We also make posts like this in "Our Recommendations" page. We bring you the videos that we find informative, educational, and entertaining to you, so you can spend less time filtering through the garbage of the net. Most of it is game development related, like the "Assets and Tools" page, but for the non-dev's, if you are bored go check out the "Entertainment" page.
Posted by: Addison Olthuis on 2017-05-27 at 3:55pm Pacific Standard Time
So after a month of working on the tutorial I have finally finished it. I actually had to redo the whole thing because I wasn't happy with the first result. I still think I could have done a better job, especially with the voice recording, but I just had to put my foot down and end it. I had stopped working on all my other projects, which the rest of my life literally is depending on. Oh well, I think the lot of you who are interested in getting a motion capture system will like it. I covered every possible way of doing things as possible, even making little animations to help explain things better. I also briefly dive into the topic of using PlayStation Eyes instead of Kinects as well, but it all depends on your situation. I definitely could not use the eyes at the moment, but maybe when I move or rent a studio.
I also forgot to mention after Ludum Dare 38 that you can play my game right here on the site. People seemed to like my game a lot, and I was happy with the results. One thing that bothered me though was the movement for the player, when I was testing the obstacles with just a flat ground the movement was perfect, but when I added all the levels in movement was affected by the uneven ground. If you ever played the original Star Craft when it was still popular, you may have played a custom game type called Bound. Its where you would control a unit, normally a zergling, and you would have to dodge explosions or other Units and get to the end. It was definitely one of my favourite games to play back in the day, and I have been planning on making a bound game in Unity for a while now. I knew if I didn't make one for Ludum Dare, or any game to be honest, I wouldn't be making anything till my current big projects are done, which could be a couple years from now. Well I'm glad I decided to do it, I had lots of fun, it was a good little break from my other stuff, and it felt good to finish something, even if iit is just something little. Anyways if you want to try playing it, you can go here, or take a look at the pictures below.
As of yesterday I began working on my asset packs again, specifically the tools. Before I started working on the tutorial, I got stuck on a problem, so it was back to trying to fix that. I was trying to find a way to deal with Polymorphic Classes and saving their data. I finally figured out a way that I was happy with, that didn't need too much extra work at all. There doesn't seem to be any solutions to it online, so I'll probably make a tutorial on that as well. I noticed that tons of people have been having problems with this for a very long time now, and there has been a request for Unity to fix this all the way back in 2012 with no action taken yet. There is ways for you to do this, but most of them are using a JSON, XML, or creating a Scriptable Object for every item in the list, which depending on what your doing, can be tons of files making a mess of your project.
Also yesterday, I finally bit the bullet and upgraded from zBrush Core to full version. If you watch the new tutorial, you may be wondering where the girl in the header is. I had made that girl character specifically for the tutorial using zBrush Core, and didn't realize that there is no "Z Remesher" tool for converting your model to low poly. It was the first Character I've ever made, and first time I've ever tried to be serious in zBrush, so I found out why the Core version won't cut it for game asset creation. I ended up using 3ds max with the "Pro Optimizer" tool to make her low poly, but the topology is just a mess after that, which can be ok if your model doesn't have bones and needs to move or bend, but for characters, its just a fugly mess. You also might think 20 million polygons is enough to make a character, I sure did before. But once you make a character, by the time you get to making the legs and arms, all the detail on the face gets lost every time you Dynamesh, not only that the toes you create end up looking like soggy bread buns that are stuck together, and you realize no matter what you do, this character will always just be "meh." So I decided to cut her from the tutorial, even though the model actually turned out fairly nice, she just didn't bend right.
Well its time to say good bye, at least for now, I promise to try to be more active, when you spend a month doing one thing there just isn't really a lot to talk about. I realised I need to start updating the images page more as well, I'm actually kind of embarrassed of a lot of the pictures there. A little word of advice that I need to take, don't rush things just for the sake of filling up an empty space. Wait until there is something worth sharing or else it could have a bad result, by scaring people away instead of keeping them from getting bored. It can be hard to do though when most of the stuff you are currently working doesn't really have visual aspects to it, like code for example, and you just want that empty page to not be, well, empty. There is pictures of the tutorial below, as well as my Ludum Dare game, I was going to post pictures of the tools as well, but I don't wanna break that rule again. Its almost done, so I just need to be patient, maybe next week.
Motion Capture With Duel Kinects
Ludum Dare 38
Little Rain Games is Entering Ludum Dare 38
Posted by: Addison Olthuis on 2017-04-21 at 5:33pm Pacific Standard Time
Quick update because its half an hour until it starts and I'm franticly trying to get an animation done to invite people to come watch.
For those who don't know what Ludum Dare is, its a game jam event that is done 3 times a year. There is 2 things you can enter in, the Jam and the Compo. I will be entering the Compo which is 48 hours, everything has to be made from scratch, no premade assets or nothing. Also only 1 person allowed, the Jam is a little bit more lenient where you can do it as a team, used premade assets and yada yada yada, also you get 72 hours to make your game.
