Prototype underway!

Putting together a prototype of my next game project for the iPhone now. Had two primary work goals for today: getting myself set up to draw sprites in Unity (which isn’t hard, but it’s also a bit against the grain of it’s design), and setting up a system to draw paths with a finger or the mouse. Finished the first by lunch and the second before dinner, so by the time my brain was warmed up and I entered my evening shift, where brain function is optimal, I was into gravy time. Was inspired to slash half of the code section of my design doc and replace it with a much smarter and more flexible approach, which I think will save me a good bit of time in the long run; got the first manager and behavior scripts for the new design implemented as well, and all of it tested in web and iphone builds. In between all that, also improved my design notes for my mascot and logo, with some coaching from a friend who has extensive experience with such things. She will be doing the concept art and final assets for the company logo, assuming I can afford her globe-trotting, award-winning skills – and she can find time to squeeze me in!

For sprites in the prototype game, I’m trying out the free SpriteManager classes, developed and released free to the community by Above and Beyond Software. So far it’s lived up to expectations, but I’m looking at their new commercial plugin version, SpriteManager 2, which offers a lot more robust features, or the similar 2D Toolkit, which is slightly less robust but also quite a bit cheaper. Also considering trying out UniTile, from Mudloop, which provides robust tilemap rendering as well as an in-unity tilemap editor, which looks pretty slick. Since my tilemaps will be single-screens and few in number, I may just end up having an artist paint over the finished tilemaps, giving me more attractive and seamless screens. Artist seems to indicate it would take about the same time to do the screens I need that way as to do the complete tileset, it’d greatly reduce the rendering load, and I could still use tilemap metadata, so not seeing any real downside at present.

Continued talking to a couple of other artists I’d contacted Friday and Saturday. One that I’m really hoping to work with on the current project is unfortunately unavailable in December, when I’d ideally have wanted him, but I should be able to get the prototype to the point that I can confidently deliver final asset templates and specs in time to at least get started on the assets before then;  it might even be possible to get them finalized by the end of the month, but I’m not holding my breath on that happening.

All told, I’d say it was a good day.

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