Tea ‘n’ Cake


The Undead Apocalypse Approaches Ever Closer,

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Hi Everyone.

It’s Graham back this week and I’m just going to fill you in on what we’ve been up to. You might be able to work out from the above picture that we were recording some new card sounds, or you may have just been distracted by the Outrider… What do you mean “What’s the Outrider?”

It’s that big Starwars spaceship right there! It’s the YT 2400 that belonged to Dash Rendar! Hero of Shadows of….  Nevermind. I’ll go into super nerd overdrive about tabletop gaming another day.

This week we had a good clueless testing session. We grabbed some unsuspecting students and made them ‘volunteer’ for something they had no idea about. The point of this was to see how new players would approach the game and what areas they might get confused by given no other information than just plonking them down in front of a game.

We got a few good notes, and also a couple of great little ideas from the guys for things we hadn’t thought of. All in all though, they picked the game up really quickly and then proceeded to face off against one another in an insult fuelled post-apocalyptic death match… until right on the very last turn they managed to crash the game.

So Chantelle fixed it, and then the murder and mayhem resumed. Everyone had a lot of fun, and some of them even remained friends with each other afterwards.

We also took the game to the Animex Gamebridge event and were very happy with the number of people who sat down and played the game multiple times and for over half an hour. We also figured out a few more things we could do to polish the game just that little bit more before release and have spent the rest of the week, rearranging HUD elements, tweaking textures, and rewording instructions.

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On top of all that we’ve been making a conscious effort to let the world see what we have been doing. We’ve added a number of videos to our YouTube channel this week so go check them out, and we are continuously updating our Social media platforms.

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We’d of course, really appreciate it if you shared some of our stuff and help us let the world know about the stuff we are making. Give us a shout on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Let the world know that the undead apocalypse is coming, and that it is going to be a lot of fun to play with a few friends.

 

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Handling Scene Management In Unity

Hi, I’m Chantelle, the lead coder on Dead Exit (although my official title is Slaughter Coordination Engineer). Today I’m going to explain a little about how we manage scenes in Unity.

Dead Exit is set on an abandoned rooftop in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. So when we were building the game, we created a single environment prefab with the idea that for every scene within the game, the camera would focus on a different view of the environment. This idea went through many different iterations before I was happy with the system; one that was easy for everybody to use and loaded at a reasonable speed.

Our previous game, The Living Dungeon, used a system which switched to an individual scene for each area of the game, such as the frontend menu and game. This worked fine because we didn’t have any persistent objects (other than managers and the like) between the scenes. So we tried this method initially in Dead Exit; each scene had a copy of the environment prefab and all of the other relative managers to make it functional. This worked, but it wasn’t exactly easy to use. The environment was a prefab so it was totally fine modifying things in there, but when we wanted to change something like the lighting for example we had to try and copy across every variable/data file between each of the scenes using the environment prefab. It was generally just a really annoying and tedious system.

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So the next thing I tried was having a single scene which had everything we would require in it. It had the environment prefab, and then a bunch of prefabs which represented each scene; Engagement, Frontend, Game, etc. Each prefab was then activated/deactivated depending on which “scene” we wanted to go into. This was better because if we were never changing the scene, managers wouldn’t have any reason to complain and we didn’t have to redo data for lighting or cameras. But the loading times were really, *really* bad. Every single prefab we used in the game scene, and every other scene prefab existed straight away in a single scene, so obviously it would take time to load that main scene. It was even worse when we tested it on a console! We could have moved assets to the Resource folder to reduce loading times, but this would have presented problems on consoles in the future.

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Finally, after watching some Unity tutorials and live training sessions, I stumbled across and decided to modify the scenes so they were loaded in additively. Loading a scene additively means other scenes can be loaded on top of/into your current scene. So this time, I created a persistent scene which had the environment prefab, all of the managers and anything else which would be required globally, but none of the specific controllers for each area (like the Game controller). Then I again created scenes for each area, such as Frontend, Game, etc, but this time they just had the scene prefabs I created previously in them. These generally consisted of a UI prefab and a controller prefab. Now I would always have the persistent scene loaded and could load the relevant scene in additively.

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Previously I mentioned how we wanted the camera to focus on different parts of the environment depending on what area of the game we were in. To achieve this using the current setup I only need a single camera instance located inside the persistent scene. When another scene is loaded in, it sends an event to the camera which animates it to the requested position and rotation. This means we don’t have to have multiple cameras per scene and attempt to have them synced at the start and end of a scene change.

