Log 00

This was a log written to summarize development of Arms Race between 5/5/2021 and 5/19/2021.

This is also the first formal log. There weren't any before this, although development had been ongoing (on and off) for a few weeks. At time of writing, the basic stage had already been created. I set a soft deadline of August 2021 to have something for the stage play; ideally, a build that I can share, with a few scenes fully developed.

Two weeks of Stage Play! In that time, most of the work that was done was around logistics around the play, rather than actual play content. The goal was to get to a point that I could create a build and share it out, and have that build be able to play up to however much of the stage play was completed. So far...I'm not quite there yet.

Most of dev time these past two weeks was spent on learning how to create menus, and creating an options menu to change audio and visual options. (None of which are tested -- because there are still no sounds in the stage play...). I made some mockups here:

The actual menus are also beginning to be implemented. The only totally operational and complete menu is the Options menu right now, which frankly doesn't quite help in the goal of 'share out a build'. The main menu, and thus the ability to start the play from the beginning, is next.

Also, I learned that styling Unity's UI system is a nightmare and a half, and wrote an entire library to help manage the options and the pause menu.

The other part of trying to create the main menu / transition from UI to stage play was to update the stage itself. Some of it was fairly straightforward, like actually centering the stage and doing some edits so that the stage dimensions worked better. Some of it was the blasted stage curtains. I spent so many hours on the curtains, and still don't have a solution yet.

I'm leaning now towards avoiding cloth dynamics for the curtains, and instead using simple mesh deformations to transform a flat plane into a premade curtain shape. Or something. It's unclear in my head right now. I did find a 3D model with some nice curtain geometry that's free, and that I can use for this, maybe. I'd have to take apart the model though, since I only need the curtains (and probably only the top fringe and uh...drop curtain? at that): https://sketchfab.com/3d-models/tf-ds-theater-9676e00b17b040cd8766942920551f11

New stage - now with a platform that extends beyond the curtain (which will fall over the arch thing). Will I use the platform for anything? who knows.

As for actual play content...I made a script that lets MACHINE pick up her gun (it looks dubious right now, the gun just jumps into her hand), but it's buggy and more importantly does not reset when you restart the play. So right now if you go through the scene once, she'll have the gun permanently glued to her hand when you play it again.

I also made the shader and script for the hologram panels that MACHINE sometimes conjures. There's no functionality yet to actually have them show up in the course of the play. That'll come later, when I finally get around to adding more play content.

(I used something similar to the shader from this tutorial: https://www.cyanilux.com/tutorials/hologram-shader-breakdown/)

Next Up

My priority is still on getting the logistics up and running, so the most important parts for that are to get the main menu running, and optionally scene selection (scene selection is likely to be sparse because I only have one scene right now).

Immediately, this means wiring up the scenes so they can be played and replayed without me manually doing so from Unity. Aesthetically, this means getting the blasted stage curtains working.

And after that, making sure that the scene can be played and replayed without issue.