Week 6 - Snowball of Misfortune


So perhaps getting a whole devlog out each week was a little too optimistic. Has it really been a month? Apparently so. I suppose that when you work so hard on something, you forget more easily. Or maybe I’m just that kind of person. You have my apologies either way.

You know when I said that I should probably get on with more coding? Well this is the result of that line of thinking:

A whole bunch of seemingly random primitives that don’t look particularly appealing to the eye. A lot of things that are mainly there for testing. The final game will not look like this, I assure you. What you can’t see in these screenshots, however, is the degree of upset that occurred behind the scenes.

First was when I analysed the source code for the prototype. It was not reusable at all. Some classes were specifically hardwired for use in the demo level, and others I just couldn’t stand to look at any more. So, I swallowed my pride and started over from scratch. This was the first in an ever-growing snowball of misfortunes that lead to the delay of this devlog.

The next was more unexpected. Those of you involved in game development may have heard about the recent security flaw affecting older versions of Unity. The phrase ‘remote code execution’ was thrown around a lot during this time, and eventually I had decided that enough was enough. I just had to patch the editor up to the latest version.

In doing this, however, I failed to account for incompatibility of key files, and so major portions of the then new code were ruined by the switchover. Rather irritatingly, this also included TextMeshPro, an asset pack that I used liberally for displaying copy within the bounds of the pixel shader. So again, this meant another do-over.

This time, I was more cautious. I made constant commits to the Git repository with suitable comments. I made sure to test my features more thoroughly. Everything seemed to be going well. Then I got word of when I was to return to my University course. I’m there right now, in fact. This complicates things, because even though I do have a considerable amount of work put into the full version of Soluna’s Secret already, that other aspect of my life comes first.

Expect updates to be slower, though hopefully not as slow as they have been for the past month. Now that my own personal soap opera is out of the way, let’s get down to specifics. This past month I:

  • Added support for multiple crosshairs when looking at different kinds of interactable objects
  • Streamlined the backend for interaction by an awful lot
  • Created my own custom projector shader for better displaying the influences of lights
  • Added in a billboarding effect, which I mainly intend to use for light halos
  • Made it so you can pick up and put down multiple objects and only carry one at a time
  • Fixed the animation backend for doors and similar togglable objects, with more planned in the future

So, as you can see, I’m working very hard on improving things behind the scenes to produce a more stable and appealing game when it finally releases.

I have discovered a lot more Unity engine features over the past month that have improved my code significantly. Now it’s just a case of making sure that all the desired features are in, and that TextMeshPro fixes its huge array of bugs before it comes to telling the story and tutorialising those features.

Until next time. If there is a next time.

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