UModeler is Here to Bring Features You Need to Unity

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If you’re not already familiar with the process, importing, exporting, and designing your models in different programs can be a real pain. UModeler aims to take some of those issues away from you by allowing you to do your modelling right in Unity.  By skipping the middle man, whether you’re using Blender, or 3Ds Max, or what have you, you’ll save time, and keep your flow going.

You can design your characters, levels, and worlds all within the Unity Editor. I personally feel the more that I can keep myself within one program, the more that I am going to get done. If you already have a lot of experience using another 3D modelling software, this may not be an overall game changer. However, if you’re in the beginning stages of game developer, and you want to get to market quickly, UModeler just may be the perfect asset for you!

UModeler has been built with you in mind. There are tons of high quality assets that have been made with it. There are tutorials complete with narrations to help you master it’s intricacies, and a community that is ready to discuss the asset, or share in your joy at your finished products. It’s quite the package.

Is UModeler Better than Other 3D Editors?

It’s a good question, but a bit difficult to answer. If you’ve already mastered another product, then you’re just setting yourself up back behind the learning curve again. Perhaps that’s not ideal when you really want to get your game off the ground.

However, if you pick up programs quickly, and you just want the functionality for prototyping, then it may very well suit your needs. Further, if you have no prior 3D modelling experience, then UModeler may very well be the best place to start. You’ll learn all aspects of your game development flow right in Unity, potentially saving you hours of compatibility issues.

If you need to be able to model within Unity, or you haven’t yet learned a modelling program, then pick up UModeler, you won’t regret it! If you need any more help getting on the game dev path, check out our guides!

Where are the Shapes!

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Whether you’re building a neat little puzzle game, or an immersive 3D experience, the need for lines and Shapes in your project is going to come up. Perhaps it’s when you’re designing the UI. Perhaps you have 2D beasts spawning in your 3D world? Or perhaps the entire gameplay that you’ve planned can make use of the wonderful tool that is Shapes.

Whatever the case, Shapes does what you’ve most likely wished that Unity already did. It allows you to create shapes and vector graphics right in Unity. Whatever your need, Shapes is going to have you covered. 

Perhaps by combining this with some of the other pristine 3D assets on the Unity Asset Store, you might even get your game done far sooner than you’d have expected! The straightforward setup, and versatile library will come in and solve your primitive drawing needs in Unity.

The documentation built by the developer is quite elaborate, and certainly covers everything you’re going to need to get started. It’s well organized, and complete with examples and code snippets that make learning a breeze. Shapes is a Unity Asset that is a great way to expand your toolkit in a meaningful way!

What Can I Expect from Shapes?

Several of the commentators will quickly point out to you that the lack of Unity vector tools is a bit of a nuisance. Perhaps you took to Blender or another tool to get the job done, but the work around is clumsy and surely more of a nuisance than it was worth. With Shapes you can get everything done right in Unity and you’ll save yourself some time.

Go and check it out, you won’t regret it. Once you’ve done it, come on back and share some links to your projects below!  What are you waiting for?

 

Stealth Must Have: The Dialogue System for Unity

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When you consider buying assets from the Unity Asset Store, you might be stuck on buying complete engines, or perhaps that amazing looking dragon, or awesome landscape generators. These are all great ideas! However, if you want to truly tell a story that hits home, more often than not you’re going to need some human connection. You’re going to need to have characters that tell their own stories. You’re going to need the Dialogue System for Unity.

Coming up with the dialogue for your characters is often hard enough. Trying to balance the emotional with the comedic. Trying to be mysterious but not so much that your player’s can’t tell what’s going on. There’s a lot to consider. For Indie Developers such as ourselves often we can get bogged down in that and not even realize the massive task we have ahead. Designing and implementing the dialogue tree that we took forever to write. The Dialogue System for Unity was designed to take that off of our backs, and we need to thank them for it!

The asset comes with demo’s and tutorials to help you get your words into the game as quickly as possible, and there’s even a forum where you can exchange thoughts and ideas with the publisher and their community. 

You’ll be able to build large, dynamic, branching conversation trees! Make your cutscenes come to life and so much more. If it has to do with dialogue, then the Dialogue System for Unity is your go to!

How Are Others Using the Dialogue System for Unity?

Heavily, heavily, heavily…. okay, that’s enough heavily, but seriously the reviews are weighted in the incredibly positive direction. Games of all types use dialogue in one way or another and the Dialogue System for Unity was designed to step in and take that job on for your no matter what.

