C.W.I.S Devlog #8 | Prototype Release

Summary

Its been a long time coming but I have finally gotten a build out for C.I.W.S. I will pre-face this as the build is just an early prototype and has a few bugs in it, but I hit burnout on the project again and didn’t want to just abandon it as it was in a good enough place to release something. If there are really game breaking bugs then I’ll give them a fix if reported, but otherwise the game will remain in this state unless there is mass interest in it. There is definetly more that could be done on this project but I needed to move for now.

Where can I get the build?

The prototype build is free to all and can be downloaded from the following pages:

What now?

With the release done, I’ll be moving to the A plan I mentioned here, working on some major updates to some of the tools/systems I’ve released. Both major releases are massive improvements over their older versions and bring them up to standard with what I’d use in a project these days. From there I have a few smaller projects I’d like to do, plus actually playing a few games as well for a bit of fun xD

Audio Manager 2.6.1 Live

Audio Manager (2.6.1) Update

In a way to keep this page more active I will be posting update blog posts for each update so you can get additional context for the changes to any product. The changelog will always have the changes listed but sometimes its good to go into a little bit more detail on what these changes actually mean. So here’s the first of these posts.

🎨 Asset Changes


  • Added button on the library tab of the audio manager file asset to allow the user to perform a manual scan in the editor to refresh a file. Previously it was a rather tedious process.

This was the main change is this update that meant it came out more of less the day after it was reported. A user in the discord server reported that they had changed a clip name & wanted to update the library so they could use the new name as the key instead of the old name. This is something that is easy to fix in the upcoming 3.x as the library management is a lot better. But it 2.x it had quite a tedious workflow for it. This update adds a button to let you refresh the library manually with ease.

You can manually update the librarty via the “Force Update Library” button on any audio manager file. This will update the file in question. Once pressed you’ll get a dialouge appearing once it has finished the refresh to confirm it was successful.

The other more minor changes in this update are more just updating some scripts to match the new standards for 2023 a little. So every script now has a header comment. I also updated the asset accessor script to use a dictionary so it’ll be more performant when you use it than the old Linq setup I had before.

🔧 Bug Fixes


  • Fixed a bug where the editor would throw an error on the first instance of the audio manager being added to a game object.

While doing some quick testing I found that there was an error coming up on the first added the audio manager script to a gameobject. This has been corrected so there are some extra checks to avoid this error coming up.

  • (Community Fix) – A fix added in #1 pull request to fix a null ref with the audio pooling system.

This was a fix that went out silently just on Github without a release until now, as it was a minor issue that not many had come accross. This fix is in this release, if you find and issue and can fix it I do accept & process pull requests on the Github repositories for the projects.

🗓️ Where can I get 2.6.1?


Below is the current status of the update on all platforms:

  • Unity Asset Store: Under Review (Expected Mon (9th) – Wed (11th))
  • Itch.io: Live
  • Github: Live

Thats all for this update. 3.x is still in development but awaiting the completion of C.W.I.S before I can focus on it fully. Hopfully it’ll be within the next 2-3 weeks, as there isn’t too much more to do on it other than balacing & a tutorial. More on this soon.

~ J

Year In Review 2022

Welcome back to another year in review. This is now the third year running that I’ve posted a summary of some of the stats behind the scenes and expressed what I plan to do in the upcoming year. If you want to see the previous years, you can access them below:


New Releases

This year has been a quite one for new releases. The main release on the assets side was the experimental Multi-Scene asset which is currently only avalible on GitHub & Itch.io.

On the games side there was some decent progress on both projects. Project Tilly ended up hitting a major roadblock with some of the 3D assets I’d need to make. This is still a project I plan to go back to once I’ve gotten better at 3D modelling a bit & when I’ve sorted out the story a bit as well.

C.W.I.S has been the main project for the majority of the year with slow but steady progress throughout. Just before Christmas I managed to get the some new features in such as an online leaderboard, a chaft mechanic & several fixes to some of the minor but annoying bugs with the game. I’m hoping to manage a release of the build around the end of Jan 2023 but like every other deadline I’ve set its not in stone.


Downloads

The download stats this year are about what I expected. I got a bit of an increase on Itch.io due to a few game jams but nothing significant. The asset store remains the best for downloads as a whole getting around 100-150 per month dependant on if there are updates released that alert users or not. Google play saw a drop in downloads from 2021 but this is mostly due to my own neglect of the platform this year. I do hope to put out a few more products on google play in the future though.


Upcoming in 2023

The plan for 2023 is a bit more fleshed out that in previous years because I wanted to make it achievable and while also having a clear plan of what I was doing for the year. I’ve split this into three plans:

Plan A

The A plan is the plan I am committing to completing in 2023. These are goals I will be hitting next year first, and are the aim for the year at a minimum. This also includes the release of the C.W.I.S build but with any luck that won’t be much longer down the line.

