How to create gradient backgrounds in Unity?

Someone asked how to create gradient backgrounds in Unity on Unity Answers and Eric5h5 gave an awesome answer:

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This 1×2 pixel picture in Photoshop…

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Can turn into this:

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Pretty awesome, right? Thanks Eric5h5!

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#ggj15

My first IRL game jam!

I have done a couple of game jams in the past, but they have always been just me (in my PJs) at home in front of my computer. Sometimes I’d team up with my sisters, sometimes I’d team up with my friends and we’d work through Google Hang Outs (since we are in different countries).

But I’ve never tried actually showing up to a venue and working on the spot with a bunch of other people.

I went to Global Game Jam’s Taipei venue, and I’d have to say the organizers did a very good job. Thank you organizers!

The location is big enough for the amount of people (there were 70 of us!), and there was enough tables, chairs, and most importantly, enough bandwidth, and extension cords for everyone. Oh and they had a free soda machine, and gave us free coffee stubs for the 711 next door (no water though, apparently game devs don’t need water to hydrate). They also provided snacks to keep everyone’s brain functioning. And pizza after demo sessions! (Yes, I was just there for the food :P) And their official photographer takes very pretty pictures, which I grabbed and will repost here.

What I liked about the jam is, that there were demo sessions, where you can see what every other team is up to. However, our jam venue didn’t have any fun awards, or audience voting for best game. It would have been fun to fight for some prize, even if it was just a paper certificate.

Another reason I never been to in real life jams before, is because I’ve never had enough game dev friends in real life. I know, I know that you should just show up and meet new friends and stuff, but I’m not really sociable, and my language skills are limited (everyone else speaks Chinese!)

So thank goodness, my current colleagues agreed to join this year’s jam with me. And thank goodness there was 5 of us – enough to form 1 group with no additional strangers (at the Taipei venue, we were all paired into groups of 6). Actually, we were supposed to be paired with a stranger but she didn’t show, so, oh well.

The theme for this year’s jam is “What do we do now?”.

We spend Day 1 coming up with an idea for the theme, and we decided to make a game to raise awareness about Shark Finning. And we also decided to go for a more childish approach, and do all our art assets using origami.

Since everyone in our group agree that dinner and sleep is important to us, we all went home to rest (even though we did spy some other team’s plans to spend the night).

Since most bookstores don’t open until 10 AM, most of us arrived late on Day 2 (around 11, which for me, shouldn’t really considered as late, but all other teams were already there by 9ish), so our only early member Jack had to present our game idea by himself (he even made a powerpoint).

We bought a lot of art papers and spent a lot of time folding stuff based on YouTube videos and instructions.

Arrive at 11 and go out for lunch at 12, since our team loves eating and we had ramen for lunch and took our team photo.

And we got started coding after lunch.

And as usual, we used Unity as our game engine hashtag #madewithunity.

Around 5 PM of Day 2, every team had to present the Alpha of their games.

I lost our game of Rock Paper Scissors (or as I like to call it jack en poy), I was tasked to present.

Only 4 hours of coding in, I was admittedly very nervous to show our alpha. And when I get nervous, I forget all my Chinese and start making shark chomping sounds (our eventual game sound effects were also us making shark chomping sounds – in a bathroom cubicle though, quieter).

I think I have sufficiently portrayed our group as the ditzy lazy group.

But hey, at least our game was playable.

And after everyone’s demos, PIZZA!

We asked the organizers what time we should show up on Day 3, and they advised us that in order to finish by 3 PM, you had to at least get started around 9.

So we worked for a bit more, but around 11PM we decided that we were sleepy, and we wanted to sleep in our beds, so we went home and called it a night.

I had a dream that I woke up around 4:44 PM, so I woke up around 8 in real life.

Arrived at the venue on Day 3, around 9, was still the latest team! (Does the other teams sleep?)

We aimed to finish our game before we break for lunch.

This is how I look like coding (just kidding, I knew the photographer was taking a picture).

“Before we break for lunch” ended up being almost 2 PM, instead of 12 as I’ve hoped for. But hey, at least we finished with time to spare.

And then the final presentation (and yeah, I don’t have to present!).

By the way, our game uploaded on GameJolt (http://gamejolt.com/games/action/the-predator/46158/).

And we even made a video.

And when everyone’s done presenting their games, it’s time for group pictures.

And after group pictures, everyone calls it a day.

Will I do it again? Maybe.

And without further ado, our game… “The Predator”.

Try our game?

