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Match 3 Invaders

Unity Web Player | WebPlayer

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Announcing: Match 3 Invaders, a New Game by Matt Barton

Match 3 Invaders: Oh, hellz yeah!Match 3 Invaders: Oh, hellz yeah!Here it is Space Aces, my latest game: Match 3 Invaders. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to combine the pulse-pounding, sweaty-palms excitement of the classic Space Invaders arcade game with the relaxing strategy games known as "Match 3?" Now you have the chance to find out! Can you concentrate on lining up color matches while simultaneously dodging enemy fire? Can you endure the excruciating time limit as the aliens descend lower and lower upon your position? Most importantly of all: Can you rack up enough points to enter you name on the hallowed High Score Table?

It's Match 3 Invaders by Matt Barton. Now get in there and start matchin' and poppin' like you mean it!

Special thanks to: Triphamer, clok1966, Salty Pretzels, Eigen, Peter Horvath, Nathaniel Tolbert, and everyone else who beta tested and offered advice.

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Dev Diary 016: Match 3 Invaders with Animated Aliens

Rigging the InvaderRigging the InvaderWell, here we go again. Today I was working with Blender to try to rig up some basic animations for my alien baddies. After a few false starts, I was able to make some bones and rig the alien. There's probably a better way to do it, but I just made used the forked rigging system to quickly make bones for each of the...tentacles? Teeth? Not really sure what those things are! I did notice a substantial hit to processing power once I implemented the animated versions...Considering the simplicity of the animation, I am concerned about doing anything more sophisticated--it appears that making Unity browser games requires substantial skill in optimizing such things. I clicked the options to reduce keyframes and compress the animations. I got some errors (not show-stopping) about some vertices with unassigned bones (huh?). My ignorance concerning Blender is pretty galling; while I'm able to muddle through and get stuff done, I realize that I'm only scratching the surface. I should probably plan to spend more time with my Blender book and perhaps find a good video tutorial series on using the program more effectively. The problem is that a lot of the Blender material focuses on stuff that isn't really useful for my purposes, such as lighting and shaders and such. All I need really is to create good-looking models, UV maps, rigs, and animation.

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Dev Diary 014: Match 3 Invaders with Blender Objects and iTweens

Well, here's the latest version of "Match 3 Invaders," this time with some models created in Blender. I didn't trying to rig or animate anything in Blender yet; I just whipped up a basic invader model and spent the better part of the day trying to get it to work. Rotation issues plagued me throughout. I'm still not sure exactly what's causing the issues, but I have developed workarounds. Apparently, when I bring in the models, they are rotated 270 degrees, which throws off the references in my code to Vector3.right, Vector3.up, and so on. As with the player object, I was able to get around the problem my setting all my references to Space.World instead of Space.Self (global vs. local space).

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Dev Diary 006: Despair Sets in

Well, it had to happen eventually. For awhile now I've felt that I've been making steady progress towards making my own CRPG using Unity and Blender, but for the last few days I've had the sickening feeling that I'm in over my head. Although I can watch endless tutorials that make the whole process look like a breeze, when it comes down to actually trying to implement anything myself it's just bewildering. I'm finding that I just can't seem to wrap my head around some of the concepts of 3D animation and control. I don't want to give up, but I'm feeling very tempted at this point to just throw my hands up in the air and either go back to trying to make something worthwhile with Gamemaker or beg and plead someone with more experience to be my mentor.

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Matt's Dev Diary 004: Lighting and Characters

Today I spent most of my time working with Blender. The first order of the day was to learn all about lighting. Blender has a dizzying amount of options for this, but I'm not even sure I'll need any of it so I didn't spend a lot of time here. UNITY has its own lighting system, and I'm not sure to what extent I'll be able to use lights I make in Blender anyway, but I figured the knowledge would be transferable in a general sense. In any case, it is fascinating (and addictive) to just experiment with all the lighting options and see how they affect shading and such. You can really get some nice shading effects with different kinds of lighting. Here's just an example:
Cube with LightsCube with Lights
The next chapter was on Character Animation, and the author pointed out two different people-making tools you can use. Both were free in terms of cost: Make Human and Daz Studio. While you can try to make humans from scratch, these tools essentially give you an interface similar to those seen in games like Skyrim where you can adjust and tweak your face, nose, etc. The exciting part is that you can export your creations into Blender. I may know next to nothing about modeling and animation, but even I can use these interfaces and my combat mode looks a helluva lot more feasible.

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Matt's Dev Diary 003: Fun with Blender and a bit o' scripting

Spent most of today working my way through the Blender book and hitting some of my Unity books. I'm really starting to enjoy working with Blender; the book has been fantastic, and although I still feel like I'm muddling my way through, I already feel less like a drunk driver and more like an eager 16-year working on his learner's permit. I'm constantly seeing things in the book and realizing I've been doing so much stuff the HARD way, but if you put the book down for a minute you've already forgotten the shortcuts and have to dig through it again. Still, once you realize there's an easy way to do something, at least you know it's there for the digging up.

One thing I didn't work with before was the modifiers you can apply to objects. Much like filters with Photoshop or GIMP, you can do a lot of nice art just by applying these tools (no actual artistic talent required).
Three Cubes: Applying some simple modifiers makes each one look different.Three Cubes: Applying some simple modifiers makes each one look different.
There's also techniques to quickly create four table legs and such. It's not quite as easy as just copying and pasting, but a helluva lot easier than trying to create four different ones and move them into place by hand. That's a nightmare.

As far as Unity goes, I spent most of my time there reading about the scripting system. There's three options: Javascript, C#, and Boo. From what I hear, nobody uses Boo, noobs use Javascript, and anybody worth his salt uses C#. However, I keep encountering conflicting advice. Javascript seems to be able to handle almost any scripting need you might have, some say, so C# isn't needed. I can't seem to get a definite answer on whether, for all intents and purposes, Javascript is fine, or if you really do get a huge performance increase of some sort by working with C#. One strong thing in favor of Javascript is that it's the language of all the books and tutorials I've seen so far, and I've heard it's the norm for anyone who isn't a programmer by trade.

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Matt's Dev Diary 001: Starting Out

Well, I guess now is a good time to start jotting down some notes here. I doubt anyone will care to read it, but perhaps it could be fun. Who knows?

At any rate, I always like to think big when starting a game project and then scale down as it becomes clearer how much time, energy, and expense will be required to achieve my vision. However, I don't like to overthink things. You can get bogged down with extensive game design documents and such that just aren't necessary (IMO) until much later in the process, after you have a good understanding of what's feasible to actually implement.

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