  • Audio Manager (3.0.0)
    • A fair amount of progress has already been made on this update.
    • A new static only version of the system.
    • Automatic library management.
    • Play from estimated start time removing blank space at the start of a clip.
    • Library search.
    • Automatic variance to vary the volume & pitch without any extra work.
  • Save Manager (2.0.0)
    • New save structure for better modularity.
    • Save editor to edit the save in the engine.
    • Custom save path option.
    • Migration system from 1.x to 2.x.
  • Leaderboard Manager (2.1.0)
    • Extra display options such as same position options (show as the same with gap, same without gap, etc.).
    • Custom save path option.
    • Settings panel to match the other assets.
    • Audit of the existing code to match the latest standards.

Plan B

The B plan is mostly a load of smaller projects or updates to existing projects that need a little work still. This includes:

  • Multi Scene (0.3.0)
    • An update to the experimental asset to add some better scene loading options as well as an attempt to improve the performance a little where possible.
  • Build Versions (1.1.1)
    • Just a small updtae to correct a few bits, but its nothing urgent hence it been in the B plan instead of the A plan.
  • Detective Notes (1.3.0)
    • This update would be a bit change, but most of the setup would be the same.
    • The UI & feel of the app would be improved
    • I’d look into having the app run better over longer time periods.
  • Game Prototypes
    • I’d use some of the time in this plan to prototype a few games idea’s I’ve had. I would release these builds for people to try out and give feedback on.
    • More on this if/when I get to it.
  • Personal Projects
    • Blood on the Clocktower app
      • A little side project to make an app that helps an ST run a game as well as lets a player take notes in a game. I have started this project behind the scenes, but needs a few weeks of dedicated time to actually make it work.
      • The idea is to automate bits as well as remind the ST of bits they need to do with a kind of checklist before letting them continue. As well as applying reminder tokens to players automatically based on the context.
      • This wouldn’t be made public out of respect for the games creators as they already have an online app which is great for running games online. My app is more for personal use if I want to try and introduce new players to the game without having a copy of the game to hand.

Plan C

This is the stretch goal plan where any extra bits I’d like to try would take place after all the bits from the A & B plans were done. These indluce a few additional personal projects that are mainly focused on making game mechanics from games I’ve played both old and new to see if I can make them. It would be with programmer art and more of a test of my skills for a bit of fun.


Closing Thoughts

While 2022 didn’t go as well as I’d like, a though I’m sure many feel with the current state of the world. I’m hopful 2023 will go a little better. I’ve spent the Christmas period mostly relaxing & plan to continue until the new year as I havn’t really had any kind of break in a while. So I’m playing some games and taking it easy until the new year. See you all in 2023.

New Website Layout!

For a while there has been a notice on the site stating that it under construction. But I have finally gotten around to sorting it out properly. I wanted all the stuff I’ve made so far to be accessible by one click and to keep the menu navigation as simple as possible.

To start I blocked out the rough design I wanted to go for and tried to make it as close as possile to said designs. This was mostly successful with only a few minor changes needed to make it work. Below you can see the before and after of each page:

Home Page

The home page has changed the most over the years. In this latest version I’ve made it really compact and ditched the footer content for a simple logo & copyright notice only. I kept the old intro header as I felt that was okay as is, but the rest has been updated with the asset pages now being a click over their logo’s which also have a little hover animation now.

Initial Design

The Result

The Blog/Posts

The blog section has been rather under used this year, but I hope to change that next year. The initial design was going to be mostly the same, however I ended up going for a much simpler design which just has all the posts in one place with pages for seeing older posts. That being said I did still make some minor adjustments to the setup for the posts that appear.

Initial Design

The Result

Pages

The design for the pages, mostly the asset ones were the ones in need of a refresh. The current page for C.W.I.S is good as it is for now. The old asset pages were muddled or lacking information such as the documentation which is currently a mix of hosted locally on this site or on Notion. The new layout has the notions pages on the site. I did hope to embed the pages so I didn’t need to do too much work, but sadly notion doesn’t let you do that & the solutions online were paid only which was a bummer. Instead I resorted to an export of the Notion page which seems to do the trick as the file size for a page was only a few MB.

Initial Design

The Result

New Content

Just this morning I added a new page to the site, but there isn’t any direct link to it yet. This page is the Unity coding style page, to be followed in all projects in 2-23 and beyond. The idea is to keep the style consistent in all my code assets for both myself and any other contributors who wish to add features to them.

