freddie – 20

finally, the freddie game is finished, yippie! 🙂

this game was quite an experience. almost 8 weeks in the making, and what a wild ride it was 🙂

it had three incidents, that almost made me give up.
the first early on, with animating in blender and the copy-flip-x not working. here i got good support from my dear readers, that helped me over the crisis.
the second, a bug appearing in the first level a week before the intended release, that crashed the game and even my whole mac quite badly. i still don’t know why this was, but i gave up on tracking the bug down and rebuilt the first level. so, this issue was fixed.
the final issue appeared two days before intended release, where it became apparent to me that my monsters were not count correctly by the scripts, and thus the game played much different than it should have (i often had wondered a little, but thought it was the random choices i do at several places) …lol… this last one was a good one in the end, since it teached me what a “public static variable” in c# for unity really is. namely it holds its content even over loading new levels thus is a very global variable. now while i had always read that unity destroys all gameobjects on loading the new level, i assumed the variables were freshly initialized on a new level, as the gameobject that carried the script with that variable was destroyed, and thus a new fresh copy loaded in the next level. but despite their “carrying object” was destroyed, the content of the public static variables were not destroyed, and hence in the next script the monster counting did not start at zero, but at the number of monsters it had already counted in the previous levels… and, since i had also a “public static list” for the monsters, that had the same way of surviving on level load, all went crazy and it was quite hard to track down why everything works fine if i play a single level, no matter which one, but the monsters behave like they want and not like i have scripted them in the following levels… hehe, now i know what a “public static variable” in unity c# is 🙂

despite these three quite nerve wracking incidents, the game making was quite fun. i learned a lot on how to quickly sculpt, retopo, texture and animate game characters. i learned a lot on scripting. this game has many features, i could not program on my first game. the game comes in about the same size of around 200mb, but has much more graphic content and audio content. the graphic part took, amazingly, only about one third of the time of the game creation, the other two thirds i needed for scripting. the game is driven by a whopping number of 33 c# scripts, that got controled to play nicely together by 2 master scripts. the graphic has quite a number of huge textures, and a lot of animations. in some places, i would have liked to fine tune the animations more, but i ran out of time, and had to focus on getting it complete rather than perfect… but, i am happy with how it looks, in general. and, declare it finished. it runs smoothly, and does what it should do. there might still be some glitches in it, but i did not notice any on the many hours of testing everything.

so, i want to share this game with my dear readers. it is a mix of the 80’s game “frantic freddie” and “flip and flop” for the c64. so, it is a platformer, and additionally mixed with dexterity (hope this is the correct translation, but if not you will see in game what i mean).
the game is to be played with keyboard and mouse, where the keyboard input is used for moving freddie, look up the keys (a,w,s,d or arrows) on the start screen, and edit them if you don’t like my choices. the mouse input is used to turn freddie around. you can also set the sensitivity of the input, if your feeling for keyboard is different than mine. i have put the values that feel best for me. … all other things you need to know will be explained while the game is running 🙂 … oh, and my husband says it is on the more difficult side to play, so maybe you try easy setting first, or even “very easy” …;-)

i would appreciate to hear back constructive critique when you download and play it. such feedback would help me tremendously for desigining new games. so, any feedback would be great, and i would appreciate very much.

the game is free, but as with the previous one, it stays my copyright. you may share the original zip.files with friends, but you may not earn money with it and you may not use any graphic content for your own works without my permission … ok, enough talking, here are 3 versions, for mac, linux and pc. i hope the latter work too, as i could not test them, being on mac only. (in case they do not work, please let me know quickly, so that i can remove the download links, to save next people the download time and frustration if it not runs at all)

freddieIcon

freddie for mac
freddie for linux
freddie for pc
i wish you happy playing.

freddie – 17

today, i first fixed the weightpainting. this was harder than i thought it would be. in the end, the secret was to use the blur brush a lot, really a lot! … and then i tried to animate this enemy hopping… it was fun, and looks quite weird, but i think it fits his character. do you think so too?

