepy Robbers, go play it! I've also made a 2Dish sidescroller. I've also made a few extensions, such as a dialogue editor, several different game modes such as an fps, sidescroller ect, and a layer based shader editor called Shader Sandwich which you should also check out ;).

Comparatives:
I'll be comparing them against a few different parameters:
Language(s) - What language(s) does the program use, and how good is it/well suited for game design. This ones a little less objective than the others as I prefer non-important whitespace, with strong Object Oriented design, so keep that in mind.

Documentation - How well the game engine is documented. If it's a great engine but I can't work out how to draw a square, something is seriously wrong!

API - How consistent is the API, does it utilise OO well, etc.

Interface - How easy is the interface to use, is it simple to put the game together without the engine getting in the way. Good interfaces are ones that can be navigated quickly, provide all the tools you need, or allow you to extend them.

Workflow - Once again, a little subjective. The workflow is how the game gets created. This includes how all the images, sounds, gameplay ect work together, how levels are designed, whether things are re-usable or not etc.

Platforms/Exporting - I'm grouping together the ability to export to different platforms and the ease of doing so. This ones pretty simple. Being able to export to many platforms is a pretty good thing in most cases, but if it's nearly impossible to do so due to hundreds of dependencies or what-not, it's not so great.

Capabilities - This one is what the engine can do without any extensions (Extensions are counted later). I've split this up into a few subcategories:
Gameplay - Simple things like easy delta time access, the ability to save, things like that count here.
Physics - Does the engine have in-built physics, and how good is it.
Graphics - How the engine performs and looks graphically. This includes 2D and 3D support.
Aesthetics - How many different aesthetics can the engine do, how limited are they by the graphics.
Sound - What the engine supports sound-wise, such as file formats, 3D positions, and sound effects.
Story - I know this ones a bit weird, but it's mostly just to future proof this in case I decide to add more engines to it. This is how easily stories can be implemented in case the engine was designed for it.

Extensions - How well can the engine be extended. Are there any things it just cannot do based on the design, or is it free for all.

I think that should cover pretty much all the engines aspects, time to actually get to reviewing the engines themselves. I'll start with my least favourite, Blender.

Blender:
It surprises many people that Blender has an in-built game engine, and that's because, well, it sucks and no-one uses it. It suckers people in with it's ease of use and simplicity but then screws you over with distribution issues, documentation problems, terrible capabilities and just an overall shakiness that rings throughout the entire thing.

Language(s):
First off, Blender uses the language Python. It's not a terrible language although it's all important white-space is a bit annoying. Overall it's a fairly good language, but due to it being interpreted it can be surprisingly slow sometimes. Python supports most OO design ideas so it works well in the context of a game, and overall isn't a particularly large problem, especially if you like it's syntax.

Documentation:
Not much to say here. Its documentation is some of the worst I've ever seen. First of all, it is expertly hidden on a website separate to Blender. That's right, there pretty much isn't any official documentation, just another website that tries to pick up the slack. It does an ok job, but covers a limited amount of it so in other situations you may just have to look for undocumented features, which can be listed thanks to Pythons "dir" function.

API:
The API isn't the best, but it's not terrible either. It supplies most of what you'll need when working with it, although some of it is strange. It changes between frames and seconds at the drop of a hat, and the naming conventions change sometimes as well.

Interface:
The game portion of Blender isn't very fun to work with either. You are pretty much forced to use the rubbish Drag and Drop features to start the scripts and get most necessary inputs like mouse position and keyboard movement. The text editor isn't very good either, and feels incredibly clunky. Luckily you can use external files, so that can be solved by just using Notepad++ or some other text editor.

Workflow:
Ok, have to hand it to blender, it wins this one pretty much straight out. Having an inbuilt modeller, texturer, tester etc all in built is a wonderful experience and makes rapid prototyping extremely easy. They are all getting continuous upgrades despite the lack of game-centric additions.

Platforms/Exporting:
Ok, this one really cripples Blender sadly. First off, you can't ever not release your source code thanks to Blenders viral licence, the evil GPL. This really stuffs up any commercial game, although it isn't too big a deal since most games get cracked and pirated anyway. This just makes it a ton easier and is less appealing for most backers or investors. Exporting is a fairly flimsy process as all it does is pack the main .blend file into the exe then chuck everything else in. From there you have to manually copy any dependencies yourself. You also have to remember to always use relative file paths or your a bit stuffed there as well. I suffered from this problem a ton in my game Santas' Gift, probably my worst game even though it had the most content (Thanks to the great work flow). Finally, you can only export to Mac, Linux and Windows so no mobile or anything, and to release to them you have to have the OS itself installed. Then, if you can get it to install you have a snowballs chance in hell of getting it to run on another computer. Out of the 4 computers we have, my games run on three(barely), and can only run well on one of them.

