…And out of nowhere… bubbles!

May 26, 2010

Last week I was in Romania for a short visit, and it so happened that when I ordered the tickets I was somewhere else. Because of my “spiritual” absence, I managed to order the worse possible tickets – 4.5 hours wait in Amsterdam. No time to get in the city properly but plenty of time to get bored.
While walking half-bored through the airport, I noticed some benches and next to one of them a power plug. So an idea struck – Let’s plug the laptop and have some Unity fun instead of letting boredom get the best of me. Now, I wanted to do something quick that will be finished before I board the plane, so why not bubbles.
You can see in the picture the result.

The “feature list” consists of: cube-mapped Fresnel reflections using Schlick’s approximation, chromatic aberation and vertex shader based wobbling.

You can download the Unity Package to play around with it at your own discretion.

Have fun.

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Fight your fears with infinite ammo

May 24, 2010

Yet another simple game that came through from nothing 🙂 I was trying to write a controller for a crawler, and once I had them all over the walls there was only one thing missing – a mini gun!

Enjoy!

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Rats racing super charged booster equiped sandals… how cool is that?!

November 21, 2009

So I guess you can figure it out yourselves how this whole idea started up… don’t really know how the sandals ended up on the table, but I know that one of my colleagues – Alexandra – placed the little plush mice inside them. From the angle i was standing it looked like they were racing, so .023 seconds later I thought Hey! Could you imagine a better way of accommodating yourself with Unity other than doing something crazy & fun? It could make a good FAFF project. So the next friday I started working on it.

I modeled the sandal and the boosters and I got the mouse & the room model from my friend Danielle.

The whole “project” took like 2-3 hours of work – without the modeling of course.
I don’t think I’ll continue working on it since I managed to remove some of the max scenes but that’s no problem. I already have lots of other ideas for crazy casual games that I’ll try out at some point.

An image speaks 1000 words they say… Wonder how many words to animated images speak… Without further ado, there you go:

W/S – forward / backward
Mouse – rotate
Space – jump.

This was moved to http://nervus.org/ratty/ratty.html

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Unite09 afterthoughts. A bit of “culture” shock? (… but in a good way…)

November 3, 2009

Just returned from Unite09 last night. For those of you who don’t know what it is, it is the Unity Developers Conference. It was a great week where everyone worked hard and had loads of fun.
We did provide some hands-on sessions at the end of the day so Unity’s customers can ask questions to Unity’s developers. I was into a couple of them but mostly as a passive member since I just started and I don’t have enough (any?) experience with the Unity engine. I could however answer some of the non-Unity related questions like graphics or generic game development.
What impressed me the most was the fact that by using Unity virtually anyone can do a great game as long as you have enough imagination. That’s pretty much all that’s required. The Unity engine takes all the pain away from the developers leaving them concentrating on the most important thing: the game!

As some of you might know or not, my background is a bit “closer” to the metal; I’ve been doing lots of rendering & console optimization work at my previous jobs.
I’m saying it is a bit of a culture shock because I was expecting that game developers require a very advanced level of technical knowledge and experience because that’s what I was surrounded by so far – everyone was hardcore ;). I was already suspecting that that’s not always great because everyone will then start thinking in the same constraints – be them hardware/software or time – and the actual game will end up being a tech-demo – great technology, but not so much game. This can also be noted by the boom of the casual games market for web, iphone, xbox live, wii, psn, etc.
To my pleasant surprise, all my “suspicions” were confirmed. I’ve seen tons of games developed with Unity at Unity Awards; all different but had one thing in common: Great Game Experience.

Please understand that I’m not just trying to slander the big AAA companies, it’s just an observation of mine. I *do* love playing big titles like Splinter Cell, Hitman, Uncharted, Tomb Raider, etc, but that’s not the point. The point is that I’m sure each of has had at some point an idea to make something as big and complex as a AAA game, it just never materialized because of the lack of resources to do it. I for one wrote different engines for different types of games along the years, but they all ended up being stopped because it would have taken too long. Maybe that’s just me because I was thinking about them at the standards I’ve seen in the big AAA productions which is quite difficult to do in one person’s spare time.

When I mention this contrast between casual games & AAA titles I’m not trying to imply that ones are smarter than others – each is smart in its own way and for it’s own needs. I do however think that the casual games dev. companies/individuals are the ones who see the true light – games are for having fun. All of us remember games since we were kids and most of them were not exceptionally good looking or even good looking, but they were exceptionally fun to play.

All in all, it’s been great and I had the chance to meet tons of uber-cool people, had lots of fun and lots of interesting conversations.
I’m looking forward to see what the future will bring. I’m always happy to learn new things so I’ll be ready!

Be curious & inquisitive!
/Mircea

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