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freddie – 15

weekend is sculpting time 🙂 so, i created enemy number four for the game… sculpted and textured in zbrush, then zremeshed and brought to blender. there i fixed some issues with the mesh given by zremesher. then i made uvs in blender, and back to zbrush, so that i could export all i needed, obj, texture, normal and ao map. back in blender i adapted the rig from enemy number 3 to fit this one, and altered the walkcycle to reflect more the character of this enemy. and finally i imported it to unity, in an empty scene, just to see how it would look… colors are slightly different, but i think with my game lightning it will look great…

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and, since i love arranging the uv tiles, did i mention that already?, here is the result. not much space unused 🙂

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i am very happy with this one, since the difference of the zbrush mesh, which had 2.7 mill polygons, and the mesh inside unity, which has only 8000 is hardly noticable 🙂

freddie – 13

today, i worked on more animations for freddie, here is an opengl render in blender of the idle animation:

freddie_19

it does not look as pretty as a render with cycles, but only took 2 seconds to render the whole animation:-)

i made also sidesteppings and jump animations, and imported all to unity. then i created the statemachine for the animator, it looks kind of neat, i think 🙂
oh, btw, i made three types of ladders, where the steps have different heights. and since i wanted that freddie properly climbs up each laddertype, with his feet on the steps as needed, i made 3 different animations for these climbing the ladders 🙂

freddie_20

all the arrows carry boolean statements, which i then used to script what freddie does when the user hits certain keys. now freddie can do everything i want him be able to do 🙂 (… or rather, i still do have a pretty advanced idea, but i do that only later, if i have still the urge to get it in, since it is not essential for the game, only a fun addition … )

freddie – 09

before i start this blogpost, i want to thank mustakettu and john for their big support on my game project 🙂 your recent comments really helped me to get over the frustration with blender that grew each day stronger and started to kill the joy for my game. but, today i have back the positive excitement for my game, i need so much for driving me to get through to the end. all my projects live from this inner drive, when it gets lost while working on a project, the project is lost. with this drive, and joy, i can endure a lot of difficulties and push through, but when it fades away from constant frustration of not understanding what is happening a project is on risk to die…. so, that you both jumped in with comments, really helped me, to find back this drive, so my big thank you to you both!

and now i want share what i did tody 🙂

first, i did finetune the walkcycle for freddie, as suggested by john. i changed the spine movement by a few degrees, it is subtle in result, but i really like it better. so, here is this, as i said, it is subtle:

freddie_16

and then i did a new animation. freddie needs to climb up and down ladders. this is the first animation i did, where i used the graph editor to finetune the animation. this was really fun 🙂 … here is how he does climbing up:

freddie_17

there is one extreme pose, where the volume of freddie is lost a little, but for the moment i leave it like that. since i believe i would have to correct this by shapekeys, and this is another feature of blender which i have never used so far. so, either it will stay like this, or i learn shapekeys when i am well in the game, and can tolerate a new round of frustration 😉 … anyway, i hope you enjoy these…

freddie – 08

me, and animating in blender… sigh, this is still not a love affair 😉 … blender still does the copy x-fliped pose wonkyness from time to time, even though all rolls of the bones are zero… the odd thing is, if i simply ignore the wonky pose, save the file and quit blender, then restart blender and reopen the file, the pose is correct!… now what a beautiful workflow is that???

the other thing i have trouble with, is the 1000’s of shortcut keys in blender, where you need press several keyes at once: for example, if i want switch from, say right view to left view, i need to press ctrl+ the numpad 3. well, i cannot reach with my right hand the numpad 3 and the (right) ctrl key on the keyboard, my hand is too small for that. so i do it pressing the ctrl key with left hand, and the numpad 3 with right hand… sigh, this means always an interruption in the workflow, as in my right hand is my tablet pen and so i need to put it into position right after pressing the keys… and this is just one example,,, another one, one often uses is for parenting, ctrl+p, well again, i have a hard time reaching both keys with the right hand alone, its just a tad too far… in zbrush, you never have to make such accrobatics with your hands, you either press single letters (and most of them are chosen on the left hand side of the keyboard, so you can press them quickly while sculpting along with your right hand), or when you need to press more than one key,these keys are in the shift, ctrl, alt or cmd , so you can hit them easily with your left hand, even two or three of them at once if necessary. i wish, blender would make the keyboard use more artist friendly… and yes, i know, one can assign all the 1000 keys as one wishes, and customize them. but fact is, such customization takes quite an annoying time and sometimes is lost with a blender update to a new version. i know from experience. so this is not really an option either… not for so many keys anyway, i still have a few set differenty…

enough complaining, but this is only my frustration, blender kept me from really making progress on my game now for 4 days. and, as i still not know what really causes the wonky copy x-flipped pose, and why it is working sometimes, i feel not too well in looking forward to my game progress…

anyway, after a lot of struggle, here is the walkcycle for mr bear enemy, i tried to make show his weight while he is walking…

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(sorry, i seem to have compressed the gif a little too much, will do better with the next one…)