Every Jam there is a voting for a theme, and you are supposed to make your game around that theme, they announce it right when it starts, which for me is 6PM Pacific time.
I will be doing a stream, my first ever, and also my first game jam ever. I'm going to be honest I am a little nervous, but excited at the same time. Not so nervous about the jam but streaming, eh. I might only stream the second day, so if you get the chance head over to. https://www.twitch.tv/littleraingames
If anyone else it participating I wish you the best of luck! Even though there isn't prizes, its still an awesome thing to be apart of.
Addios my friends!
Posted by: Addison Olthuis
The Website Explained, Mind Mappers, Quake on Drugs, Rusty Skins and The Future
It has been a while since my last post. Almost a full month now, I have a hard time frequently updating the site, every time I do, I just want to add more things, make ugly things pretty, it usually takes a full day, and then some fixes on the next one. We have so many places to go things are starting to get confusing. So maybe I will start with the website just to clear some things up.
The new Nav Bar was a nice little addition, with our every growing pathways to different Posts, Pages and uhh, Poop, the old little crappy button system just wasn't going to do the job. So the first new thing you might have noticed is the "Our Recommendations" page. If you are thinking its just a bunch of links to Affiliate links so I can make a little moola, you're only have wrong, or right. Glass half full half empty kind of scenario. Let me tell you a little bit about it.
Our Recommendations Page has 4 different categories, first being Educational, "But Little Rain I just got home from school!" Hey! Its some cool stuff! Ever wanted to learn how to do Multithreading in Unity? "Quill18Creates" will show you, and I will direct you too him. There is also some really cool videos from "Makin' Stuff Look Good In Video Games" who goes into some really neat things with shaders. There is nothing new there from last month, but any day now when I get time to post my findings, there will be, soon, very soon, I promise. Anyways, I think I mentioned this last update, so here's some info on the new stuff.
Then we have our Assets and Tools page, that's where I have all my money grabbing deceiving Ads, to swindle you and suck your wallet dry while I make pennies on the dollar. Not. Really. If you are a budding Game Developer using Unity (Or other engines in some cases), all the assets that I post can be enormously helpful to you(I do want to help you succeed), especially when your a small team, or on your own. All the assets I post, I use my self, and they a lot of the top assets from the asset store. I won't just post any asset, only the top of my collection. I don't want the slightest chance of putting you in the wrong direction. There is also Software I use, like Substance designer, Photoshop, 3ds max will be there soon, along with another really cool program I just found out about from Autodesk, and the latest and greatest which I just posted a couple days ago.
Website Updates/Mind Mappers
Xmind, a FREE Mind Mapping Program that I would be completely, absolutely, totally, undoubtedly, lost, and probably unable to find clean underwear. Free version is absolutely amazing and features the cloud, so you can make or edit on mobile, and sync it back and forth from your PC. So many good features that make mapping your projects out, easy and efficient. If you want to learn more click that link.
Next up is the Entertainment tab, its basically just videos that I find well made, and entertaining, good stuff!
Website Updates/Quake on Drugs
Expand your mind duuuude! Or at least your view, on the Software and Products tab. Until yesterday it laid there empty, but I just found this cool program this guy is working on called "Blinky." I haven't actually tried it yet, but the YouTube video says enough for itself, and the fact its only for Quake 1 at the moment makes it a little tricky(He does want to expand to modern engines), even though I did leave a Download for quake there. This Blinky, it basically allows you to use FOV's higher then 120° while not stretching and distorting your screen. You can even play at 360° very reasonably. Its all open sourced on GitHub, the link is here. The link to Quake is also on the GitHub.
Now if you have been following the Snail Trail (No Cum intended) of Updates, you probably know that I like Rust. Not like Salad Fingers, but the game Rust. In their recent updates they have upgraded their Workshop, and have been adding Custom Skins to the game seemingly every week. So yesterday I decided to try it out and had a gay old time. Literally gay, cause you get to see your players Cock n' Balls as you play with the Material and export the model to skin down. I was actually pretty impressed with the penile detail, they really have an attention to detail, except in the textures them selves, I got my new set of Textures looking so nice and pretty, and then when I imported it into game I realized the resolution of the texture was literally the same as Halo Combat Evolved, a game made in 2001. So my pretty texture is now not as pretty. Now's the time for a dick joke but I can't think of one. Anyways, if you are wondering why I am mentioning something that has seemingly nothing to do with Little Rain Games, I will explain, right now.
We have another new addition to the website, the Rust Workshop Skins page, found under the Products Tab. Its not just a place to buy skins, because I actually don't have any approved yet, which it might be a while because I made the first upload today, which then needs to go through a lengthy approval process. But no it is a place to help me get them approved, with links to my steam workshop, and also a place to Request Skins for yourself. If you are in a Clan, or want a cool Skin with your name on it, we can do that for a small fee, first one you get $5 off (Some are only $5, so its FREE!)! You can check out one of the Skins in sketchfab, right here.