Capabilities:
Gameplay - There really aren't any limitations here. I think you can achieve most game types with this, although you pretty much always need to use the physics engine as collision checking can't be done without it.
Graphics - In blender you can actually do a ton more graphical enhancements that Gamemaker and Unity, however the engine is badly optimised you wont want to without the game slowing to a halt. You have no lighting limitations, and shadow support for most light types. You can bake the lighting with a thousand work arounds, and use many of different material combinations. There are also tons of 2D filters available, and more can be added such as SSAO and bloom. However getting the game to run with these is pretty hard though, so it's best to stick with simple graphics.
Aesthetics - You can achieve some pretty great looking games in blender, even without high quality graphics. Simple by using great lighting choices, baked ao and other tools they can look quite nice. However, due to the slowness of 2D screen filters, some things are out of reach.
Physics - Well, there are physics, and they aren't too bad. However, there are many badly supported features such as joints, and the API for it is pretty awful as well. It is also slowly than whatever physics engine Unity.
Sound - Sound support is pretty good actually, with ogg being supported along with 3D sound. There is also support for audio effects such as echoes, low pass filters etc.
Story - There's some unintentional support here thanks to Blender being primarily a render tool. You can do all sorts of animations and effects thanks to these being inbuilt. Sadly Blenders animation playing features are surprisingly slow, although there are some efforts to fix this.

Extensions:
On the extensions front Blender isn't looking too bad. Seeing as you have the entire source code you can do whatever you want with it. However, there is no easy inbuilt functions for lots of Blenders interfaces, and the source code is a mess. Other than that, you can do non graphical(no windows, dialogue boxes etc) extensions with Python for all sorts of level editing additions, modelling fixes etc.

Overall, Blender is a great engine if you want to start a game and never finish, because the closer you get, the more you realise what a mess Blender is. That, coupled with the many API problems, the viral GPL and the overall lacklustre everything makes Blender my least favourite game engine.
On the other hand, Blender is a fantastic prototyping engine. Due to the extremely fast workflow, games can be whipped out quickly as long as they don't need any advanced features.

Scores:
Language(s) - 8/10

Documentation - 3/10

API - 3/10

Interface - 5/10

Workflow - 10/10

Platforms/Exporting - 4/10

Capabilities
Gameplay - 7/10
Physics - 5/10
Graphics - 5/10
Aesthetics - 7/10
Sound - 8/10
Story - 6/10

Extensions - 6/10

Final Verdict: 6/10;


Gamemaker:
//I just want to put a disclaimer here first. Admittedly I've only used up to GM8.0 so some of my information is out of date. However I have watched over lots of the new features put into GM Studio so I'll try and put as much up-to-date information as possible.

Gamemaker was my first game engine, so I feel kind of bad for not putting it at the top haha :D. Gamemaker was built around the idea of a simple game engine where one doesn't need to worry about the internals too much and can just make games, and for the most part it succeeds. Rapid prototype is Gamemakers major strong point as many things can be done with it at a faster rate than other engines. Gamemaker has support for pretty much any computer and mobile device you can think of and rarely has any compatibility issues. Its sound support, graphics support and its other capabilities are all top notch and overall it's a great engine. The only major faults with it are it's shaky API and a lacklustre interface. It's focus on easy game development can also sometimes get in the way. And of course its 3D is almost non-existent. Apparently Quake One graphics were too difficult for it (Ah yes, GM7 when Gamemakers documentation still had some personality).

Language(s)
Gamemaker uses a custom built language called GML, which is an amalgamation of many other ones such as C++ and Delphi. Its language is ok, and a great starting point for those just starting out due to it's forgiving syntax and simplicity. However, it does lack some important things such as classes(Yes they can be simulated using Objects however those have a massive overhead), pointers, and, well, classes! Classes are awesome and without them Gamemaker suffers a ton. I really can't praise OO enough, and Gamemaker just sort of bites half of it then throws away the rest. Who throws away half a cookie!?

Documentation
Gamemakers documentation is pretty great. It covers almost everything you'll ever need to know in an entertaining fashion. I don't know if it's changed or not, but in the GM8 manual you can just feel Mark Overmars personality shining through haha, and it makes it almost fun to go through. A little more details on the inside of the engine would have been nice, but overall it's pretty well done and is extremely useful. Gamemaker also comes with a variety of example games.

API
Gamemakers API is limited by its lack of OO, and it does have some very annoying naming convention changes. Overall it provides you with almost everything you'll ever need to make a game, so it's pretty feature complete. The main annoyance is that conventions don't really exist. You can have draw_sprite(sprite,subimg,x,y), but then have draw_text(x,y,string) which flips the inputs on their head.

