For being called a holiday this sure has been a busy week, between frantically prepping for hosting a Christmas party, and planning for a massive technology change at work there's hardly been time for game development. Yet game development there always will be.
I started getting familiar with Esoteric Software's product Spine which I plan on leaning on heavily for Star Cinders. The above video shows off just some of what you can accomplish with the application but it should give you a strong idea of why it's special.
At a certain point games featuring a lot of 2D animation can become more expensive to add animations to than 3D animation, but by utilizing a strong 2D skeletal animation system you can bring that right back down. Not all game types work well with this, but if you can fit your game within the constraints you should be able to massively speed up your workflow.
With 2017.2 Unity provided what many would consider one of the essentials if you were to develop a 2D game engine. The tile map system. There had long been systems for this on the asset store but official support from the engine developer is a big deal to me and I believe many others. For a really quick intro that covers the basic brush type plus animated and rule tiles check out this tutorial. (It also briefly covers Cinemachine 2D.)
When your game gets more complex with many more objects spawning in and out you sometimes start to see stuttering issues effecting the player experience. Instantiating objects isn't free and with enough happening at once it'll definitely be felt. Plus if objects are just constantly being instantiated it's pretty likely you're also destroying them pretty regularly too causing Unity to have to garbage collect all these objects. Creating systems to manage and re-use game objects is a big win to get your performance shining again and to help this happen Unity has provided this tutorial demonstrating object pooling.
Thanks to BlizzCon 2017 the pin collection has once again grown leaps and bounds and it's only a matter of time until a third case has to be added to the collection.
The HGC takes center stage this year amongst the tournament pins as Heroes of the Storm just gets more hype all the time. Of course I can't forget to point out the very stylish Unreal Engine 4 pin courtesy of Epic's community management team 💜
There are so many character pins now that the gold pins had to be completely retired from this case. Hey Blizzard, I get that Overwatch is the new hotness but please don't forget that the other franchises love getting new pins too!
That's all for this week, I'll see you again next week with a six month review post where we get a bit personal and a bit hopeful. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones, I hope you had a good 2017 and wish you all the success in 2018~