Simple to get started, and complex enough to suit your needs. You will not regret using this asset for your projects! Once you have it, if you need more inspiration, check out our latest (and old! Sorry!) #YGTInspiration post! A new one is coming soon!

Have you used the Dialogue System for Unity? How did it work for you?

What Game Dev Looks Like With the TopDown Engine

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Some people may get into game development with a lot less background in programming and building a project than they would like. For those people, using an established engine can mean the difference between realizing their dream and building an amazing game, and well… not. Using the TopDown Engine can give you the edge you need to actually make it to market.

If you’ve played with Unity a little bit, you know how absolutely versatile it is. That versatility comes at a cost however, and that cost is complexity. The TopDown Engine helps to remove some layers of that complexity by giving you a 2D and 3D engine that comes with player controllers, screen effects, an inventory engine, and so much more. 

You’ll have access to moving platforms, destructible objects, keys, doors, and bears. Wait… not bears… maybe bears? I don’t know this seems to have absolutely everything else. Honestly the TopDown Engine will give a new game developer what they need to see the project through, and to me that makes it an absolutely vital asset to the Unity community.

If you’re looking for some other vital assets, check out my 2D Vital Unity Assets list, and the 3D Vital Unity Assets list.  Both contain great suggestions to get you past the development blues and to the rush of actual launch!

How Well is the TopDown Engine Reviewed?


This is always an important question and I try to cover it as fairly as possible. The reviews on the Unity Asset Store are not even mixed, with the vast majority at 5-star. If you’ve been here a few times you’ll know by now that I like to cover the negatives first, and for the TopDown Engine there is certainly a negative.

TopDown Engine really isn’t meant to be used piece by piece. This engine was designed to replace a whole boatload of work that you will otherwise have to do. It’s amazing at it, but you may want to design some portions and due to the complexity you may have difficulty there. Of course, depending on your skill level, you may not.

Now, you may be wondering, that’s not really a negative is it? You’d be absolutely correct. Honestly, if you’re looking to build your first, tenth, or thousandth game, this is more than a great deal, it’s an amazing deal. The TopDown engine has been around for a while, so it’s definitely been through the ringer, and it has a feature list the size of some apartment buildings. Okay, not really, but just go read some of the reviews, you can’t go wrong.

Have you given TopDown a try? Let me know how it went below!

Feel – The Unity Asset That Brings Your Game To Life

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When Using Feel, Your Users Will Feel it All

Bringing a game to life, I mean really to life, is a momentous task. You’ve got to design it just right so that it meets the expectations of your players, and doesn’t surprise them in the wrong way. One of the things that players have come to expect is feedback, that is, their actions need to have an effect on the world. They need to Feel it!

On the Unity Asset Store, you can find an absolutely fantastic asset for just that purpose, Feel. Feel has been designed to be an absolutely irreplaceable part of your Unity toolkit.  The asset has been developed to include tons of tutorial and demo content to make sure that you quickly get the ropes. Further, with the ability to easily add feedbacks to your objects, and then tweak them endlessly you’ll be able to give your Unity game it’s own unique feel in no time at all.

Is It Really Worth It?

It’s always hard to tell from a quick video whether or not an asset is going to live up to the hype, but if you take some time to read what others are saying about Feel you’ll quickly be reassured. The only review currently not 5-Star on the Unity Asset store seems to be from a user that may be having version issues, and in either case the publisher reached out that same day to offer some assistance.

The remaining reviews, again all 5-star, paint Feel as an absolute essential. It will save you time building feedback and life into your product that will translate into longer play-time and hopefully just a little bit more of a return. 

Just think what you could do with that camera shake after you’ve made your own explosion sound effect!

Have you tried Feel? Let me know in the comments below!

 

The Best Worlds with Gaia Pro 2021

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Making a game is a monumentous task. Generally when you’re putting it together you have an idea as to what the final product is going to look like. If you’re building a hyper realistic world, you’ve signed yourself up for an immense amount of world building work. Every aspect of your world needs to be perfect to draw the player in and suspend their sense of reality. The slightest misstep and you’ve lost the illusion you’re building. Gaia Pro 2021 is the tool you need to make the absolute best realistic worlds for your games made with the Unity Framework.

To say that the price is step is an understatement when it comes to a indie developer. However, keep in mind you will have to pay you when you build that world, and if you can get it done in a minute fraction of the time you’ll end up getting to market sooner and with less effort on your part. Gaia Pro 2021 comes with all of the features you need to build an absolutely amazing world. 