Don't leave! We still have to talk about the future!
Now time for the future, of the Website. Haha I'm sorry, just one last thing. Another new section is nigh, and its going to be a Dev Blog, "But LittleRain, you guys already have the News Page!" Very true young Jimothy, but this is for General Updates on the website, our projects, and stuff like that, the Dev blog will be strictly Game Development related, where I go into detail about what I've been doing this past year, I won't go back in time, but you get the idea. It will have stuff like problems I run into, how I fixed them, little tips and tricks I've found while I'm doin' ma' thang. Hopefully its not a complete failure, the idea of doing some video logs for the blog literally just popped into my head, so maybe you will see a few of those. To be honest, I hate editing video, its the Devils work, so it will mostly be written.
Also for the website (I almost forgot), we are going to start having Account Systems for you guys to comment, and also for the store once I get it open. I still don't know whether to use an external store plugin, that wouldn't really be apart of the site, it would kind of be like the forums before I took them down. They are still up, just no link to them, and no one at all. My other option is using Concrete to build the store(That's what the site is built with), which there is pros and cons to both, so for now I'll just forget about it, and when the time comes I'll weigh that shit up and slap a price tag on something.
The Future Is Now
Really, it is. I'll also hint at what's coming in the near future.
Now first I need to announce, that the Little Big PBR Pack is cancelled, but that's a good thing, and here's why. Instead of just a PBR Pack, I will be releasing a Huge Pack, with Modular Environments, Editor Tools, and a shit ton of Procedural Substances, that are customizable to the fucking extreme. I really think I've outdone myself on this one, this actually started out as the Little Big PBR Pack, and just got bigger, and bigger and bigger, and it hasn't actually stopped getting bigger yet. I'm aiming for Highly Detailed, Highly Customizable, and Highly Qualitied, did you know Qualitied is a word? I didn't. But yeah, in every department, models, Substances, Editor Tools, and the really great thing about this Pack is that no matter how many people that have it, even if they all put it in their own big release, there is still a very good chance that every asset will be largely different from each others project, its just that customizable.
The full pack is still a while from release, I still have Editor Tools I haven't even started yet, and a bunch of Models and textures to make, but I will be releasing a couple of the Tools very soon. Hopefully by the middle of next month. I keep squashing bugs, then when I'm laying in bed, I get a great idea, so I get my phone, open Xmind and plop my ideas in there so I don't forget. Every time I add one new thing I get 10 new bugs. It could still be released by the end of this month, but I don't want to give myself, and give you guys accurate info on when it will be released. I'll get a video of it in action soon, I just need to do a few things, to show you guys the true power of these tools, I'm really surprised I haven't seen a tool that's done this before.
Speaking of videos, I haven't had the time to make any Tutorials lately, I actually did record one, edited about half of it, but then through it out because I didn't record myself while I was working. Now sometimes recording while I work is good, but most of the time I lose track of what I'm talking about, I just don't multi-task in that manner very well at all. If you are wondering what the tutorial was about, it was an extensive 3 Part series on creating high quality, production ready assets. It started in 3ds max, and covered a fucking lot of shit. It covered box modeling, spline modeling, bool modeling, UVW unwrapping, creating LOD's, creating collision models, creating variations in zBrush, and then bringing the model into Substance Painter, building your Maps, then creating masks, and finally finishing it off in Substance Designer. What your left with is a Fully Procedural AAA Asset, that is highly customizable in many ways. Normally Substances are used for tiled maps, so this went very in-depth on how to full put them to use on a skinned mesh.
I also forgot a few things in my Procedural Tile Tutorial that I wanted to clear up, plus I also learned some neat tricks as well. I had planned to cover them in that series, but it would have taken way to long to edit, don't worry I'm going to make another one, I'll just need to record audio while I work this time.
I can't remember if I mentioned this in the last update, but some of the other tutorials I have planned are setting up IK in 3ds max for animating, First Person Animations in 3ds max, changing your myBB Forum Colors, creating highly destructible assets, creating Rope/Chain, and its not gunna be a crappy Rope/Chain tutorial like the others on YouTube, its going to make the chain and rope look and move realistically as well. I might also do a rope bridge, kind of like the ones in Zelda: Wind Waker, or something that relies on the rope to function.
I also really want to finish the Motion Capture series, so I will be getting a second Kinect, hopefully by next month and then I can show you guys what its like using 2 Kinects for motion capture. I probably will be using iPi again, but maybe I will try Brekel with Motion Builder, if I can afford it of course. But that's not only thing getting in the way, I'm not sure if Brekel Supports Multiple Kinects yet, so it might have to wait a bit.
The End, Finally...
Well this has been a brutally long Update, you can probably tell how my writing skills have depleted and lazified at the end here. I will make a plan to Update every Friday from now on, should be less to read, in such a short amount of time. If you made it to the end, I salute you and your amazing patience my friend.