Articles by: Ben Pearson

Ben Pearson is the developer of Colonial Sea Trader, a Unity game that he is producing under the company name Old Ham Media, as well as the creator of http://www.whereisroadster.com/. Ben learned Unity development with much assistance with gamedev.tv. You can subscribe to updates at his Google Group, like him on Facebook, check his videos out on YouTube or watch him stream game development on Twitch. He has been a programmer since a young age, although only recently is learning programming with game engines. He has completed the the Complete Unity Developer Course and Pass the Unity Certification courses, and is working through the Complete Blender Developer Course, RPG Core Combat Creator, and Unity Game Physics courses. He is hoping to soon start Unreal Courses soon. Follow him on Twitter @KD7UIY.
Unity Scriptable Objects for shared state

Unity Scriptable Objects for shared state

Unity has a rarely used feature known as Scriptable Objects. These are essentially very light weight components, allowing one to edit them in the editor, set pre-defined states, and place them in components as required. Instead of inheriting from MonoBehavior, inherit from ScriptableObjects. ScriptableObjects do not have all of the same states that Monobehaviors do, they can be validated, but do not have the Update/Start/Etc methods required by MonoBehavior. Materials are actually Scriptable Objects, along with several other components in the Unity Architecture. One of the simplest uses of Scriptable Objects is that of a shared state. Let’s say that you have a score that many different objects need to know in the game. There are basically 3 ways that you can do that: use a static object or Singleton, use a single component that keeps the state, or use scriptable objects. Static Interfaces are not well supported in Unity. If one changes the code, Unity cannot hot swap the state. They can change the entire system, but it can sometimes be unclear what in the system can change things. The also suffer from a difficulty in testing individual components. For instance, what happens if you have a score board, […]

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Making a Unity Screen Saver

Making a Unity Screen Saver

For the last few months, I have been fascinated with Elon Musk’s Tesla Roadster that he launched in to space. I was fascinated so much I even created a website, http://www.whereisroadster.com, which tracks said roadster in it’s travels through space. I watched the video that SpaceX released showing video of the car traveling in Earth orbit for several hours. In that process, I decided that I wanted to make a simulation of what the Roadster would look like, and in the end I decided I wanted to make a screen saver that would show where the Tesla Roadster is in space at any one time, and show it to the user. In the end, I developed a simulation in Unity that looks something like this: This simulation captured my attention, but I wanted to figure out how to make it in to a screen saver. In the end I ended up releasing this to the Unity Asset Store, but I wanted to give you at least the basics of what is required. The first thing is that your application must be able to run completely on it’s own. This means no inputs, setting up the screen resolution, etc. Secondly, add […]

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Showing Off Your game At An Event – Student Post

Showing Off Your game At An Event – Student Post

I recently had an opportunity to showcase my game Colonial Sea Trader at the IGDA-DC District Arcade. I learned a lot from that, and want to pass on some tips to you to help you in similar events. The first question is, how can you find places to show off your game? There are a lot of opportunities out there, if you keep your eyes opened. I learned about the District Arcade from the IGDA-DC Meetup Page. Look for game developer, indie game developer, or other such meetups for your area. You can also check Facebook for related groups. Find one, find out the cost and submission requirements, ensure you can in fact support the event, and register! I suggest looking for something for your first showing that is at most a part of a day, between 2-5 hours is probably good, although it depends somewhat on the type of game you have. I was informed about a month before that I was in, and was going to be able to present my game. I was excited, but then I started thinking, I wasn’t ready. Colonial Sea Trader at that time could only be played for maybe a minute before […]

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Improved dialog after working with stream!

Live Streaming Game Development – Student Post

For a while now, I’ve considered streaming game development online. I have seen others do it, and I figured, why not give it a shot? I decided this week to take the plunge and finally do it, and I found it a rewarding experience. The first question is, should you stream your product? The answer is probably yes, although there are quite a few things you might not want to stream. One thing that I have long considered streaming is Ludum Dare, but there is more than just that which is worth streaming. Ludum Dare works well because you have to release the source code, but I decided to take a stab at it with the project I’ve been working on for close to two years, Colonial Sea Trader. I decided, what’s the worst that can happen? The next question that came to mind is, where should I stream? Bottom line, there were two options I decided, either YouTube or Twitch. I ended up going with Twitch, although I might try a YouTube approach at a future time. I created a twitch channel for Old Ham Media, my game company. I did a test broadcast using my second monitor as […]

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Paying it forward- Passing on free coupon codes

A number of us on the community form have been discussing a problem. Ben Tristem has an awesome looking Kickstarter for a new RPG course. Many of us want to help with that, but are either lifetime members, and thus will automatically get the course, or are already enrolled in his courses and want to do a bit more than the lowest level, but in essence would have a coupon code that would never be redeemed. The question then occurs, what do we do with that coupon code? The son of my cousin did the following in Minecraft, and I thought, hey, he would be a great person to give the Blender course to, and allow him to do something that has more real-world use, but I don’t know anyone personally that I would want to give the RPG course to. What then was I to do? I noticed that another user on the form had a similar desire, Rob Meade. Knowing there was someone else out there with the same desire, I set out to see if there was anyone else interested. It turns out that with the relatively limited exposure of the forum, we were able to come […]

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Ludum Dare- Making a Game in 48 Hours

Ludum Dare- Making a Game in 48 Hours

One of the interesting ideas in trying out a new game concept is known as a game jam. These have a fixed period of time, from a day to a month, to make a game. These games are usually pretty primitive, but try out some new concept. I recently entered a competition known as Ludum Dare, which is the largest and most well known game jam there is. I entered with my game, Jewel Defender, which I won’t talk much about here, but you can see my thoughts and process to making the game at my main blog. I have been studying Ludum Dare for a few years, seeing one of the more well known developers, Quill18, make a game, but haven’t actually entered myself, for a number of reasons. But I decided that this time I was going to try it out. Most game jams present a theme, and this one was “One Room”. I decided I was either going to do a prototype of a game I have had on my backburner list for a long time, or else prototype something that could be used for my Sea Trading game that I’ve mentioned frequently. I ultimately decided to […]

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