  • A setup wizard that helps you get going fast on the platform of your choice;
  • Built to be modular, you only need to use what you need, and you can save your project from all kinds of bloat;
  • Modern grass rendering system;
  • Many terrains and biomes supported;
  • Mix and match different features to make your world exactly as you’ve dreamed! Skies, lighting, wind, and various sound effects;
  • Even a weather system!

As you can see Gaia Pro 2021 has everything you need to get a stunning, fantastically realistic world built in Unity in as little time as possible. On a per feature basis you’re getting an amazing deal.

What are others saying about Gaia Pro 2021?

Overwhelmingly positive reviews, as of writing there over 1300 user ratings and over 1100 of them are 5-star! Now, I know my audience and you don’t really care of the “This is amazing 5-star!” reviews so I took some time to really delve into the one through four star reviews.

In the one star reviews, there is some concern regarding an update that appears to have occurred around February. This has perhaps rendered some of the workflows being used, and even some tutorials less than helpful. Further complicating matters is that there appear to be some crashing issues, perhaps due to older machines but perhaps not. The developer has responded to each of these comments so it is good to know that the developer is at least trying to stand behind Gaia Pro 2021.

In the three and four star reviews, there is some talk of errors that show up when first creating a new project. It seems that the developer of Gaia Pro 2021 has indicated that they are working to resolve these issues, and it is possible given how many different Unity Versions there are that this is due to that. Multiple comments make note that these issues can be bypassed, and it doesn’t really reduce the usefulness of Gaia Pro 2021.

The four star reviews, as expect, contain a lot of comments that indicate that it is a huge asset that takes a long time to load. Given the complexity of the tool I think that this should be forgiven. Also worth noting from these reviews that migrating to a newer version of Unity should be done carefully, and make sure that you read all of the developers documentation on doing such.

 

Overall, taking note of the reviews, and the features listed, I think you’re getting a good deal with this asset. It may have some growing pains as you get used to using Gaia Pro 2021, but that can be said of any large asset. Have you tried Gaia Pro 2021? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Wondering what is the biggest game development mistake you might be making? Read this now!

One plus one equals three. Game Development Mistakes.

What is the Biggest Game Development Mistake?

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This may surprise you, but one simple mistake in your creative process can cause you to spend months longer making your game than you really should. The worst part is that this is a process that literally can be done in one afternoon. That Game Development Mistake? Coming up with a plan for your game. Before you even write one line of code. Before you add a single prefab or node tree, consider planning out the following:

  • Is your game 2D or 3D?
  • Will you be doing levels, open-world? How many locations?
  • What kinds of NPC’s will there be? How many?
  • Do you have swappable gear? If so how many varieties?
  • How does the gameplay work?
  • How does game progression work?
  • What are the objectives in your game? If it’s a puzzle game how is it structured, if it’s a questing game how do you accomplish the quests?
  • Are there any special mechanics in your game?
  • Is there anything special about the physics in your game?
  • How will you be doing inventory management?
  • How will the player interact with the world?
  • What art assets will you need to have? Which ones do you have already, which ones must you create/buy?

That’s about it. That’s not a huge time investment to answer these questions for yourself but it will allow you to be in a much better position for a variety of the game development challenges you’re about to face.

Feature Creep in Game Development

Perhaps the greatest bane to a game developer is feature creep. This happens when you’re making your game, and you think to yourself, “This one feature would be amazing!” and then you add it. Again and again. Several months go by and then you realize, I made a critical game development mistake and I am never going to be able to release this game.

If you had had a planning document such as the one described here, perhaps you wouldn’t have run into this situation. There will still be times when you come up with an amazing idea mid-development cycle, but you have to go back to your planning guidelines and then make an honest decision with yourself, is it worth adding to the game at this stage? If it is, then work it into your plan, if it’s not, then add it to your list of ideas to try in future projects.

You can ALWAYS make more projects! Game Development isn’t going anywhere, one of the greatest gifts humanity has is it’s the ability to tell stories and Game Development has become an exceptional medium for it.

Advertising and Building A Following In Game Development

Go check out a few of the more successful Patreons for Independent Game Developers. Do you see anything in common?

They all have lists of features that they will give you in their games. They have a general idea of when things will happen, and they, for the most part, aren’t just whipping things together willy-nilly. This is important because it lays the groundwork for fans of independent game development to see real progress as they put their projects together. Seeing this progress is exciting to your fans and by not making this game development mistake you can help them to feel part of your development cycle, which should translate to more sales when your game hits the market.

By knowing the features ahead of time, you’re further able to plan when your game development cycle will end. Sure you may be off by a  couple of months – and this is why you should always add at least a couple of months – but you will be able to build excitement for your game by having a release date advertised. As that date draws near, you can pump it up on your YouTube channel or your Twitter, and if players are excited about the features and look of your game your wishlist will grow and grow!

