Weekly Review: Week 8 Clear! Rockets, escapism and finicky streaks of bile.

Hello everyone my name is Chris and welcome to the eighth weekly review. This week was a fantastic one for both me personally and 0XP, so let’s make everyone jealous and get into what went on.

To-Done

  • Completed the Brackeys 2D Platformer Course(finally)

-hold on, that intro was a bit serious and boring wasn’t it? My deepest, deepest apologies, I really must get out of that habit.

Here’s a GIF of SpaceX’s rocket re-entering Earth’s atmosphere and landing safely; the first of its kind to be able to land back on Earth without jettisoning any parts of the rocket:

A more sciency aside this week: mixing it up a bit.

To-Done

  • Completed the Brackeys 2D Platformer Course(finally)
  • Completed the Top Down 2D Basics live session on the Unity website
  • Completed a blog post of a new series that will be out Wednesday next week (oh I am such a tease)
  • I had two days off (I was really procrastinating on that one)
  • I developed the premise for an actual game I’d like to make!
  • I got back to doing the C# Tutorials offered by Microsoft’s .NET site.
  • I grappled mercilessly with Visual Studio 2017, but was mortally wounded by the beast and retreated to MonoDevelop’s Xamarian IDE.
  • Changed my learning approach.
  • Moar pixel art.

Hoo boy, that’s like one, two, three, four… seven bullet points over here! What happened Chris? – D-did you fall in love? did you get laaaiiiiid? huh huh, did-di-didya reconnect with your father? huh-huh-huh…

Erm, no Terry, none of those things – and I think that last one about my dad was a bit personal, thank you – I think primarily my success was due to the middle bullet: I had two days off in the middle of the week.

I was having a crisis of faith in what I was doing; I felt the course was no longer relevant to my goals and I was losing sight of what I wanted to do, making it challenging to hit my daily targets. Since I returned home at the end of May, I had been game-making every day without fail (bar a weekend at a shareholder’s meeting in London) and remaining constantly plugged in prevented me from looking up and realising I was drifting off course.

Terry, did you just italicise off course? Was that because I was talking about the drifting relevancy of recent course material and you thought that would make a good pun? You’re off the hook this time buddy, but pack it in: we’re in danger of going off-brand with shit like that.

Sorry everyone, that tangent was needlessly lengthy. Anyway – as is a revelation to nobody, some time to chill out and clear my head did the trick and I came back reinvigorated and focused.

Here is the finished product of the Platformer course:

PlatformerFinalFAIL GIF
As I said to a friend: “silly GIFs help me deal with failure.”

I spent an infuriating amount of time trying to debug it: going back through tutorials and combing through code, but I couldn’t get it working and thought best just to let the ship sink. Christ we’re a bit nautical today, I think that’s about enough of that.

I loved the sailing in Wind Waker, actually

Straight after my platformer had left the harbour on its last voyage, I immediately anchored down into Unity’s Top Down 2D tutorial and completed this charming little space-‘em up:

There was a sweet guy doing the tutorial who confessed to being really excited about the ship that was also a samurai.

I found little pockets in the rest of the week to do some extra-curricular work (I always an arse-licking little SWAT), including some extra work on the basics of C# – which concluded in an epic conflict between myself and the needlessly tangled Microsoft Visual Studio, which I love because it integrates so well with Unity and makes coding feel like you’re the rockstar of brackets but hate because I can’t seem to get it to do anything other than work with Unity. When I try to practice C# in a separate solution, and literally just try and get it to print “Hello World” to the console, it produces a thousand errors, asks me to download some more stuff – at which point the installer breaks and traps me in an endless loop of updating the installer which then asks to be updated.

So I downloaded MonoDevelop’s Xamarin Studio IDE to practice C# outside of Unity – GodDAMN Visual Studio, I want to love you but you’re such a finicky streak of bile!

Battle with visual studio
Two Wind Waker references in one post, I must be in a good mood.

Finally, I changed my learning style in these tutorials: rather than making notes on everything said and done like I have been doing, I’m at the point now where I only need to make notes for things I really don’t know or can’t figure out again quickly. I was spending a large portion of time writing, and while I think that was the best approach in the beginning when everything was new, now it just eats up time like I eat tubs of ice cream.

Now onto some sexy concept stuff!

Excitement

As I offhandedly referenced in my bullet points – I came up with the premise of a game I want to make! It’s an idea that’s been rattling around in my head for maybe a year or so now, but finally came out when I was being all indie in a café this week. I’m not going to go into it too much, as this may be a different project I work on later when I have more experience, but I can say that the main theme is Escapism.

Also a lot of italics today, huh? And American phraseology.

Scott Fitzgerald. Honestly just put this here cos I wanted to break up the text.

I had a period after I quit my first full time job where I went into a bit of a hole, where I moved back home, continually failed to find work and eventually gave up entirely for about two months or so; literally just playing games and watching anime the entire time. It reached the point where I was spending so much time in these imaginary realms that the real world started to become strange and frightening – suddenly walking to buy junk food from Tesco became an expedition into the unknown, and talking to strangers became near-impossible.

As you can imagine, I wasn’t too happy with myself and felt pathetic for being so weak and self-centred. You’ll be pleased to hear I got a job, met some good people and got out of the funk soon after, but it made me aware of how dangerous running from reality could be – especially when the places you escape to are so warm and welcoming, like your favourite video games and TV shows. The worlds that are lovingly crafted for your enjoyment become self-imposed prisons that you choose confine yourself to for fear of actually living.

Thinking about it in that café, I realised that, while with me it was media I retreated into, it could have been anything: drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling – whatever, and that this was a broader issue that a lot of people grapple with at some point. Then I knew I had to make a game about it.

I’d like to try and explore those ideas in this project, but it may prove untenable – we’ll have to see.

Got a bit serious again for a sec there, hold on:

look at this duck i am a giraffe
I jk, serious isn’t bad – I’m just trying to stay on-brand.

Is it over yet?

Almost.

This week coming I shall endeavour to finish the C# basics tutorials on the .NET site and play around with Xamarin Studio. I might even make some simple little programs out of it, who nose? In terms of Unity, I’ve smashed through a lot of my deadlines for tutorials and such due to less obsessive note-taking, so I hope to quickly nip through the RPG tutorial I mentioned in a previous post by next Sunday (at least).

I imagine my Escapism game as more of an Adventure-y, RPG-y type game, so I’m keen to learn the basics of top down 2D games pretty quick.

You can follow my progress on here, or on my other media outlets such as TumblrFacebookInstagram and Twitter. Any feedback is greatly appreciated I would be more than happy to chat if you wanna shoot some ball.

Thank you once more for continuing with me (or hello there and thanks muchly to those who are new) on my crusade of gaming – what ever happened to making these shorter, eh? Oh well, they’re only once a week, I suppose I’m allowed to splurge about that often. Have a great week and see you next time!

 

 

 

 

 

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