Feeling a little bit like a Digital Ninja!

So! Despite all of the drama going on right now with all the Covid-19 business, I’ve been able to knock out some good work. I’m very happy to report that the final cutscene for Data Dream is done. I finished all the shots on Friday and after a little more editing, got it wrapped up and into the game on Saturday. For those of you paying attention, that means the game is pretty much done! I’ve got a “minimum viable product” on my hands now but would still like to add a bit of polish before calling it officially wrapped up.

Anywho! On Sunday, I decided to take a crack at something I’ve been somewhat hesitant to undertake. I made the decision to make a Linux build of Data Dream. (Brace yourself, there may be some technical jargon coming up here) So for this to happen, I would need to first make the Linux build with Unity, create a new depot on Steam to upload it to via Steampipe GUI, create a Virtual Machine (VM) with Hyper-V on my PC, install a Linux distro on the VM, install Steam on the Linux distro, and finally download and run the Linux build of Data Dream on the VM. That was the jist of the plan, but needless to say, there were a lot of moving parts that I’ve omitted. Perhaps you can understand why I had been reluctant to attempt such a feat. 

So I cracked a beer… I’d need my wits about me if I was to have any chance of surviving this ordeal.

Luckily my best good friend and roommate just so happens to be a Sys Admin at the local soap shop, so I wasn’t going it completely alone. I didn’t know much about VM’s but he verified my theory that I could get Linux running on one so I got to setting the VM up (My alternative had been to wipe a laptop and install the Linux distro on that. Something I didn’t want to do). 

From time to time, I was able to pry him away from his own battles (literally, Warzone (the game)…) and obtain the little nuggets of knowledge needed to climb whatever step it was that lay before me. After getting the VM up and running, I decided to go with the popular Linux distro, Ubuntu. Long story short, there were a few hiccups, but eventually I got Ubuntu installed and Steam installed on top of that. The last hurdle would be to get the new build of Data Dream up on Steam, and then back down onto the VM and see if it would run.

So I got that depot set up, I installed the game on the VM, and after hitting Play, I damn near had tears coming out of my eyes when I saw the splash screen of my game pop up. Was it running at less than a frame per second? Yes. Did I care? Not even remotely. It worked. My game was officially running on a VM using a Linux OS after successfully downloading a new Linux build from Steam. Eureka! 

Anyway, just another day on the rollercoaster. 

The ride’s not over quite yet, but we’re getting there. Thanks for checking in! Here’s a snip from the final cutscene:

Steam Store Page Now Up and Running!

Oooooweeeee!!! I had been putting this off for a while now mostly because I was afraid of the challenges it would present. I’ve heard that getting your game up on steam can be quite a chore, and indeed it was. But, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. Fortunately the Steam SDK now includes a GUI interface for uploading which made things substantially easier than editing mysterious text documents. But anyway! Without further ado, here is the Steam store page for Data Dream! Be sure to wishlist and follow 😀

 

502 Bad Gateway

As much as it doesn’t feel like it, I think I am making some decent progress. I’ve been working away on asset preparation for the 6th cut scene for a couple weeks now and have just begun piecing it all together inside the engine. So far it’s not quite as I imagined, but that doesn’t mean it looks bad. If anything, I’m actually pretty happy with how things are looking so far.

For those of you who are unaware, which should be just about everyone, this particular cut scene has to do with networking components; one of which being a router. Just about every router in every home is a little ordinary looking plastic box thing with some cables popping out of it. It’s responsible for routing data back and forth from devices on your network to the internet. It’s not very exciting to look at, and surprise surprise, the one I modeled for my scene was equally as boring. So I got to thinking… or rather, googling.

As I mentioned, the router serves as, and is often referred to as a ‘Gateway’. Of course I wasn’t looking for some lame wrought iron fence or something, I needed something epic. After some deep digging, I came across a very interesting piece of ancient architecture. It’s called The Arch of Septimius Severus in Leptis Magna. I don’t know about you, but to me there is something eerily powerful about it. I really can’t put my finger on what it was, but I was drawn to it and so decided to use it as the inspiration for my network gateway. Here, have a look:

Gateway.png

Hypoxic Blackout

Hey friend,

I’m officially burned out on media and life stuff for the the day so figured I’d make a little update for you since it’s been a while.

Things are moving along. All the levels are pretty much done (though I’m expecting some bug to rear its ugly head or for a tester to point out some issue that need fixing). And I’m making some good progress on the cinematics. So if things continue along at the current rate, it might be possible for me to have the game ready for… beta testing? in about 12 weeks.

It’s exciting, albeit, exhausting work. There’s just a lot of moving parts and sometimes its hard to know what’s missing if it doesn’t feel right. Nevertheless! I’m pretty happy with how they’re turning out so far. Anywho, here’s a screen shot from one of them. Thanks for stopping by!

Invitation.png

Late Into the Night

Welp! Here I am at 1AM writing to you, the reader (you ever elusive thing you!). There’s been some developments, both in and outside of the game. I’m not gonna go into too much detail on the outside stuff because it’s not really my business to share. But on the bright side, I’m killing it in the audio department!

For those of you who missed my last post, I had mentioned that I quickly discovered that there was no way in hell I could voice every character in my game (surprise), so I started recruiting all the trustworthy folks I know.

You wouldn’t think it, but voice acting is hard AF! You don’t think so until you’re in the hot seat and then WHAM! “Can we do another take?” x 5… So far, most of the volunteers (friends and fam), have given valiant efforts, for which, I am eternally grateful.

I did my last recording with my mom on Wednesday. She did great and that one will be very special to me.

So anyway, now that the in-game voices are done, I’ve been getting on to the soundtrack (music). It took a lot of deliberation because I know a couple very talented peeps, but in the interest of following the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid), I elected to just do the damn thing myself. Nothing personal guys, it’s just the path of least resistance (be like water my friend).

So anyway, the grind continues. See you one the flip side!