The last one kinda came out of nowhere, didn’t it?
If you’ve been following along with CyberThreat for a while, you’ll know there are few websites that change quite as much as this one does! Checking out old snapshots of the site using the Wayback Machine is a trip, check it out if you want: https://web.archive.org/web/*/cyberthreatgame.com
With this iteration, I tried to simplify the website by making everything available on one page for the time being, not including articles. That’s right, this website layout too is just another stepping stone towards another iteration! In this post, I just wanted to layout some of the features I’ll be implementing, and some of the reasons for them. I know, not the most exciting blog post in the world, but if I can improve the site again I hope to give you even more reason to check it out every so often!
Important one to have, after a lot of spam started to get through to my email I had to shut down the previous contact form. It was strange though, these spammers were dedicated enough to fill out the captcha and all the required fields just to send some pretty obvious spam through. I was a little impressed honestly.
Anyway, a new and improved contact form is on the way, taking on a lot of feedback about the UX of the last one too (some people mentioned it wasn’t at all clear if the message had been sent, all will be addressed!). I’ll still require captchas and other required fields to minimize spam and any time wasters, but hope to still make it easier to get in touch overall.
One of my favourite website experiences of all time was way back during the lead up to Super Smash Bros. Brawl. I remember checking the website daily for new character announcements, and getting so excited when new information was released, and that’s exactly what I hope to achieve with CyberThreat’s character pages!
Each character will have an individual page with a short description in future, to be released periodically. No spoilers of course, everything described will be told to you towards the start of meeting the characters in the game. I can’t wait to be able to share more about my favourite characters in the world with you! Until then, there may be some artwork teases along the way…
Now who could that be…?
A proper way to view screens and videos without having to leave the page! Working on a nicer drop in window that’ll make it easier to see new screens and media as they come in.
More individual pages, more media to be shared, better layout of blog posts, etc. There’s a lot to be chipped away at, secondary to developing the game of course.
And that’s it for now! I wanted to write this piece since the last website update went by without me making much of a fuss of it. It’s fun to see the website grow as the game does, and as I do too as a developer and designer!
Also join the official Discord server! https://discord.gg/AkxtGNQ
Thanks as always for reading!
Just a few more pages I swear…
When it came to starting work on CyberThreat, one of the main things I neglected to take as seriously as I should have was the writing. To the average sane person, it should be priority #1 number one for a text heavy RPG, right? Especially one where the story is told in a visual novel format… Right?
I hate to admit it, but I was very arrogant about the game’s story at first. “It’s fine, I know the story in my head, I’ll write it as I go”, etc. I’m sure you can tell why this was a pretty bad idea to say the least. Throw 20+ individual side character stories in and you’ve got a stew going! Wait no… You know what I mean.
CyberThreat’s story is something special. I promise that’s not arrogance, I can feel it that there’s a special story to be told here, it just needs to be done justice. Writing can be such a daunting task, the fear that I won’t be able to communicate the story the way it deserves is crippling at times. Sometimes it’s easier to take the “easy” way out and just keep chipping away at other parts of the game.
To actually be able to approach the story at all, it needs to be done in manageable chunks. As soon as I started writing out broad summaries of what happens for each character, and for the story overall, writing became so much easier and more inviting since I could see in text exactly what I wanted to accomplish. It’s still a tough task at times, but one that’s just as important as any other aspect of the game.
So the main take away from this piece (rant? vent? I don’t know what it is anymore!) is to not make my mistakes, and to treat writing in your games and projects as importantly as any other part of it. Summarize the story you want to tell and then flesh it out.
The point I wanted to get across in this post is one of reassurance to the many people waiting for the story to actually come together. (Hello Voice Actors, Translators and Story editor, I swear good things will be coming to your inboxes soon!) The side stories are better than ever, and a lot of them are coming towards their final states at last. The main story will take a little longer, but again is in a better state than ever before.
Thanks as always for reading my writing about my… er… writing!
Development Update 5th August 2018
Sooner than you thought, huh?
After yesterday’s development update, I wanted to start strong with keeping you up to date with CyberThreat’s progress from now on. I also received some pretty great advice from a friend about some tips on marketing, so I’d better follow them! I might not be able to post every day, but I’ll do my best to share what I can when I can!
I’ll try to explain things as well as I can in an understandable way so anyone can get the gist of things, but I’ll be sure to mention the more technical aspects for other game devs and programmers to hopefully follow along with too. We indie developers have to help each other out after all, right?
One of my testing scenes. Ain’t it… uh… beautiful?
A character controller is pretty much what it says on the tin, a way of moving a character gameobject around a scene. Uniy provides a CharacterController component for use right out of the box, with an in-built collider we can modify to wrap around our character.
Up until recently, CyberThreat’s character controller was custom made, meaning it didn’t use this component at all. Instead, it used an array of rays (invisible lines extruding from the character) to detect collisions with other objects. This was an “okay at best” approach since the character would stop quite suddenly when colliding with another object. This lead to an uncomfortable gameplay experience when navigating tighter spaces (eg: Doorways, the horror!).
So why switch to using the CharacterController component? Well it’s much nicer to work with for one! It works really well with only a little additional code to get things working properly. Collisions are handled much better and allow the character to “slide” along collisions rather than stop abruptly. The main trick is getting the movements to work relative to the camera rotation. Once I figured it out, everything else fell into place!
The key snippet of code is this:
Vector3 temp = new Vector3(Input.GetAxis("Horizontal"), 0, Input.GetAxis("Vertical")); Vector3 moveDirection = temp * Time.deltaTime * moveSpeed; moveDirection = Camera.main.transform.TransformDirection (moveDirection); _controller.Move(moveDirection);
Where _controller is the CharacterController. More can be read and understood over on the official Unity Scripting API manual here: https://docs.unity3d.com/ScriptReference/CharacterController.Move.html
You can see that the move direction is modified to be relative to the main camera’s transform properties. Without this, movement is always in the same direction no matter what way the camera is facing.
Using this, I was able to get a much simpler, nicer character movement controller working. It was useful to have written my previous controller from scratch since I learned a lot about working with rays and collisions, but sometimes it really is better not to reinvent the wheel. And things can always be improved upon!
I hope that little bit of insight helps someone if they need it! It’s only a simple thing, but sometimes the simple things can catch you out.
Practice makes perfect, and I’ll hopefully get better at writing these in time, until then thanks for reading!
Anime Expo 2018 is nearly upon us, and while I wish I was there, at least CyberThreat is making a small appearance at one of the booth’s this year! As mentioned in a previous post, I’m very happy to say CyberThreat is sponsoring AnimeWorld.io’s stand at Anime Expo this year!
Photo taken by Andrew Taraba of AnimeWorld.
Be sure to visit them at Booth #4131 when the expo kicks off, and check out more of what they do here: http://animeworld.io/anime-expo-2018/
Also be sure to send me any pictures you take of CyberThreat’s Logo on any of AnimeWorld’s materials! This is CyberThreat’s first real public showing, and it’s fantastic to be displayed alongside big titles such as the YouTube smash hit Yandere Simulator.
Enjoy the expo!