Global Game Jam page: http://globalgamejam.org/2015/games/predator

GameJolt page: http://gamejolt.com/games/action/the-predator/46158/

Things to note when committing your Unity Project to GIT

In your Unity Project:

  1. Go to Edit > Project Settings > Editor.
  2. Set Version Control Mode as Visible Meta Files. 
  3. Set Asset Serialization Mode as Force Text.

In your GIT Project:

    1. Set .gitignore
      obj
      Temp
      *.tmproj
      *.csproj
      *.unityproj
      *.sln
      *.suo
      *.user
      *.pidb
      *.userprefs
      Library/cache/*
      Library/metadata/*
      Library/previews/*
      Library/ScriptAssemblies/*
      .DS_Store
      Library/*
      Library/AssetImportState
      Library/AssetServerCacheV3
      Library/FailedAssetImports.txt
      Library/ScriptMapper
      Library/asetDatabase3
      Library/cache
      Library/expandedItems
      Library/guidmapper
      AnnotationManager
      assetDatabase3
      AssetImportState
      assetservercachev3
      AssetServerCacheV3
      AssetVersioning.db
      AudioManager.asset
      BuildPlayer.prefs
      BuildSettings.asset
      DynamicsManager.asset
      EditorSettings.asset
      EditorUserBuildSettings.asset
      expandedItems
      FailedAssetImports.txt
      guidmapper
      InspectorExpandedItems.asset
      MonoManager.asset
      NetworkManager.asset
      ScriptMapper
    2. If you’re using SourceTree, go to Settings > Advanced > Repository-specific ignore list > Edit.

Then you’re good to go! 🙂

Yeti Crab also wrote a good tutorial on how to use GIT with Unity without using command line (they used SourceTree and BitBucket).

TV Shows are Back! Keep track of them with the Episodes App

I have been tracking my TV shows with Episodes for a while now.

It’s super easy to use, just search for your TV shows and add them to your watch list. You can even turn on notifications, so that it’ll send you a notification the day before, the day or the day after it airs.

The watch list will also show you when the next episode will air. Or if your show no longer airs :*(.

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When you click into your shows, it will show you the title and description of the episode. And after you have watched it, you can just mark it as watched.

Oh and it also sorts your TV shows based on Unseen and Upcoming, and according to the days before it airs.

All my TV shows are back, good bye blog! (aha, just kidding, I’ll still blog, or at least I’ll still try to blog as much as possible…?)

Link: http://episodesapp.com/

How to create DLLs for Unity?

I guess the first question is Why? Why create DLLs?

DLLs can be used to Tidy Up Unity Code, speed up compile time (a bit)makes it easier to redistribute code and a bunch of other Pros (but also Cons), and reduce deployment clutter and you can literally put everything you need – textures, audio, whatever – inside one file.

Okay, so now, How? Unity actually has a pretty good tutorial on How, but it lacks pictures and fails to mention some quirks.

Let’s get started:

  1. Create a New Solution in MonoDevelop, select C# > Library.
  2. Specify its Name, Location and Solution Name. 
  3. Reference Unity DLLs, by going to Project > Edit References…
  4. Select .Net Assembly, and navigate to: /Applications/Unity/Unity.app/Contents/Frameworks/Managed/UnityEngine.dll, and click Add. 
  5. UnityEngine.dll will then be included in the References folder of the Solution.
  6. Add files by right clicking on the solution and Add > Add Files…
  7. Before building, make sure that Mono Soft Debugger Support for Unity is disabled. Go to MonoDevelop-Unity > Add-in Manager… Unity > Mono Soft Debugger Support for Unity, and click Disable.

    Remember to Enable Mono Soft Debugger Support for Unity again, after building.

  8. Also, make sure Target framework is set to .NET 2.0. Right click on the solution, go to Options > Build > General, and set Target framework.
  9. Click Build > Build All or Build > Build <Solution Name>.
  10. The DLL will be saved in the bin/Debug folder of the Solution.
  11. Copy the DLL file to Assets/Plugins and reference it like any normal script.

