Articles by: Rick Davidson

Triggering World Animations In Unity Timeline To Tell Stories

Triggering World Animations In Unity Timeline To Tell Stories

How do AAA games make their worlds feel alive and interesting, even if all the player is doing is walking down the street? They consider their worlds as living entities, not just static backdrops. One way they do this is by using movement within their game world to tell a story.   Let’s look at a simple, specific example… Here is a game scene from our RPG that we’ve been developing. The player is progressing along their path, heading towards the next steps of the quest we’ve created for them. In our game, like most RPGs, we’re using combat as a primary system of challenge and interest… but of course we don’t want to have one, long, continuous combat sequence. In this instance, what are our options for communicating story to the player? Well, we can have the player bump into an NPC and deliver some dialogue. That is usually the most to-the-point way of getting story across. For example: Crazy Bill: Quick, the town is under attack, the villagers need help. Player: Rightio Bill, I’ll get right on that. Or we can pop up a dialogue box on the screen saying something to the effect of: “The town is […]

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What’s Your Procrastination Pattern And Why Do You Do It?

What’s Your Procrastination Pattern And Why Do You Do It?

Why do we sometimes procrastinate? You know, those times that we avoid getting things done. Why is it that at times we just cant ignore our distractions? The short-term excitement becomes more powerful than our long-term goals. In fact, why don’t we just go ahead and answer this question right now by seeing if there are any new episodes on Netflix… Oh, wait a minute, I didn’t mean to say that out loud. Ignore that last bit. Must.. stay… focused. Quick, we need a heading with some bold font… The Three Reasons That You Procrastinate Avoiding your work comes down to one (or all) of these three things: You don’t know WHAT to do. That is, you aren’t clear on your next task, you don’t have a To Do list, you haven’t mapped out your priorities. You don’t know HOW to do it. Some tasks are tough and you aren’t sure the best way to approach it, perhaps you’ve never done it before, perhaps you’ve done it previously but it hasn’t been very successful. You don’t WANT to do it. There’s nothing worst than sitting down to start work on something you hate, or something you “should” be doing but […]

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How To Come Up With New Game Design Ideas For Your Game

How To Come Up With New Game Design Ideas For Your Game

Want to be a better game designer? Want to create more interesting games? If so, then lets discuss the Single-Attribute-Exploration-And-Expansion Technique… or, worded slightly less crappily, “Edgecraft” (as coined by marketing guru Seth Godin). What is Edgecraft? Edgecraft is the process identifying one attribute or quality of a thing (eg. your game) and exaggerating that quality until it is something new / fresh / amazing / WTF-ish. The idea is to push beyond “sensible” and find something that really stands out. Let’s apply that to your game. First, lets consider Exhibit A, a screenshot from the Unity RPG Course that Ben Tristem and I have been working on.   The game has the core building blocks of most RPGs – a Player Character that you control, enemies, combat, User Interface, hit points, storyline, and so on. The magic of using Edgecraft is to take each aspect, one at a time, and ask yourself, “how could I make this different, or unusual, or crazy?”. You can do this systematically by picking one aspect, then brainstorming on that topic. For example, consider Exhibit B… Arrow #1 is pointing at the player. Let’s dig into the player a bit. Step 1 – Brainstorming attributes […]

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