Notifications
Article
Taking Inspiration from Old Games
Published a year ago
91
0
Commodore 64 games were cool
The kernal of this game started when I was playing with old emulators.   My friend and I were really into the Commodore 64 back in the day and one of our favorite games was Space Taxi.   
We sat around talking about the fun we had with this game and the others we liked.  Since I was just starting to play with Unity I immediately suggested this would be an easy game to "port" to a mobile platform.   I can hear you laughing now.  
There have been several itterations of this game along with threats of deleting the whole thing and starting from scratch.   I had no idea what I was doing having never developed a game in any game engine.   I did create one android game and several BBS games before but nothing prepared me for this.
After a little over a  year of messing around I finally had a game that was playable but boy was it slow loading.   Every level was another scene.  Every option was another scene.   It was taking close to 45 seconds just to exit the game.   UGH!  I would try to play in on one of my Fire tablets.   I could get to the main menu.  I could get to the level select.  YAY!   I pick a level,  CRASH!  Nothing in the logs made sense!   So I bagged the idea of going onto the Amazon store and instead  focused on how to make this thing faster.    I hit on the idea of not using a scene for everything.   I would use a basic scene for the level and instantiate the prefab for the core of the level.  I felt like a Genius!   I rediscovered the wheel!  But it still crashed on Amazon.  DRAT!
I started playing with the profiler.  I had no idea what I was doing but I'm a smart guy I can figure it out.   I noticed a couple of assets seemed to chew up the ram.  Aha!  I started ripping those assets out.   Of course this made me have to build my own to replace them.  Success!  It no longer crashed on Amazon but it still took forever to navigate the menus.  
Then I stumbled on an asset store sale that gave me a new way to deal with the menus.    It was great!   I went from 5 different menu scenes to 1.   Speed achieved I started on fixing the bugs I introduced trying to speed things up.   First up, refactor the interactions of the various moving parts.  Put a game event manager in.  Let all those parts trigger actions on the other parts.  I rediscoved Fire!  Woot!
Like I said I'm not a game designer and I'm certainly not an artist!   I can write code and have done it for a living before but I'm old and when I went to school we were just starting to see Apple II's.   Object oriented programming has always been voodoo to me until now.   I have Unity and the awesome platform to thank for keeping my old brain working.   
To sum up:
Its been a long 3+ year journey.   I've probably purchased 500 dollars worth of assets for this and other games I intended to make.   I started with an early version of Unity 4 and have done the updating through to 5.4 which is what this game will launch on.  I've installed assets only to remove them later because they wouldn't cooperate with me.  I've had days that have resulted in terrific progress and days that made me just want to go play some other persons game but I've learned alot and am ready to push my baby out into the world.   I hope you enjoy it.
 
Wayne
WW
Wayne Wenthin
2
Comments