★ TouchArcade needs your help. Click here to support us on Patreon.

Some "low cost" resources used in 4saken

02-05-2011, 08:10 PM
#1
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 106
Some "low cost" resources used in 4saken

I have just release my new game (discussion here) and I though I would list all the resources I used in making it. Thought people might find it interesting for their own needs. I tried to use free things where possible to keep my costs down:

Coding and Development

Unity 3D (Version 3) with iPhone indie licence (my big expense) - the workhorse for this game (it is an amazing resource).

iTween - Great motion scripts for Unity (free).

Art

Blender 3D - to create all the object used in the game (open source).

Gimp - to perform image manipulation (open source).

Sintel - MLE is Sintel with a few modifications via Creative Commons Attribution.

Suicidator City Generator - is a free city generator script for blender.

Luxrender - the background buildings are rendering using the open source program Luxrender.

Sound

SoundBible - the trebuchet sound via Creative Commons Attribution.

Website

Sandvox - for website development.

CyberDuck - for managing the website uploads/synch.

Amazon S3 and Cloudfront - to host the website.

Hope this helps people with some low cost resources!

Tony

Evolution Prize [AppStore]
SEI: Search for Earthly Intelligence [TA Thread]
02-06-2011, 12:46 AM
#2
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 9,494
Thanks for posting this, I've been feeling unrealistically ambitious about development resources to play around with.

02-06-2011, 01:21 AM
#3
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by undeadcow View Post
Thanks for posting this, I've been feeling unrealistically ambitious about development resources to play around with.
Just doing the development is pretty crazy process. In reality I can understand how the big budget titles can cost so much to do. In retrospect you are doing the following

1. Concept design
2. Concept art
3. Prototyping
4. Art development
5. Programming
6. Testing
7. Level design
8. UI Design
9. Marketing
10. User Support

(I am sure I missed something important)...

You don't want to add anymore to you workload...

I personally found Unity to be a god send. I have played around with ObjC and then started looking at Game Engine (Oolong was nice) and then discovered Unity and didn't look back. Frankly if I didn't use unity it would have been impossible for me (I was originally hesitant to pay for something but after using the 30 day trial I was hooked).

Evolution Prize [AppStore]
SEI: Search for Earthly Intelligence [TA Thread]
02-06-2011, 01:49 AM
#4
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 179
Wonderful post, many fun utilities to try
02-07-2011, 11:07 AM
#5
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 247
Thanks for the resource list. What is MLE? ("MLE is Sintel...")

I checked out the game, it looks cool. Here is some 'constructive criticism':

- The tutorial was hard to read (partly because it was white against the whitish sky, and partly because of the font). Another thing that confused me was, I didn't realize the metal sticks were fingers (partly because I was being an idiot, possibly) - maybe making them a little bent might help. Also, I think it would be better to just say "pinch to zoom" rather than having two items for "zoom in" and "zoom out" - the less items there are in the tutorial, the nicer it is.

- The game was slow to respond to my gestures, so at the beginning I was really confused as to what happens when I swipe. I think it would be much better to let the user move the camera, move the platform, etc. little by little, than have discrete positions that the camera angle can be set to. I don't really know 3d programming well, but I think this would not be too difficult to do add on top of what you have.

- The UI felt unnatural.. I'm not sure what the purpose of moving the platform up and down is (I guess for higher towers in later levels), but the swipe gesture might be better reserved for moving the camera. It took me a while to realize I needed to swipe on the robot to change the camera angle. Also, it felt a bit weird to double tap to get a new block. These are just some suggestions, but it might be good to rethink the UI I think.

- For the first level or so, I thought the physics of the game were 2d, because the blocks looked like 2d from the initial angle, and because the rectangle showing the level name, below the play area looked 2d. The level rectangle was a little confusing for me also, I thought it must have a function, like I could tap on it - it might be better to put the level name somewhere else, that can't be moved around like the elements in the game.

- After playing a little, it got annoying to have to move the camera view to make the blocks rotate the way I wanted, especially since moving the camera is kind of slow.

Overall, if you work out some of the issues (especially the responsiveness and being able to move the camera smoothly) and maybe add some alternative goals to the levels, I would like to play more of it. Hope some of my suggestions help..
02-08-2011, 03:52 AM
#6
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 106
Hi Baris

Thank you so much for your constructive criticism, I really appreciate you input.

Quote:
Originally Posted by baris View Post
Thanks for the resource list. What is MLE? ("MLE is Sintel...")
MLE is the robot's name fun way of spelling Emily (my daughters name).

Quote:
Originally Posted by baris View Post
- The tutorial was hard to read (partly because it was white against the whitish sky, and partly because of the font). Another thing that confused me was, I didn't realize the metal sticks were fingers (partly because I was being an idiot, possibly) - maybe making them a little bent might help. Also, I think it would be better to just say "pinch to zoom" rather than having two items for "zoom in" and "zoom out" - the less items there are in the tutorial, the nicer it is.
I agree it needs some work. My ideal would be to have video tutorial but with my unity license that isn't possible (need pro).. I have had a few ideas about improving it.. and I will definitely make the changes you suggest!

