Monthly Update – September

September 1st, 2015

I think this month’s update should have the subtitle “All’s Well That Ends Well”!

To cut a long story short August got off to a pretty bad start with my Dad going to hospital for an emergency heart bypass operation which meant multiple trips up from Brighton to Coventry to visit him and several nights staying over at the hospital. Things went from bad to worse… to much better now and he’s back home again thankfully. At the same time my brother’s brand new puppy Berkley came down with Canine parvovirus and was critically ill in the doggy hospital for a week. He’s fine now too and back to chasing his squeaky dragon toy around the garden.

Less dramatic but still time consuming was a fair amount of freelance work which took up the following two weeks. It’s always hard to put my own project aside, particularly when I was really making progress with the character work, but the rent is paid for another month so that’s good!

Finally I got one week to myself to get the character stuff finished. I have reworked the model a bit since the last update. The face proportions are better, with smaller eyes, better hair/eyebrows/mustache modelling and new, improved hands! The texturing is all done too and I just got finished with re-rigging and setting up the animation/input controls in Unity. I’m using a couple of animations from the Unity standard assets pack for now (thanks Mecanim!) but I’ll get a whole set of custom animations done for him eventually. Here’s a screenshot from Unity 5 and a video of him in action!

Before The Devil Knows You're Dead - male character model

Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead – male character model

Character anim test - Unity 5

Character anim test – Unity 5

More good news this month is that I’m getting a bit of extra help with some of the coding tasks, starting with the character interactions and abilities. That will be a great help and free some of my time up to do what I’ve really been waiting for – making levels!

The coming month will be pretty much dedicated to getting the level designs finished for all levels. Three of four are already done at least to a first draft stage so hopefully it won’t take too long to get the final level down on paper and then I can start building. I will probably try to make a long list of all the props, textures, puzzle elements and whatnot that I will need for the entire game once the level design is all done. I’m sure it will change as I develop the levels more in 3D but if I have an overview then I can at least have a better idea of what assets I need and which I can re-use and what are the major things I need to build for each level. Then if I can get one level blocked out in 3D and put into the game by the end of the month that’ll be great.

So it’s been quite a dramatic, busy and tiring month but everyone and everything has progressed in the right direction and we’re all good going into September!

Here’s Berkley and I enjoying the one day of summer!

Stuart and Berkley

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