Milestones and Motivation in Game Development

This is probably the biggest one. What is more motivating to your game development experience than checking off boxes on your gigantic project. Before you know it 3/4’s of your game tasks are done, and you’ve got plenty of time to fine-tune and finish off the rest. You can see real progress, rather than just the mass of scenes/node trees that comprise your game.

That real progress will build excitement not only in your fans but also in you. Your vision is quickly taking shape and will soon be ready to take the world by storm. It’s easy to make the game development mistake of not doing enough planning, but it seems this it’s almost necessary for the optimal game development experience.

You Can Do It!

So I’ve said my bit, and I wish you the best of luck on your current projects. Why don’t you share a few of them below!

If you haven’t started making Your Game Today, what’s holding you back? 

If you’re looking for an excellent book to get you started with Unity Game Development, check out Hands-On Unity 2020 Game Development on Amazon or wherever else you can find it. It’s a great highly-rated resource that can jump-start your game development journey!

Photo by George Becker from Pexels

What is the Best Way to Learn Game Development?

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Ah the age-old question. You’ve decided that you have an idea, but you don’t know the best way to learn game development. You have the will, but lack the tools to get the job done. Your desire is true but…

I’ve gotten carried away. Learning Game Development may just be a skill in and of itself. It takes many different forms depending on the platform you wish to work with. Designing a board game is significantly different from building an iOS game for example. For the purposes of this post though, I will be sticking to computer games and apps, as I lack any sort of experience with the board game design process.

The Best Way to Learn Game Development

Many professions share a similar saying. You learn by doing. This is as true for game design as it is for pole vaulting and car racing. You just have to do it.

That doesn’t mean close this window, and immediately boot up Unity and start your dream project. Actually, it’ll likely be a long while before you build your dream project if you’re just starting out. What it does mean though is that you need to make games. Depending on your fluency, and what platform you wish to use, you may have built your first game by the time you go to bed tonight. 

If you’re just starting out, you seriously need to consider using a Framework. The Unreal Engine is extremely popular and brings with it the kind of name recognition that you’d expect from a framework that powers many of today’s AAA games. The Unity Engine is an excellent engine as well, perhaps slightly less powerful but even more user-friendly. Lastly, for my recommendations today anyhow, if you’re not into using a framework that may end in you paying a royalty or fee, then you may consider using the Godot Engine for it’s open-source and free-to-use features!

No matter which engine you choose, the path ahead of you is difficult and you will encounter some stumbling blocks along the way.

What Goes Into Game Development

There are a few key aspects to games when you break them down. There is the visual aspect, the audio aspect, the gameplay aspect, and the story aspect. Obviously, it’s possible to have a game that lacks a story, or a story that lacks any kind of gameplay, but in general, these are the basic parts of the game you’re going to build.

For the visual aspect, you will need to design or acquire assets that you can use to display your vision. These assets can be made in 2D or 3D so long as it fits your motif. If you have these skills that are fantastic, however, don’t be upset if you don’t. Many developers either spend years honing these skills, make do with what they have, or purchase assets from the Unity/Unreal asset stores or even hire freelancers to build assets for them.

Largely the same philosophy is going to apply to the audio portion of your game. You’re going to need to have sound effects unless you are intentionally designing a silent world. It can be something as simple as you recording yourself dropping a rock on your phone, or as intricate as a symphony built entirely in Garage Band or Audacity. It’s entirely up to you!

For the story portion, well, this is where you decide how your game will play out. When you decide you want to know the best way to learn game development it’s likely because you have a story to tell. You want to capture the end user’s attention. You don’t want them to turn your game on for five minutes and then be done. You’ve got to get them attached to your world. Try reading some good short stories, or playing other games and piece together how they are drawing you in. This will give you a great idea as to how to build your game’s story.

Lastly, the gameplay. You don’t want your user confused or having difficulty playing your game. You want it to be intuitive, and you want the end-user to have fun. Try and think about how other games have designed their controls and layouts and then modify that to suit your game.

All that to Say

You’ll need to program your game, or use a framework that allows you to avoid it. Sounds will need to be recorded/Acquired, and you’ll need to string it all together. You’ll likely get discouraged at times but keep going it will be worth it in the end!

Do you all have anything to add?

MicroSplat Ultimate Bundle

MicroSplat – The Ultimate Shader Bundle for Indie Games

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The MicroSplat Ultimate Bundle is bringing more to the table than your average asset. I mean, it better be at the price, but just take a look at what can help you within your game today. You can quickly turn your game into an interactive wonderland. Where your world reflects the sum of all of the actions taken thus far. It’s an impressive collection of different assets that will bring your game’s terrain to a completely new level.


