Project Ant Dev Update

So much for regular updates. It’s been over a year now since I last posted, but here I am again, and Project Ant _is_ still going. There were a few months at the back end of last year and the beginning of this one where I was distracted by, amongst other things: ‘Destiny: The Taken King’, ‘League of Legends’, ‘Rocket League’, the ‘Uncharted Collection’ and ‘Final Fantasies 7, 8 and 10’… Let’s just call it research?

Anyway, development is back in full swing again and there is actually a surprising amount to talk about, so read on to find out what’s new!

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Overlapping Alphas in Unity 3D

In my last blog post, I unveiled the pheromone system and it’s accompanying overlay as a core game mechanic. The overlay was basic at best, and had one really irritating flaw – where two node’s pheromone indicators overlapped, the transparency is doubled. At best, this is pretty ugly, and at worst, it completely obscures the terrain behind it and ruins the data the overlay is trying to show altogether.

Note the hideous overlaps…

I searched high and low over the internet looking for an answer, but couldn’t find any decent solution to the problem. That is, until I posted on reddit asking for help, and a genius who goes by the name ‘Wompipomp’ came to my rescue. With his help, I came to a solution I’m pretty happy with.

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Project Ant Dev Update – 29/07/15

Would you look at that? It’s almost as if I planned it! Not only have I managed to make it to a second dev update, but I’m also posting it (almost) exactly one month after the last one! Note that this isn’t a guarantee of monthly updates. They’ll happen as and when I have interesting stuff to talk about, and believe me, there’s plenty of interesting stuff (at least, interesting to me) in today’s post!

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Learning to Walk Again

I’m a programmer, with barely an artistic bone in my body. Part of the big challenge of working on this game has been seeing just how far I can get by myself. The first tool I learned to wield was Inkscape which allowed me to create the SVG cartoon Ant sprite you’ve seen a few times in these posts already. My first attempt at animating that sprite involved manually creating 4 different poses in Inkscape and using Unity to switch between them. The effect wasn’t brilliant, but it served it’s purpose.

A couple of days ago, I spotted that Spriter was included in the latest Humble Bundle, so I snagged it and decided to give it a go. And this, my friends is the result:

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Introducing: “Project Ant”

builder_promo_top

We all know by now how my projects turn out. Take this website for example, no posts since a one-off last summer, and then nothing for almost another year. History will probably repeat itself here too, so if you feel you’ve been burned before, then now is probably the right time to stop reading. If however you’re prepared to indulge me, this post will hopefully mark the first of a series of activity around my latest project, which currently has no real name other than “project ant” (on that note, if anyone can think of a decent name, please let me know!).

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Generating 1D procedural terrain in Unity

Well, it’s been a while since I blogged anything. Partially because of laziness, and partially because I haven’t had anything very interesting to share. Recently though I’ve been dabbling in some Unity. I was attempting to create some 1D procedurally generated terrain, but couldn’t find much information on the topic on the internet. So, in order to help the next poor soul who attempts it, I thought I’d take a quick whirlwind tour through the process and it’s pitfalls.

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Ground Control to Major Jeb

This is a review I’ve been excited about writing for quite a long time now. Since I discovered Kerbal Space Program back in July 2011, shortly after the first public alpha became available, I’ve followed the development keenly. While the game still hasn’t officially been released, it’s popularity is growing by the day as the feature set expands. So, is this the sort of game that will soar in the clouds with other indie greats like Minecraft and Bastion, or is it doomed to explode on the launchpad. Read on to find out.

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Veni Vidi Vita

The PS Vita was finally given the time it deserved at Gamescom earlier this week. The new attention from Sony includes a price cut for consoles and memory cards, a list of Triple-A titles and cross play with the PS4, meaning it’s finally good to be a Vita owner!

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Alive Inside

Zombies really are the in thing at the moment, so it’s hardly surprising that this is already the second review of a game featuring the living undead on this website. I picked up all five parts of Telltale Games’ latest episodic adventure, based on the comic book turned TV show turned video game, ‘The Walking Dead’. Read on to find out if it’s a survivor, or just another brain-dead zombie.

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