End of week 1

End of the first week of the Build phase. It’s been a frustrating day but now when I take a moment to look back on what we’ve achieved things are looking fine.

We have pretty much finalised the look of the game, established an asset pipeline betwen Maya and Unity3D, and level 1 is looking reasonably complete. Looking forward to the first build.

Not everything went to plan. We still have not worked out how to achieve a toon shader look. Having trouble finding ANY iPhone titles with the aesthetic we want but haven’t given up just yet. Also, we’ve had some hiccups establishing a clean line of communications using our online project management and version tracking software. We’re using my old favourite trac for all documentation and issue ticketing but uncovered a defect (missing feature?) which have slowed us down (no alerts when an attachment is added to a ticket). Similarly I was hoping to utilise Subversion in parallel to evaluating Unity’s Asset Server but we hit several obstacles. The number of files in Unity projects makes checking out files slow going. We decided to simply check in Unity packages today to save time (relinquishing any real version control of the elements within the package). Also still no luck getting Asset Server tested. We needed to manually request an eval license for the Unity Asset Server client (not the best product name in the world)  something I overlooked in the process of installing the server and failing to get it working on Debian. Given the high quality of the documentation for other software components, I think Unity could improve the Asset Server instructions. The documentation is written to suggest that a Server menu option is available inside Unity3D without mentioning that this is conditional on having a client license. Not the most intuitive thing when you are used to a world of free software clients and paid-for servers. The inverse is true in this case, Unity charge US$499 per client and give away the server (built around PostgreSQL).

Nevertheless it is a small team and process hiccups aren’t so big a problem at this point. Communication is going well and the important thing is that work on building the game mechanic is underway and everyone seems to love the art. The unexpected early release of Unity 2.5 for Windows has also given us Unity on all team machines which is a bonus considering we are all new to the product. A promising start.

Now I have to go off and mark student essays! Enough procrastination..


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