There will always be a few Quirks:

  1. Cyclic dependencies of DLL not allowed
  2. Can only reference other DLLs
  3. DLLs cannot be edited in Unity
  4. DLL with dependencies will log error, if dependency not included in Unity Project
  5. DLL scripts cannot be in separate folders (Editor scripts need to be in Editor folder -> build separate DLLs for Editor and normal scripts, use Unity Package to sort them into proper folders)
  6. Change #if UNITY_IPHONE script to if(Application.platform == RuntimePlatform.IPhonePlayer) and change #if UNITY_ANDROID script to if(Application.platform == RuntimePlatform.Android)
  7. Editor Scripts not working properly -> needs to create a proxy script to bind to Unity (http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/editor-script-dll-and-regular-script-dll-not-adding-custominspector-scripts.107720/)
  8. DLL with reference to AndroidJavaObject fails to build for iOS

Some quirks which I can’t seem to resolve and I’m hoping someone can help me:

“New Year, New You” with Apps

New year… new year resolutions…

My goal for this year is to lose my chubby tummy! So far I’m trying (desperately trying, seemingly failing) a low carb diet, exercise…

And I downloaded a bunch of Apps:

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So far, I’ve tried to “work out” using Seven and lolo’s Easy Abs.

Seven

Although Seven only comes with 12 free Full Body exercises, which includes push ups and planking, which I don’t think is physically possible for me.

I really like the perky cheerleader attitude of the voice over trainer in Seven. Although if I were to listen to her voice for 7 months, I might get sick of it.

Seven is great because the entire session only spans for 7 minutes, and it includes rests, which I definitely need, in between each exercise.

Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/7-minute-workout-seven-high/id650276551?mt=8

lolo’s Easy Abs

I just tried out lolo’s Easy Abs yesterday, and I like it so far.

It’s all about exercises to get abs, which I’d like to strive for. But I’ll be just as happy if I can just get rid of my chubby tummy.

I love that it has videos with voice over instructions showing each exercise. Since I’m quite a stranger to exercises, I want to make sure that I’m doing it right.

And each day includes 5 exercises (which you can swap based on your preference); the free version only allows 3 minute sessions.

And there are different sets of exercises for each day, which I think should prevent me from getting bored.

You can also play music, the app will change the song’s BPM to match your pace. Although I’m not really a workout music kind of person, so I haven’t tried that function yet.

Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/easy-abs-free/id491194029?mt=8

Moves and Walking Hello Kitty are apps that I downloaded as pedometer (they say even walking helps lose calories!).

Moves

I really like the look of Moves, and it tracks where I walk to and from. And it counts how long, how far, how many steps and how many calories I lose per day.

The only thing that I don’t like about Moves is I can’t see a graph of my progress.

Link: https://itunes.apple.com/en/app/moves/id509204969?mt=8

Walking Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty anything is super cute.

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You can dress up Kitty, change your background, etc. And see your progress in a Calendar form or through a graph…

But but but, I don’t know why it’s buggy on my device (maybe because I’m only an iPhone 5 running iOS 7), it doesn’t seem to be able to track my steps at all.

Link: https://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/simple-diet!-walking-hello/id899014492?mt=8

So at the end of the day, I actually deleted both Moves and Walking Hello Kitty. Instead I downloaded Pacer because it links up with My Fitness Pal.

Pacer

Pacer is also a pedometer, it tracks steps, you can record your weight and blood pressure, and presents your progress in really nice graphs.

You can even set a target and it’ll help you track how close you are getting to your target with your steps each day.

EDIT: At the end of the day, I deleted Pacer, because it drains my phone’s battery.

Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pacer-pedometer-plus-weight/id600446812?mt=8

My Fitness Pal

I think I need to keep track of the food I eat to make sure that I’m dieting more than I’m cheating (according to my friend, cheat day only happens once a week! aghast!).

It allows me to keep a diary of the food I eat. And it has a seemingly large database of foods (it even has the Taiwanese pineapple cake and the Filipino dish giniling!), so I can find out how much calories each contains. You can set a target for each day, and it will automatically calculate if you are over or under you target (I am unfortunately almost over my target, but I will try harder).

Link: https://itunes.apple.com/en/app/calorie-counter-diet-tracker/id341232718?mt=8

And I was just curious what my ideal weight is, so I downloaded runtastic’s Ideal Weight.

Ideal Weight

And guess what? I am only 3 KGs away from underweight, and I actually still 2.7 KGs shy from my ideal weight. That means that I need to lose my chubby tummy without losing weight, in fact, I need to gain weight.

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And I also found out that I am lighter than 94.9% of the population!

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Link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/your-ideal-weight-and-bmi/id488717031?mt=8

I also downloaded a secret folder app to hide my chubby tummy progress photos.

But the app that I think will help me most of all is Line.

Because my friends on the other end, asks me what I had for lunch, for dinner to make sure I keep with my diet. And she send cute stickers.

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Link: https://itunes.apple.com/EN/app/line/id443904275?mt=8

New Year, New Me? Aja! Fight on!