Quick Review: Unreal Development Kit Game Programming with UnrealScript Beginners Guide

Unreal Development Kit Game Programming with UnrealScript: Beginner's Guide
First thing I noticed about the book is, it’s written by a girl! The book is written by Rachel Cordone.
I don’t have any experience with Unreal, and am even a bit nervous to try it. But this book says its for beginners, so I decided to give it a read.
So far Chapter 1 has been very clear in teaching me how to install UDK. It gives very clear instructions (screenshots included!), and it’s not intimidating at all for a beginner like me.
I still have a lot of chapters to read, but so far, so good.

TIBE (Taipei International Book Exhibition)

After that crowded affair at TGS, books are the thing to make me feel better.

My sister and I met up at Eslite in Taipei City Hall and headed to the TWTC (Taipei World Trade Center?), where TIBE was held.

On the way there, we saw cherry blossoms. The sight of cherry blossoms and the warm weather makes me happy :).

TIBE sign. The exhibition spans 3 halls, the first is General Books, the second is Comics, while the third is Children’s Book.

A cute stall decorated like a Taiwanese train station.

A lot of authors and illustrators were there for book signing events.

Rebecca Dautremer

Jimi was there, but we missed him by maybe three hours.

Kawashima Kitori

At the end of the day, a book fair is about buying books. So a picture of our loot:

We got 5 pocket books for only 300 NT, four picture sticker books for only 99 NT, 5 Chinese picture books for only 10 NT each…! Really, just take our money…

I love book fairs.

TGS (Taipei not Tokyo, Game Show)

So I went to my first Taipei Game Show today. Since my boss gave us tickets, my team mates and I decided to check it out.

The first sign I saw, is that they have this game companies recruitment thing in one of the halls. Since I arrived earlier than my team mates, I went to check that part out. It was crowded with gamers who dreams of making their own games, so I couldn’t really get in, and since I already have a job making games, I didn’t want to make the effort of squeezing in.

When I met up with my team mates, we all sort of came to the same conclusion: the convention looks really crowded and we are too scared to go in.

But we did, eventually (after a long lunch around 2 minutes away from the convention hall to avoid the crowd).

A giant PS Vita.

The crowd >.<

Street Fighter vs Tekken. When I actually play Tekken, I button mash, but still manage to win (sometimes).

XBox 360 and Kinect. We spent a lot of time there, because they were demoing Raving Rabbids, and I love those Rabbids.

Show girls. The convention has a lot of them. I am a little irked by the presence show girls, (maybe because I’m a girl and I don’t like how it portrays women). This show girl actually wore the most clothes. Most of the other show girls are dressed in really revealing outfits.

A section that’s strictly for 18 and above? They actually check your ID at the entrance! I took a peak and I saw Resident Evil and some other games. I guess killing zombies is quite violent for children.

Final Fantasy XIII-2. I finally admitted to my team mates that I’m a cosplayer, and that my next planned cosplay is well Lightning. That’s all because they killed my previous cosplay character Fang in the previous game!

Uncharted 3. My previous previous company, is an art outsourcing company in the Philippines and one of their biggest projects was Uncharted 2 and 3, so I would always feel a little attachment to that game. Also we saw this cute little boy playing the game in front of the big poster. I asked him what game he was playing and if it was fun, and my team mates said I was bothering his game :)).

I only have one word for TGS: crowded. Way to crowded, and it was hard to walk around the convention hall and see anything properly (or maybe it’s because I’m too short)! It is an experience that I would not care to repeat.

Mini Tutorial: How to create only one set of GUI for different iOS resolutions in Unity3D?

So, there’s the old iPhone resolution (480×320) and then there’s the retina (960×640). Question is, how do you just create one set of GUI that can fit both resolutions? Because you know scaling and adjusting the GUI elements is such a bother.

Code bit:

public float screenWidth = 960;
public float screenHeight = 640;
   

private Matrix4x4 tMatrix;


void Awake ()
{    RotateDevice();
}
   
void RotateDevice()
{    // Calculate the transformation matrix
     // for the actual device screen size
     tMatrix  = Matrix4x4.TRS(Vector3.zero, Quaternion.identity, new Vector3((float)1.0 * Screen.width/screenWidth, (float) 1.0 * Screen.height/screenHeight, 1.0f));

}

screenWidth and screenHeight is the resolution that you are designing your GUI to, I prefer to scale down, that’s why I set it to 960×640.