Interface
Gamemakers interface is probably the only average part of it. It overall just doesn't look very good, especially with the recent skin changes (Although I believe it can be changed back but with some bugs). The interface is a bit clunky, and the editing of objects practically hasn't changed since its inception. The entire interface is based around 2D editing, so using it for 3D games isn't great either. On the other hand the room editing has apparently gotten a lot better. I personally haven't checked it out, but now you can zoom in, change object scales and many other things that you couldn't before. However, you still can't select a few objects and move them, or delete underlying objects of the same type.

Workflow
Gamemakers workflow is similar to Blenders, in that you can do almost everything within the program (Although for some things you might not want to). You simply create sprites(Images), create objects and assign them an image, create several events and reactions, then place them down in rooms. It's a pretty nice workflow that rarely comes back to bite.

Platforms/Exporting
In previous versions this was a little lacklustre with only Mac and Windows exports(From their respective OSs). However, in the new GM:Studio you can export to many mobile platforms, and I think Linux. You can do all this from Windows which is pretty helpful to most. Exporting is as simple as hitting the export button and setting up some install options.

Capabilities
Gameplay - Gamemaker really has no limits to the gameplay, and doesn't force you into doing much. 3D gameplay is a little harder, but can still be done to great results.
Physics - Gamemaker:Studio now comes with the Box2D physics engine which I've used in the past. It seems pretty well featured, although from what I've read some of the implementation is a little shaky. I'd have to use it for myself to get a more accurate analysis.
Graphics - Gamemaker can do almost any graphical style you want, except realistic 3D. Other than that you can do all sorts, be it cartoon, hand drawn, pixel art, and you can add all sorts of lighting effects with fairly little work. 2D shadows are not supported though, although they can be added with extensions.
Aesthetics - Well, in 2D at least there aren't really any limitations at all. In 3D on the other hand, pixel art seems to be the major option. It's impossible to get anywhere close to realism with it.
Sound - Gamemakers sound support is a little bad, although my experience with it is outdated. In GM8 playing too many sounds can lead to a crash, and it doesn't support any good sound file types like ogg.
Story - Gamemaker tools like timelines and paths make it pretty easy to make cut-scenes and other story things.

Extensions
Gamemaker could be extended with many things just for Windows such as proper dialogue boxes, physics, a better audio engine, text to speech, custom 3D engines, you name it, it existed. Sadly, with GM:Studio this has been removed, and instead only GML extensions are allowed. This still allows for many things, but is a little limited. These can be extra drawing functions, dialogue boxes ,game bases, a still fairly unlimited number of things. Sadly GM also has no support at all for editor extensions.

Scores:
Language(s) - 6/10

Documentation - 9/10

API - 7/10

Interface - 8/10

Workflow - 8/10

Platforms/Exporting - 8/10

Capabilities
Gameplay - 10/10
Physics - 7/10
Graphics - 8/10
Aesthetics - 6/10
Sound - 6/10
Story - 5/10

Extensions - 5/10

Final Verdict: 8/10;


Unity:
Unity is a pretty popular engine in the indie world due to its ease of use, free version and asset store. The engine itself is pretty fantastic, although probably doesn't hold up against the Cry engine and Unreal engine (Which I may add later).

Language(s)
Unity supports several languages: C#, Boo and Javascript. All three of them are really well implemented, and since this is the only engine out of the others without an interpreted language which gives it a nice speed boost and file size optimisation. All the languages support classes, but Boo and Javascript don't support a few of the object types.

Documentation
Unitys documentation is pretty good, they document almost everything, almost no guess work required. All the documentation provides example uses and other relevant information. It's also fairly entertaining at some points, which, like the Gamemaker one makes it more interesting to read. The documentation goes into engine specifics, like how and when different events are called, how Unity draws shadows and many other things. It's pretty helpful! However, for some odd reason there are some pages with barely any information on them, mostly around the terrain stuff.

API
Unitys api is very nice, which very little random style changes. There are some handy classes like Vecfor3 and Quaternion, and they are all used consistently throughout it. Unlike the other two engines, there are also a ton of inbuilt GUI drawing things, for in-game and for editor extensions. There are also a ton more physics options opened up.

Interface
Unitys interface is very easy to work with. All the different items you'll need are grouped nicely into a bunch of windows. These can all be arranged easily depending on what your working on. You can do a ton of stuff from the editor, such as add components to objects, block out levels, add trigger points, all without having to touch any code. This makes it pretty easy to set things up while working on the game.

Workflow
Unitys workflow is a little more complex than the others since assets must be created in a separate program, however importing is mostly a painless process. Other than that, its simply a matter of putting the objects in, attaching components then hitting play. The ability to define per object properties helps a ton in setting up extend-able systems like dialogue or sound triggers. Depending on how you set up your game, once the engine is done you'll never have to mess with it again and simply add content.

Platforms/Exporting
Like Gamemaker, you can export to pretty much every device, including consoles. The export process is simple and there's never any doubt whether something will be included or not. The game is likely to run on most computers thanks to the numerous automatic fallbacks that Unity includes for bad computers.

