From Unity to UE4 - Part 1

Almost 4 years ago now I blogged about my decision to use Unityfor our new game development adventures, and in that time we’ve shipped one game (Washed Up!), stealth-shipped one polished prototype (only to our bestest fans 😏), participated in 4 game jams, and noodled with another 2 prototypes that never saw the light of day. All of those have used Unity, and generally speaking we’ve been quite happy with it.

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Self-hosting vanilla Git on a Synology NAS


The case for self-hosting One of my favourite things about Git is how easy it is to turn any old server into a remote for collaboration & backup. Sure there are fully-fledged Git web services that manage projects, user access, pull requests etc, and these are a must for larger teams. But if you have a super-simple team like I do now (2 people, both co-located), there is beauty in simplicity.

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Here I go again

This week, I officially cut the corporate umbilical and am out on my own again. I’m grateful for my time with Atlassian, which is a great company filled with truly excellent people who I’m going to miss. The fact that I stayed for 6 years when my pitch to myself at acquisition time was ‘stick with it for 12 months and then see how you feel’ is indicative of that.

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Adding toon rendering to Unity's standard shaders

development graphics unity

This week I wanted a toon-style non-photorealistic render, which is something I’ve done before but not for a while, and never in Unity. I’d been playing with the Standard Shader, the physically based pipeline which has support for quite a lot of good stuff like normal / specular / occlusion maps, and kinda just wanted that plus a toon ramp. I figured I’d check out what Unity already had first.

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Automated deployment of Hugo blogs with Bitbucket Pipelines & rsync

development web

I’ve waxed lyricalbefore about how much I like Hugo for blogging; the ability to just use a static site with no need to worry about security patches, database connections etc, but still with the convenience of a simple blogging platform, is very attractive. However, it does mean you can’t easily write or tweak content from simpler environments like your phone if you notice a typo, since you need a full Hugo build environment to change content.

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Unity simple but type-safe CSV lib

development gamedev unity

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.

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Game dev, three months in

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 developerabout 3 months ago, and that’s been a fun learning experience so far.

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SpriteRecolour, an open source sprite recolouring tool

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.

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Choose your own environment

development mac windows

I alluded in a previous postto 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.

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Engine choices

development gamedev

In my recent post A new journeyI 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.

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