In OnGUI add:

GUI.matrix = tMatrix;

GUI.matrix will do all the scaling and transformations and whatnots for you.

And now in your GUI code anywhere you want to refer to Screen.width or Screen.height use screenWidth or screenHeight instead:

if(GUI.Button(new Rect(screenWidth-50, screenHeight-30, 50, 30), “Click Button”))
{   // some code
}

So now, your GUI works for both 960×640 and 480×320.

I got this tip from “Unity iOS Essentials” book :). Although I couldn’t get the code in the book to work as is, so I had to search the forums and stuff to fix the code.

That’s it 🙂

How to create physics objects in Cocos2D with just one click? (well, more or less one click)

Answer: PhysicsEditor

The PhysicsEditor is a shape editor for physics engines like Box2D and Chipmunk.

Before when I was making physics objects in Cocos2D, I used VertexHelper (Johannes Fahrenkrug), which is great and all, but there were a lot of things that you had to consider, such as you had to define the vertices yourself (meaning: ‘click “around” each sprite to define it’s vertices’) and you have to make sure that you don’t accidentally create any concave polygons (what are concave polygons again? check Wikipedia), and then you have to copy paste the generated code into your project. VertexHelper served me well and all, and it was free.

But PhysicsEditor did make me life a whole lot easier.

Andreas Loew wrote tutorials on his blog on how to use PhysicsEditor with Cocos2D:

Quick Review: Unity iOS Essentials

I am currently reading “Unity iOS Essentials”, which I won from ManiacDev’s book giveaway contest.

Unity iOS Essentials

And so far, I find that this book seems to be all over the place and it inspires to be a Game Design book.

Why made me think so? Well, Chapter 1 is about Planning Ahead for an Unity iOS Game, it starts out pretty clear, it aims to give the readers a little heads up before they start their game, it mentions considerations such as terrain, lighting, audio, etc. And then it got to the Let’s Get Started part, which is pretty much the author make all sorts of game design suggestions, and sometimes he would suggest something and not really explain why, such as he said that Fog is not such a great idea, and he suggests that we use particles instead, but why? Why isn’t fog a good idea? He even mentioned that it adds ambiance, so why isn’t it a good idea? Also there is a whole chunk that he talks about teleportation (wut? o.O), which provides means for players to travel across our large levels. He could have ended that bit there, but he goes on to suggest different ways of doing teleportation, warp gates, trains, what nots. And then after being distracted by all those really not important stuff, he starts talking about culling. Now, culling is important (even the author says so). But the reader could have skipped that part (okay, at least I almost skipped that part because I was skipping the trying to skip the teleportation part).

Chapter 2 is called iOS Performance Guide, but like Chapter 1, instead of getting right down to it (the performance guide), he starts the chapter with different kinds of games that the reader can make. And briefly mention skybox and how we’re supposed to use a cube with reversed normals instead of the one that Unity came with (again, no explanation whatsoever on why we shouldn’t use the Unity one). And then some bits about how we should do our terrain (not the technical part, the design part of making a terrain). Some more bits about different game genres.And then suddenly, Unified Graphic Architecture and the other stuff that actually seems like the iOS Performance Guide.

Chapter 3 is called Advanced Game Concepts, but really the things covered in the chapter is not very advanced, it’s stuff about menus, interface, screen sizes, accelerometer, shaders and organizing your assets.

Chapter 4 is called Flyby Background. Can’t say anything about it, because I skipped it.

I’m after Chapter 5 because it’s about Scalable GUIs, which I happen to be working on right now. So far, it’s understandable, pretty easy to follow. But the way the code bits are edited makes it somewhat unreadable. Oh and don’t expect the code to work as is.

That’s where I am right now, there are still four more chapters that I haven’t read yet.

So far, my comment is, it’s all over the place.

Link: http://www.packtpub.com/unity-3d-essentials-for-ios-games/book