My primary development machine has been a series of nicely specced MacBook Pros for about 7 years. Over that time I’ve grown to love these shiny boxes of aspiration. My current machine dropped out of AppleCare in 2016 though, so it was time to start thinking about a replacement for my main work machine - as usual the previous model would be downgraded to our casual machine and would stick around for a good few years afterwards (or so I thought).
Recently I found myself wanting to expose a bunch of game parameters for our latest game project to my wife so she could easily edit them, to play with the difficulty and feel of it. I didn’t want her to have to use Unity, I just wanted her to be able to edit a simple file (while the game is running in this case). Bring on the text Although Unity’s own JsonUtility is a very useful tool for text exchange, JSON isn’t very approachable for a non-developer, given its very strict syntactic requirements.
How about that 2016 eh? I mean, leaving aside that a couple of mature western democracies deciding that it was well past time they got a little ker-azy and lit themselves on fire in case it might distract from other problems. Ignoring the 2016 “Cirque de Caca” thing, it’s been an interesting year for me. I decided to try being a game developer about 3 months ago, and that’s been a fun learning experience so far.
TL;DR: SpriteRecolour project page Download binaries (Mac, Win x86/x64, Linux x86/x64) SpriteRecolour example project in Unity Background While doing 2D gamedev work this week, it came to the front of my mind how nice it would be able to easily have multiple colour variations of sprites, without having to have multiple copies of the sprites themselves. There are various ways to do this, but the one I wanted to explore was a classic palette swap technique; the sort of thing we would have used in the 16-bit days.
I alluded in a previous post to the fact that I’ve chosen Mac for all my development activities. I’m aware that in game development (outside iOS games), this is perhaps not the most common choice. Apropos, I saw a tweet thread last week, not gamedev related, where a heated debate broke out about what platform/editor/language ‘real’ developers use. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve seen threads like this, where opinionated developers try to tell others what choices they should be making.
In my recent post A new journey I announced that I was moving into game development. Some people immediately followed up with questions about what engine I was intending to use, because developers 😉 Plot Twist! So let’s get this out of the way early: I won’t be using Ogre 😱 Hold your incredulity for a moment. 😀 The reason is not because Ogre isn’t great; since I retired, the team has been doing some amazing work.
I’ve thought about having a proper go at making games of my own for quite a while. There’s always been some reason why I’ve never quite gotten around to doing it seriously; all good reasons but when you line them up in serial, you suddenly realise a lot of time has passed. I’ve decided it’s time I stopped just thinking about it. As of today, I’m stepping down from most of my other responsibilities to dedicate serious time to making games.
I’ve been running this blog through a CMS since around 2003. The first version of this site that went beyond manually edited HTML ran on on PostNuke, for reasons I can no longer remember. 🤔 I moved to Wordpress around late 2005, and I’ve basically been running it ever since. It’s served me well, but as you can tell I don’t blog as often as I used to, and it got to the stage that my most frequent use of Wordpress was updating it, rather than adding content.
A quick post today because I didn’t find an easily accessible reference for building Git from source on Mac OS X El Capitan, and I needed to. Maybe there’s another post out there just like this one, but I didn’t find it, so maybe this will be useful in future for those who similarly come up short on Google. After you’ve cloned the source from https://github.com/git/git, open up a terminal. I’m assuming you’ve got Xcode installed, and that you’ve already installed the command line tools - if not, execute this on the command line now:
I never used to drink coffee.
Early in my career, fresh-faced and beardless as I was, while spending my days coding business software and my free time tinkering with 3D graphics, I burned the candle at all 3 ends in a fashion that was far from healthy. The lack of sleep often took a bit of a toll on the old (or at that point, young) synapses, so at first I started drinking coffee purely for the caffeine.
Over the intervening years I’ve grown greyer and more cranky, but in the coffee department I’ve at least become more sophisticated, or so I’d like to think. It occurred to me that maybe others might find this journey interesting, and have written it up below in a long and frankly rather self-indulgent fashion.
So, if you’re a fellow aficionado of the magic bean (or cherry, if we’re being pedantic), or maybe you’re thinking of taking your coffee a little more seriously, perhaps you’ll find this interesting or entertaining, or maybe you’ll just have a bit of a laugh at my expense. It’s a long one, so if you make it to the end, you’re entitled to respond to it however you like, including telling me it was a load of old bollocks.
If you’re sitting comfortably, let’s begin.