Right, so, let’s recap from where we left off.
The ‘new idea’ that I mentioned way back when was an arena-shooter called ‘TenSec’. It used the same engine and assets as Shootah, but with twin-stick controls and levels that were only ten seconds long. The idea being that you had to destroy as many enemies a possible in those ten seconds in order to power up your weapon sufficiently to survive the next onslaught.
It was coming along ok, but I was increasingly convinced that the best place for both it and Shootah would be on mobile. Much as I enjoyed writing my own engine in Java, porting it to mobile platforms would be a massive pain in the arse and require more concentration and free time than I had.
Instead I downloaded Unity and started a conversion attempt. It was slow and demoralizing, though, and I just couldn’t quite get along with Unity. I could see that it made certain things much easier but I had a hard time coming around to it’s way of thinking as far as architecting a piece of software goes. I’m a Java guy through and through and my OO programming instincts make me want to build complex type hierarchies every time. Unity’s compositional approach may be far more sensible for game dev but it didn’t half rub me up the wrong way, and like a stubborn old man I resented having to change my ways. As a result, progress wasn’t glacial, and a demoralizing collision-detection problem caused it to languish for months.
I was still interested in Unity, though, and would occasionally Google how I might achieve a certain effect or idea within it’s framework, and eventually I wandered back to it, with slightly softened resistance to the way it’s likes to structure things. A couple of weeks ago I finally figured out that collision bug and stayed making progress on the mobile incarnation of Shootah again.
In addition to which, a friend recently asked if I wanted to collaborate on a little project with him and a few others. Not a game as such, more a semi-interactive VR experience-type-thingy. I am genuinely enjoying the learning experience and appreciating how easy the engine makes it to set up a simple 3D environment. Hopefully I will be able to post more about that as the project progresses, and I’ll gain some experience that can feed back into future game projects. Plus it’s helping me over my irrational fear of working on a 3D project.