Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Blobby Volley Unity Remake Beta Released

The first beta version of the game is out! To play it, be sure to join the Blobby Volley Beta Testers group on Google+ and then register for testing on Google Play. Make sure to leave me some feedback afterwards.

Blobby Volley screenshot

Here's what I've done so far:

  • I created a Bitbucket repository
  • I created a basic game scene with a background, a net, a ball and two players
  • I added basic physics to the scene as well as special physics for the ball and players
  • I created a keyboard controller and a touch controller for the players
  • I added ball and player shadows
  • I handled respawning the ball when it hits the ground
For a more complete list of features done, in progress and pending, see the Trello board. I'll be keeping it up to date, so you can follow the progress more closely.

It took me 20h to create the current version of the game. I'm still learning Unity on the way, so it's probably slower than it would take a more skilled programmer, but I'm happy about the result nonetheless. I use Toggl to track my work time. I quite like the tool so far and I see a lot of new features added since I last used it four years ago.
Here's what I'll be working on next:
  • I'll add ball hitting sounds and whistles when the ball hits the ground
  • I'll add different player controllers, so you can use the one that suits you
  • I'll fix the bug causing the ball to start falling when a player gets close to it but doesn't touch it
  • I'll add player animations
  • I'll add an indicator pointing at the ball when it's off the screen
For a more complete list, go to the Trello board.

Once again, I encourage you to become a beta tester if you haven't done it already. I know the game is still in its early stages, but I'll be grateful for any feedback you give me.

The next update will come at the beginning of April, so in more than a week. Until then, I hope you have fun playing and are as excited for more features as I am.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Blobby Volley Unity Remake

It's been almost 3.5 years since I finished my Blobby Volley game. It certainly is my most successful app on Google Play with more than 130k downloads. Unfortunately, it hasn't been very profitable and its retention rate is miserable. However, I still believe that it has a lot of potential. That's why I'll be rewriting it in Unity.

I want not only to recreate the existing version of the game, but also add new features to it like user activity tracking, achievements, more diverse levels or game modes, less intrusive ads, better controls and probably other things that will come to my mind on the way. I'll be tracking my work time and giving you progress updates every week or two. I expect the project to take up around 3 months.

If you want to keep a close eye on the results of my work and perhaps give me some feedback, you can join the Blobby Volley Beta Testers group on Google+ and later go get the beta version of the game from Google Play (mind that it's not there yet at the time of writing this post). I'll be grateful for any constructive comments and I hope you'll have fun testing the game in its new form.

Now, go play the existing version of Blobby Volley and don't forget to tell me what I should keep, add or change!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Complete Unity Developer on Udemy - Review

Last week I finished the Complete Unity Developer Course on Udemy. I'd like to share with you a couple of thoughts on it.

The course consists of more than 50h of video, during which you create six complete games as well as cover some additional materials. It teaches making both 2D and 3D games. It touches a lot of subjects, among which you can find C# scripting, basic Unity editor usage, physics, sound, music, animations, exporting to different platforms, publishing your work on the web, importing models from Blender, unit testing, using plugins from the Asset Store, implementing multiplayer, and others. The course is targeted at beginners and intermediates.

What I liked about the course was its comprehensiveness. What I mean by it is that it wasn't just a bunch of random tutorials that you can find on YouTube and in other places, but rather a complete set of well-structured lessons that were teaching you new skills with every single game. The course covers a huge amount of material and, having finished it, I feel that I'm able to create simple games of various type without problems. Just to help you understand the amount of content offered, imagine that to only watch the videos, you'd have to spend 2h every day for a month, let alone doing the exercises and tests that consume a similar amount of time.

What I didn't particularly like was the part on scripting, which isn't useful for those who already know programming, and being mixed up with other information, you can't easily skip it. To be honest, if I didn't know how to code, I'm not sure if I'd be able to get a grasp of it during the course either. Just make sure you know the basics of any language before you start the course and you should be fine.

There were other minor details that I wasn't fond of. Most of the lessons use Unity 4.6 while the current version is 5.5. There aren't too many differences between them, but there are some that may cause your project not to compile or make you look for some editor functions. Also, the course gets a bit chaotic at times, using different coding styles or introducing compilation errors and typos to only fix them in subsequent videos. Finally, the last two subjects abandon the idea of creating complete games in favor of explaining specific topics like networking or handling cross-platform input.

All in all, the Complete Unity Developer is a great course. I'd give it 4.5/5. It was definitely worth the discounted price that I paid for it (12€). Was it not for the much lower price though, I don't think I would have paid 195€ for it. However, I have to say that having paid a small amount of money, it definitely made me more motivated to get to the very end. If you're a beginner or you have little knowledge of Unity, I can easily recommend the course and you don't have to take my word for it - just look at other people's reviews on Udemy. Although, if you are more experienced, you have already created stuff with Unity and you're looking to deepen your knowledge, I'd perhaps look at the official Unity Manual and other places like YouTube first.

My plan for the next weeks/months now is to rewrite my Blobby Volley game in Unity. I want to add some features too (a better menu and perhaps a multiplayer). I'll be tracking my work time and progress, so you can follow me in my struggle. I'll also create a group for beta testers, so you can see the results and help me during the development process. I'll post some more information soon. Stay put and I'll see you next time.