GameDev Xmas Challenge – Day 1: Setup and prototyping!
A friend of mine made me aware of a post on the Unreal Engine 4 Developer Community Facebook group about a personal challenge blogged on nerd-time.com which I saw a great opportunity and motivation to get some side-projects done! Basically the challenge is this: Develop a game for 1 hour a day until the 24th. Simple as that. The challenge isn’t something hardcore and heavily organized with prizes and stuff but it is a great little motivation booster and I will try to develop accordingly 🙂 .
(Note that at the time of posting it is actually the 2nd, but just imagine this was written yesterday..Day 2 blog post will still be posted today.)
With that said, my project isn’t anything fancy with lots of graphical fidelity, deep and intriguing game mechanics or even an original concept. It’s basically a version of Tic Tac Toe that a friend and former classmate at the Uni introduced me to. Instead of your typical 3×3 squares you instead have 3x3x3x3 squares made of nine 3×3 boards. I believe it’s called Ultimate Tic Tac Toe and it has some special rules and what not and allows for much deeper dynamics to unfold!
The focus for this project is to learn to use Unreal Engine 4 more efficiently. I also haven’t touched on Paper2D too much which I would like to get familiar with. It is also going to be a mobile title as I want it on my tablet to play with others 😀 . If you want to participate then read the blog post on nerd-time to get the gist of it, then develop and share with #OneHourGamedev!
Progress and Goal
For each day until the 24th I plan to spend an hour a day developing this game, and for each day I will make a new blog post on what progress has been made. I also record my progress on video and plan to make a time-lapse for each day! At the end of the challenge I hope I have something fully playable with perhaps some fanciness such as custom player markers. It might even make it to the play store (after some extra post-challenge work).
Day 1: Project start, board and camera
Nothing extraordinary today, but I got a great start. I made the board, which consists of nine sections, which each consists of nine tiles. You can click the section to transition the camera into an overview of the particular section, and press the rudamentary button the HUD to go back to viewing all nine sections. I also hastily managed to make the tiles clickable and set their player marker before the hours was up.
Somewhere around half an hour in however I met with a short problem where a variable I used in a function didn’t get set properly. Turned out I accidentally made it local to only that function when it needed to be set and read between function calls. Major rookie mistake. During the confusion I ended up making a change the tiles to spawn on BeginPlay instead of in the construction script (or rather, both). It is still not a bad idea to do so as I’ve encountered problem with only spawning via construction script before, if the spawned components are needed in script. It appears that UE4 does not re-do stuff in the construction script upon play and that construction script stuff instead is baked into the scene, which can cause problems if you are trying to reference certain objects dependent on the construction script running.
Tomorrow I plan to get the turn-based functionality in, and if there is time to spare I might start on the logic for checking if a section or the board is solved.