Quote:
Originally Posted by baris View Post
- The game was slow to respond to my gestures, so at the beginning I was really confused as to what happens when I swipe. I think it would be much better to let the user move the camera, move the platform, etc. little by little, than have discrete positions that the camera angle can be set to. I don't really know 3d programming well, but I think this would not be too difficult to do add on top of what you have.
I got a bit caught up with the gesture recognition. I also wanted to to the orthogonal thing with the rotations of the scene. In most 3D packages you can set it to orthogonal mode so you can make changes that line up properly.
I will definitely think about what you said and see what I can do to improve it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by baris View Post
- The UI felt unnatural.. I'm not sure what the purpose of moving the platform up and down is (I guess for higher towers in later levels), but the swipe gesture might be better reserved for moving the camera. It took me a while to realize I needed to swipe on the robot to change the camera angle. Also, it felt a bit weird to double tap to get a new block. These are just some suggestions, but it might be good to rethink the UI I think.
Will do!

Quote:
Originally Posted by baris View Post
- For the first level or so, I thought the physics of the game were 2d, because the blocks looked like 2d from the initial angle, and because the rectangle showing the level name, below the play area looked 2d. The level rectangle was a little confusing for me also, I thought it must have a function, like I could tap on it - it might be better to put the level name somewhere else, that can't be moved around like the elements in the game.
yea might get rid of it all together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by baris View Post
- After playing a little, it got annoying to have to move the camera view to make the blocks rotate the way I wanted, especially since moving the camera is kind of slow.
I will have to check why it is so slow... it is quite responsive on my iPad.
Are you saying the gesture recognition is slow or the actual rotation of the scene?

Quote:
Originally Posted by baris View Post
Overall, if you work out some of the issues (especially the responsiveness and being able to move the camera smoothly) and maybe add some alternative goals to the levels, I would like to play more of it. Hope some of my suggestions help..
Not sure if you noticed there are actually 4 different level groups...training, foundations, destructors and trebuchet... just swipe the main menus!

Your suggestions have been brilliant! I really appreciate you time and effort.

Thanks very much

Tony

Evolution Prize [AppStore]
SEI: Search for Earthly Intelligence [TA Thread]

Last edited by Clockworkapps; 02-08-2011 at 04:21 AM.
02-08-2011, 05:45 PM
#7
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 247
Quote:
I will have to check why it is so slow... it is quite responsive on my iPad.
Are you saying the gesture recognition is slow or the actual rotation of the scene?
Quote:
Not sure if you noticed there are actually 4 different level groups...training, foundations, destructors and trebuchet... just swipe the main menus!
It takes a while for the rotation to start. I do a swipe, think it hasn't recognized it, and almost one second later the rotation occurs.

I hadn't noticed the 4 game modes (I was wondering what the 4 vertical + 1 horizontal line in the bottom of the screen was , but I checked now, and the same late response is there also. It almost feels like, you recognize the gesture, start creating the whole rotation animation and then play it - with the creation part taking about a second.

I also checked out your SOS game (apparently it was very popular here in Turkey , and the same late responsiveness is there also. I wonder if you're doing something in common in the two games, even though one is with Unity and the other is not, maybe somehow having an update loop with very long intervals for gathering user input?
02-08-2011, 10:12 PM
#8
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 106
I will look into speeding it up ... Probably doing something silly...

No idea why SOS was so popular in turkey... It was a simple game mainly to test out the whole app store process.

Thanks again

Tony

Evolution Prize [AppStore]
SEI: Search for Earthly Intelligence [TA Thread]
02-09-2011, 06:49 PM
#9
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 247
Quote:
No idea why SOS was so popular in turkey... It was a simple game mainly to test out the whole app store process.
It -the old fashioned paper version- was a rather popular game for children to play in Turkey, but I would think it was more or less popular everywhere.
I've played it some more, and I think the slowness with the SOS game is due to the animation starting out and ending too slowly.

Allow me to rant about one thing about making a good user interface that I learned the hard way.. I was developing a game for which the user interaction was kind of tricky, so I tested it a lot with people. But I always tested it standing near them, and inadvertently gave them some pointers. After MANY iterations, I thought I had an easily playable game. But when I released it, people I didn't personally explain the game to, often found it very difficult to play. When you're testing yourself, you get used to the interface and it starts to seem absolutely natural, whereas it might be very confusing/hard to use for new users.
02-10-2011, 02:20 AM
#10
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 106
I played the SOS game when I was a kid in Australia!!

I think I fell into the same trap with respect to UI. Doubly so as I am a big blender user and the whole orthogonal view thing is second nature to me. Most people balk at it and I think I have recreated that problem.

I am reworking the UI a bit to make it more intuitive but I am not sure about the orthogonal views (it is pretty fundamental)... will keep at it... and simplicity as my guiding factor....

Evolution Prize [AppStore]
SEI: Search for Earthly Intelligence [TA Thread]