By purchasing this bundle, you’re taking advantage of a massive discount on the collection as opposed to buying them individually. Just watching the video above, you’ll see all the different things you can do with these shaders.

The video itself opens with a dragon that drags its tail through the snow leaving a path in its wake. Followed quickly by a cart roaming through a desert town kicking up sand as it goes, and then a massive snowball that leaves a trail behind it as it rolls on its way.

Further, built into the package you have Digger integration to dig down into your environments! Create massive lava flows and show the wind gliding across your barren landscapes.

With tools that allow you to blend your shaders with the environment and absolutely great performance, this package of shaders for Unity will not let you down. You’ll be able to build expansive living worlds that don’t seem static to your player. It will help you build Your Game Today!

How has the Microsplat Ultimate Bundle of Shaders Been Received?

The bundle hasn’t been around long enough to accrue many reviews, as of writing it is sitting at 3. However, each of them is a 5 star! Further, the individual packages that comprise the Microsplat Ultimate Bundle have the following ratings:

I think the track record of the included packages above basically speaks for itself. The MicroSplat Ultimate Bundle is a gold mine for creating an amazing, breathtaking game that shows off your vision in the greatest ways.

In reading many of the comments on the various included packages, people are pretty supportive of the developer! There is plenty of praise going around and a common theme is that the products are kept up-to-date which is great when it comes to being an asset for a constantly evolving product like Unity.

 

I found a 4-star review on MicroSplat – Wind and Glitter, but they neglected to leave a comment so I have no idea what they felt could be improved. 

In the MicroSplat – Terrain Holes module there was also a single 4-star review. They have indicated that for making a tiny hole in your terrain it is probably best to use a different solution, however, they still point out that it is a useful add-on for water features and other bigger shapes!

Overall, the value of this package speaks for itself if you’re looking to build a larger majestic game. What are your thoughts?

#YGTInspiration

#YGTInspiration April 10, 2021

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I know I don’t get around to these as much as I’d like, but I’m making an attempt I swear! I’m currently thinking that I’m going to reduce the number of featured games to five, and then do them whenever I get the chance, no more limiting it to Saturdays! As such, here we go, the indie games and tricks that caught my eye the most this morning! Check it out if you need the inspiration to make Your Game T0day!


A Wooden Sculpture for the Ages

Now I can’t be positive, but it seems to me this is the silkiest wooden-looking sculpture ever, and I absolutely love it. The fluid movements coming from the low poly body give off a vibe that I actually really enjoy. The developer states that it’s just a test, so this may not be the end result, but I’m featuring it today so that  I can share this important fact about independent game development… AAA graphics don’t matter at all. The big studios have to do it because they think that’s what sells. Do yourself a favour though, look at the most popular independent games out there. The vast majority have great graphics, but they don’t go for hyper-realism. Work within your means, and make a great game!

 


Test, Test, Test…

This tweet from Bittor shows one of the greatest and most rewarding aspects of game development. The testing cycle. You’ll test every little tweak you make until the world that you’ve built comes to life. With tools like the Unity 3D Engine, Unreal Engine, and even Godot, you have everything you need to make your games feel like your own. Little tweaks and tests like this culminate in your vision becoming reality. Plus, as I said on Twitter, a super cool and rewarding explosion at the end!


Nom, Nom, Nom…

Apparently, I’m big on three-word subtitles today. Ah well, such is life. I do however want to share this awesome little clip. I love how the electricity, or energy, or whatever just envelops the little guy and then suddenly he has entered a different location. It’s smooth and clearly works well in the context. Plus, I just love the… I guess you could call them 3D pac-man type games. Very cool!

 


Harvesting Lumber Is a Chore!

Well of course it is, but it’s imperative to most city-building games out there that you have resources to build your cities. That being said, how you have to do it matters, and when it’s as smooth as what Against the Storm pulls off, well, it just doesn’t feel so bad. Very cool!


So Many Different Activities!

Well, in this case, it’s shelves and arcade cabinets, but look how the developer made use of scripting to enrich their world. Rather than having one cabinet and having to keep changing their selected prefab, they’ve gone and made it so that each copy is instantiated with it’s own features. This allows them to much more quickly build out their world. Super cool.


Well, that’s it for today! I’ll try not to take two months to do my next one. If you ever need help making Your Game Today, come and check back for more tips, tricks, tutorials, and inspiration!