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I’m really pleased with how scene management is handled in Dead Exit now. From a developer perspective, it’s very easy to modify individual areas of the game without affecting or causing issues anywhere else.  And from a gameplay point of view, I feel it creates a seamless experience transitioning between the different areas of the game. For more information about loading scenes additively, this tutorial was the thing which formed the basis of our scene management system. I know this blog has been pretty abstract, but I hope if you’ve been thinking about how to manage your scenes it’s given you an idea about the different ways you can utilise Unity to create what you’re after. If you’d like me to follow up, or go into detail about the code behind the scene manager, you can tweet us @RadiationBurn or send us a message on Facebook.

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Reaching Out!

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Hi Everyone,

This post is the beginning of a change you see. Those people who have played our previous games know that we are happy to talk to them, help out, answer questions, and update our games based on their feedback. This is because we love making games. I’m not sure I can convey just how much we LOVE making games. I mean we REALLY LOVE IT!!! Don’t know if I used enough exclamation marks but you get the idea.

Annnnyway! What we have NOT been so good at in the past is just talking to the world. Letting you all know who we are, what we are doing, and hopefully entertaining you or helping you learn a little about the wonderful world of deving as we see it. That has to change. So we are reaching out to everyone who is interested in listening, and hopefully a few that are interested in talking.

To start off I’ll tell you about the current unusual game we’ve been working on. It’s an undead apocalypse base management card game called Dead Exit! OK, so that might sound a little weird, but we are making it is because it is super fun, and we want the world to enjoy it too! Like The Living Dungeon this was a game we designed and physically created years ago, and we’ve been playing it since. http://www.radiationburn.net/deadexit/Last year we started to make it into a video game and it’s taken us until now to really start talking about it.

Thankfully, we haven’t been talking about it because we have been busy making it, and it’s going great! You’ve already  helped us get through Greenlight! So thanks everyone who gave us the thumbs up. There is more that I’ll go into with an official announcement very soon so please check back next week for more updates. Between now and then we’ll all be fixing bugs, implementing new sounds, or testing, and horribly breaking the game in new and unexpected ways. We’ll even post videos of some of our more interesting (and occasionally short) testing sessions so that you can laugh at our failures as well as enjoying our successes.

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I missed our special guest star Josh in that little pic, but he deserves a post all to himself when I can give him a proper grilling. His time will come. Before that however you are likely going to receive a rather lovely blog post all about our scene management for dead Exit by lead coder Chantelle. It’ll be a little technical, and possibly contain a couple of Taylor Swift or Furby references but it’ll definitely be an interesting read.

If you want to be a part of our journey, or just want to have a nosey about what we are getting up to, please follow us on Twitter, where you’ll find progress, failure, and silliness on a daily basis. We are also  on Facebook, which is a good place to chat to us if you aren’t the tweeting type, and then there is Instagram, which we tend to keep a bit lighter and fluffier.

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The Krucer Parallax

RadiationBurn (that’s us!) is incredibly excited to announce another game in our line up of cool games we are making. The Krucer Parallax. You get to play as a whole squadron of space fighters, flying around in formation, looking all cool, and shooting stuff. If you can get past how awesome it is to dart around […]

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Happy Birthday RadiationBurn!!!!!!!!

Six years! That is quite a long time. So what did we accomplish in the last year then? Only the awesome fantasy adventure board game puzzler thingy known as The Living Dungeon! That came out on PC in late 2015, and on Xbox in early 2016. It’s really good too. Check out this guy’s 9/10 review. […]

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STARWARS: The Legend Of Biggs

A long time ago in a galaxy far far away (last bank holiday in Middlesbrough), there was an epic confrontation between the rebel alliance and the powerful imperial army. I was setting up a little skirmish force when Ben came over and told me I’d need another 200 points. We’d played X-wing miniatures plenty of […]

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Tea and, Cake or Death (All out of cake)

Whoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! The Living Dungeon is out now on Xbox and Steam. Go buy it! Seriously! Go buy it! We are all out of cake! I’ve heard that releasing a game is a huge moment for celebration, but that first line of this post is a lie. A filthy dirty lie. We just haven’t had the time to […]

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Tea, no. Cake, very much so.

It’s been an age since we did a tea and cake. Part of that is simply because most of us rarely drink tea and don’t often eat cake, but part of it is just that Fee has not been around to enforce the law. Recently, Thursdays have been more treats and coco. Not particularly British […]

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Living Dungeon looks a little like Return Fire today. What’s that about?

This has nothing to do with anything much other than I really liked Return fire on the PSOne. If you want a better explanation head over to the Dev Diary post at The Living Dungeon website. Else just be confused and play the little game.  

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Oh Yeah! We Changed office over a year ago.

Kinda forgot about all of that. I’d take a picture of the new office but I’m on the other side of the planet right now so I can’t. It’s quite nice, quite big, has some cool pictures on the walls, and has a meeting/gaming room. I’ll get a picture of it when I return to […]

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