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Rock, Paper, ShotgUnity, Part Nine

Don’t let the new year and that crisp blanket of white covering Blighty lull you into thinking you’ve got a fresh start, readers. Some things have continuity, some things linger and refuse to die. Things like Rock, Paper, Shotgunity, the game we’re making using the freely available Unity development suite. Get back into the groove with Build 05 after the cut.

As I mentioned before Christmas we’re now entering the second phase of the Shotgunity project. With all the major technical insides working (to one degree or another) we can begin to add some real content. Here’s where we bulk out the frame. For example Schmung’s excellent 12-gauge shottie has replaced my original boxy monstrosity and allegedly arms to hold it aren’t far behind…

But it’s occurred to me that this second phase might not make the most interesting reading for those not actually getting involved in the dirty business of making Shotgunity, so this month I’m going to try and bring some points of Unity-based interest which have caught my eye to you as well as the weekly build reports. For example anyone who’s been following the project but has yet to dabble with Unity itself will find these vids render any excuse they have for not doing so redundant. They’re a really gentle intro to the tools, easing you into the process so that after only a 20 mins or so you’ll have your own basic 2D shooter up and running from scratch, having understood all the steps that got you there and with no prior knowledge needed. It’s a great demonstration of how simple the tools are to use.


At the other end of the spectrum this face tracking system for Unity got my geek glands going and justgoes to show how useful Unity can be as a prototyping platform. By tracking face movement with a webcam the author of this vid has created the illusion of real 3D depth inside the screen. Now, couple that with the iPhone (a platform to which Unity has taken like a duck to water) and it’s not much of a leap to see a dozen profitable ‘iPhone toy’ applications. I mean, look how successful that virtual beer app was, imagine a virtual fish tank which had real /depth/… (I’m copyrighting that btw! – Canny Business Ed)

But back to Build 05 of Shotgunity. Despite the fact that NONE OF YOU have made a better logo yet (I mean come on…) some efforts are being made by the Forumites to make the game more presentable. We’ve got a funky new musical score – ok, one track – for Gillenopolis (remember we’re going for a tutorial level and then four Hivemind-themed levels, Gillenopolis, Walker-World, JimSpace and, er… Alec Moor… probably) beautifully written, performed and produced by AndrewC. And while we’re on a musical note it’s worth mentioning that I got a Stylophone for Christmas which I intend to use without mercy for the production of in-game sounds (the first of which appears for weapon respawns in the slightly improved tutorial level… buzztastic!) Obviously, for the sake of harmony, from now on I’m demanding that all sound effects be made Stylophonically. But if you don’t have one you could always use this.

Don’t laugh! Bowie used one Space Oddity you know…

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Jim Rossignol

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