Capabilities
Gameplay - Unity doesn't limit gameplay much at all, and unlike blender there are some in-built collision checking abilities that don't rely much on using their physics engine. Unity also includes several pre-made controllers for 1st and 3rd person viewpoints which makes starting out easy.
Physics - Unitys physics engine is very good, supporting all the basics along with cloth physics, hinges, and others which maintaining a good speed. There are controls for changing the accuracy of the physics as well which can be a good way to speed up the game.
Graphics - Unitys graphics capabilities are very good, especially when using some custom shaders. Unitys deferred shading mode supports shadows for every light type, unlimited lights, and can easily fallback to forward mode for objects with transparency and the like. Forward mode is also pretty good, and it is possible to enable shadows for different lights with custom shaders. The entire engine runs very smoothly and can be scaled to different systems easily.
Aesthetics - Unity includes a ton of in-built shaders that make different art styles possible, like toon shading, realistic or unlit AO. It is also very easy to set up nice lighting and screen effects to really sell the look.
Sound - Unity supports ogg, 3d sound, audio effects and realtime sound generation. It also includes support for Doppler effects and a few other useful things.
Story - Unitys ability for story is more limited than the others, with almost nothing in-built to help. However, you can attach functions to frames of an animation so it's possible to call sound effects or other things easily.

Extensions
Unity is by far the most easily extendible of all three engines. While you can't have source code access (And that is changing currently), almost all of the engine can be altered anyway. Shaders can be replaced in forward and deferred mode easily thanks to their Surface Shader functionality (and Shader Sandwich ;) ). The interface can be altered, new windows added, components variables changed, it's pretty free for all while being structured in a way that makes it difficult to break things. It's also possible to run scripts in edit mode while drawing handles, so adding extensions to pre-built windows like the Scene window is also possible.

Language(s) - 9/10

Documentation - 8/10

API - 9/10

Interface - 9/10

Workflow - 9/10

Platforms/Exporting - 10/10

Capabilities
Gameplay - 10/10
Physics - 9/10
Graphics - 9/10
Aesthetics - 10/10
Sound - 10/10
Story - 2/10
Extensions - 9/10

Final Verdict: 9/10;

Well, there you have it, my mostly subjective analysis on which of these three are the best engine! If you disagree, feel free to post in the comments. Also, if I made any incorrect statements please tell me, especially around the Gamemaker section haha. Thanks if you read through all of it, and watch out cause I may add more engines! Thanks :)

tl;dr - Unity is awesome, Blender Game Engine sucks, and Gamemaker is also pretty cool :).




6 Months Later!
Posted on November 23, 2014 at 08:12

Woah, it's been almost 6 months since I've posted a blog! I haven't been around here for a while, but I'm hoping to get back into this community, been missing it :). This blog would be insanely long in text, so time for a picture blog!
June - Month 1 - Birthday!, complete Sleepy Robbers my longest game to date(30mins).
Not much here....

July - Month 2 - Performed comedic play based on 2012, started work on STS:
The STS stuff is next month :).

August - Month 3 - Completed Mouldy Apples, a board game, a device, and a short film on werewolves!:


Moudly Apples!

The Tea Heater Xtreme! It sort of works, you just put the cup of tea on it and it heats it up!

A 3d render of it (Blender).

September - Month 4 - Started on Unity Asset Store, created portfolio, updated the crap out of website, added Old House Asset, restarted Morte Grimm!:
Portfolio

The House Asset - Asset Store

Screenshot of reboot of Morte Grimm, more info on website.

October - Month 5 - Wrote overview of Morte Grimm and created the engine (Movement, inventory, dialogue trees), began work on Shader Sandwich, and got results from STS. I got two prizes, over $100:


November- Month 6 - Made short animated film Charlies Rainy Day, wrote the start of a short detective story, almost finished Shader Sandwich.




Charlies Rain Day!


Procedural terrain generated in the shader - Shader Sandwich!

Realtime water and grass using custom shaders.

Shader Sandwich! - Unity Thread

The Details!
Unity Asset Store:
Putting things on the Unity Asset Store has been a pretty great experience. It was fairly simple and the pay is pretty fair (I get around $100 per month from just my house asset). It is recommended that a portfolio exists, they thought I had ripped the house from a game before I put it together :D.

Shader Sandwich:
Shader Sandwich is a layer based shader editor. I'll be putting it on the Asset store for around $30-$40 dollars. It's pretty powerful, just check out the thread :D. I would love to have some suggestions for it, and if you want I'm happy to send out a private beta, just PM me :).

Anyway, I'm hoping to be a bit more active here from now on. I've missed a few competitions, sorry about that....

Thanks for taking a look!



Prev Page | Next Page

Recent Activity
 
Active Users (0)