You can see this page here if you want a peek: https://carter.games/unity-c-style-guide/

I am also planning to post more on the site with updates on projects as I go as well as some guides & tips to help y’all out. The idea is to make a post atleast once a month, but hopefully twice if not more. We’ll see how it goes.

Closing Notes

With the website now done, I can focus on some other tasks. I have the year in review to prep which is coming up in just over a week & I still have C.W.I.S to finish off. I can say that a good amount of progress has been made there, leaving mostly polish bits and a few gameplay bugs to fix. Most of the gameplay bugs are to do with missiles missing their targets, so quite bad xD.

C.W.I.S Devlog #7 | State of the game

So it’s been a little while since my last post and I’ve been meaning to make an update post for a few weeks now, so here it is. In my last post I went over some of the menu work and missile launcher improvements, since then I’ve been working out what is left to-do and trying to work out what I’d need to change in order to get build out, a thing that has been a goal for quite a few month’s at this point. Sadly, life has meant I’ve been rather busy in the evenings and weekends so I’ve struggled to get the time to work on the project, at least as much as I would’ve liked. Due to how near we are to 2023 and the fact that I have lost the motivation for this project that I once had, I’ll be moving on next year to new things once the first public build is done. I am committing to atleast release the arcade game mode that I planned to and to fixing any bugs that get reported for this project, but I don’t plan to continue it onwards unless it suddenly kicks off.

Some of the last three months I have been working on some of the assets, updating audio manager to 2.6.0 and releasing a much needed update to multi scene in the 0.2.1/2 updates. This took up a fair chunk of the time I would’ve had for C.W.I.S. But I have got some significant stuff done since the last update so here are the main changes:

Game settings system

One of the systems I wanted to get right from the grt go was the settings, as I wanted to be able to use it inother projects inthe future with, little to no changes needed. Atleast that was the plan, it took a bit longer than I planned as all things seem to with setting the resolution & full screen state. I did manage to figure out the resolution problem eventually but the full screen mode still proves to be an issue as of writing, I have left this bug for now to focus on the more pressing gameplay bits that I need to get working soon.

A view of the game settings screen for the video settings in the game so far.

Game save system

The old system I was using was the same slightly modified setup I used in Project Tilly. This in turn being a modified version of the public save manager asset. While this will work just fine it is really hard to debug issues with it. The new setup takes a totally new and modular approach, giving me an inspector view of the save state when needed as well as the option to add or remove values without having to reset the entire save. It works by saving the data in objects instead of the actual type & loading & saving the state from scriptable objects instead of data in code. This will likely become the framework for the next version of the save manager next year once I work out the kinks a little more, but for C.W.I.S it’ll work just fine.

The game settings in the new save setup.

Upgrades layout

The upgrades layout has changed a lot over the lifetime of the project. The new view aims to minimise the on screen space it takes up and make the systema little easier to follow. The new setup has a panel like layout with some of the upgrade types mixed together to lock some upgrades behind others of a different type. All the upgrades do now have icons that somewhat match their purpose as well. This ui is final at this point minus the weird bug when purchasing upgrades that causes the system to reset the display of purchased upgrades to appear not purchased and some of the upgrade implementations not quite working as intended. All of which will be addressed in the coming weeks.

New mechanic (system damage)

A recent development has been the turret damage mechanic. The idea being that turrets that are in sections that get hit by a missile have a change of damaging a nearby system, temporarily knocking it out of action. Damaged turret will not function fully or at all in some cases but will self repair if not hit again. If hit while damaged there is a chance the system is totally destroyed. In the event that a system is destroyed the user can still select it but none of the options will function for the rest of the game. The outline of the system will change colour and there is a UI indicator to signal the change of state to the user.

The UI showing the radar being damaged & repaired.

Radar knockout and lookouts

A new system that works into this setup is the radar lookouts. As having the radar system go down completely would be a little unfair on the user, I’ve added a close range warning system that acts like lookouts on the ship. When a missile is close by there is now some additional UI that appears to give the user some warning when a missile is close to impact. This system will work when the radar is working or not to help with aiming the C.W.I.S when at close range.

Minor bits

Some other minor bits include:

  • Some backend changes to remove the multilayer code I had as it was adding complexity I didn’t need.
  • Some clean up of some of the code to make it easier to manage and work with.
  • Added an upgrade button to the comms array to allow the user to reduce the cooldown for supply drops.

Release date

As I’ve hinted to in this develog I am aiming to release the build before the end of the year. But understand that this may overrun in the Jan 2023. If I don’t manage to get something out by the end of Jan 2023 then I will be leaving it there as I have other projects that do need my attention that are live products. So that is the plan, but I will be pushing for the release as I would like to get a new build out if possible xD