I put off learning shader graph in favour of shaderlab and now I’m questioning why?! Over the last week or so I’ve been working on a new and improved toon shader. Why? Because there were some elemtns of game play I wanted to introduce that was not possible with an unlit shader (shaders that does not take light into effect).
Part of the reason I avoided creating a new shader for so long was because I didn’t know how to keep the clean toon effect with strong handdrawn elements without taking away from that feeling. But after the painstaking transition over to Unity’s URP (Universal Render Pipeline), I started playing around with Shader Graph and found that it was actually far easier to experiement with than the older shaderlab.
Now, combined with my new environment manager, I can easily control the time of day with a slip of a slider, which not only controls the color and brightness of the sun but also the direction. It’s so easy now to transition between the sun and moon, making for great spooky night time zombie smashing.
I also started experimenting with spotlights for use with potential things such as torches, down lights, and other environmental effects. I was able to create a gradient of brightness while maintaining the toon banding seen below.
So what do you think? I’m always keen to hear your feedback. Do you like it? Hate it? Join the discord and share your thoughts. There are no wrong answers.
In an effort to get a working Zombie Jack build in the hands of others, this week I improved the options screen and added some video options. I’ve added all common resolutions, and if I missed any I’ll just add them in later. But if you have any feedback regarding odd display sizes, feel free to mention it on the discord.
I am very excited and happy to announce that the Zombie Jack Steam store page is now live! You are now able to check it out and your wishlist. It fills me with tremendous joy to finally have a presence on Steam. Now comes the hard part – finishing the game.
I’ve been quiet as of late. But that is only because I don’t want to jinx the momentum I’ve created. Maintaining steady progress has always been difficult. I’ve tried many things including a video blog series, which I really enjoyed doing but cost lots of time and effort that would have been better spent on game development. I would like to revisit and restart my video blogs again in the future, but just for the moment I’ve put away my Trello boards and I’ve reverted to what worked for me. A single sticky note is all that I keep on my desktop that says nothing except the very next goal.
This method just works for me. It removes the fear and overwhelming feelings by making the next baby step clear and simple. I’m a very easily distracted person and I found putting all tasks in front of myself meant that I did a lot of work but got nothing done. All I care about is my next task and the ultimate goal of getting the game to a playable state for early access on steam.
This week I finished giving the AI the ability to break down fences when there are no paths to players, gave each character a hurt and death face, and created a GAME OVER screen, seen above.
I use git for my version control which also keeps a nice little diary of what I’ve done each week. So what I will do is update my blog more frequently with some of what these logs have recorded. 🙂 I hope everyone is doing well. This year was rough. 🤞 Here is to a better and more productive 2022.