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Monday, 19 December 2016

Simple Rock Formation

Didn't manage to get much done this weekend to be honest. I've very good reasons for that. First I got to deal with some sh**. That took way too long. Then some of the stuff I've been attempting didn't turn out quite as well as I hope. Guess they will never see the light of day, until I improve them of course. What I've been left with, are a set of very minecraft-ish square rocks. I decided to play with them anyway to see how much I can do with them, with other stuff I've done in the past few week naturally. This is what I've end up with, an autumn version of the pine forest, and a volcano/lava-cavern thing?

Autumn Pine Forest
Volcanic Rock Formation

It's surprising that how much you can do with what is essentially a few slightly textured cubes. I especially like the rock formations in the autumn scene. And the autumn color theme looks really nice. Probably better than the originals. Shame I don't have any more time to layout the scene better. I think the placement of the rock is too random as it's now. But it will have to do for now.

So that's it for this week then. I'll carry carry on where I've stopped next weekend... or probably not? I'm contemplating about taking a few days off. We'll see.

Monday, 12 December 2016


It's that time of the week again. Without delay, my creation of this week are:

Shallow Water
The theme of the week is of course, water, as the title of this post suggested. It''s quite obvious why that is the case. Not much to say about the scenes really except that I'm quite happy with the way they turn out. I have my doubt about doing anything that involve water when I started making this kind of scene. Glad all those time spent looking for idea and researching pays off.

Anyway, with this weekly posting schedule, I'm starting to worry at the day when the my production-rate/learning-speed/creativiy-juice can't keep up with my next idea, if I haven't run out of idea. Beside, I could really use the time to really play some game. In fact, I'm desperately in need of that. Well, we'll see how it goes when the next weekend comes.

Sunday, 4 December 2016


Another weekend, and I've been exploring more about what I can do with these low-poly modeling scene creating thingy. I'm really really enjoying doing this. So much so that I'm start to look forward to weekend to work, not for the usual respite.

Anyway the highlight in this week, bloom! Specifically, the 'bloom' image effect. Well, I've never pay too much attention to image effect in the past. Partly because I don't really need them in all my past work, partly because I never put too much emphasis fancy graphics. But I thought I try to play with them a bit, in an attempt to make the my new crystal glow. And this is what I've got:

without glow
with glow (expand the image to really see the difference)
Satisfied with what I've got, I went on and test it on everything I've got. Now I'm convinced that almost everything can be made better with a little bloom effect. For instance:

definitely looks better than before in my opinion.
Anyway, apart from the crystal scene above (yes I made those crystals), I've also made this:

Honestly I'm not entirely sure what I was going for with this one. Something with sharp pointy rocks, in a alien environment? Hasn't turn out as well as I like but I still think it's a good try. Maybe I'll need to do more study about making a decent rock formation.

I'm not sure what I'm going for next. I like to try something that involve water but I don't really have any idea how to do that. Either way, that's it for this week. Looking forward for next.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

More Low-Poly Scenes

It has been a blast making the low-poly scene I posted last week. And I've throw myself at it again this weekend. These are what I have for show:

Pine Forest

The first scene is very much a remake of what I have last week, using the improved, remake asset. The rest are new obviously new. I've spent a great deal of time working out how to do the rock and cliff. The result speak for themselves! Or so I think. 

Anyway, it's been a tremendous fun working on this. I can barely contain myself with excitement looking at how things turn out. Can't wait for next weekend to see what else I can come up.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Low-Poly Scene

Took the day off to try my hand on something new, just for a change of pace. This is what I manage to come up with:

So yes it's my feeble attempt to create a low poly scene. I create all the asset myself and that took most of my day. Obviously there are still a lot of room for improvement. It's my first attempt after all. But consider the amount of time I've spent, I'm pretty pleased with the end result. Maybe a camp fire would have add a lot more to the scene. The best thing is, I tried adding my modular unit asset to the mixed and they fit in perfectly (imo anyway)!

At any rate, I look forward to spend more time on this and see what else I can come out with. Maybe this will become my weekend project.

Monday, 7 November 2016

MechCorp Update (7th November 2016)

I'm very surprise to find out that it's more than a year since the last MechCorp update. While I have occasionally took breaks to work on other stuff, I promise that I have not for one moment try to stop working on the project.

So what progress I have made since the last update? In a way, lots. But I have also taken a few steps back. The truth is I went back to the drawing board again, and done a bunch of redesign, for the n time. I have almost rebuild the whole game from sketch this time. But I believe all the changes has make the game a lot more better. 

First off, the battle system. I have ditched the directional attacking and replacing it with a shield system. Each unit now have hull and shield. Basically the shield must go before the hull can suffer damage. Naturally a unit can only be destroyed when the hull is depleted. Now each attack (based on ability or weapon) deal different damage to hull and shield. The strategy is to use the optimum attack to maximize the damage.

Another big change comes in the form of crew system. I have ditched the clunky pilot system. The new system is more intuitive and offers more strategic option. Without giving too much away it's a bit like a card system where you can put the card in different slot to gain different bonus.

Finally, the the starmap. It's now a free-roam mode with fog-of-war. Meaning the player is free to travel to anytime anywhere on the starmap. To make things more alive, I have throw in moving AI party that goes about on their business. It's still a wip this. The goal is to allow exploration, which can leads to finding treasure, or surprise attack by hostile AI party. These also allow more dynamic quest event that require more player interaction.

To sum it up, Each system is more closely integrated with each other. It certainly feel like a much better design game.

Sadly I don't have any interesting screen-shot to go with this post except the two (never shown before) mechs on top of this post. Well, guess I'll just post the ninth thousand iteration of the mech configuration screen.

Note to self: get someone to draw me some pretty artwork that I can post.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Ancient Frontier

So this is a project that I've had the privilege of working on, and hopefully still be working on it until the release, Ancient Frontier. Taken straight from the official description, "Ancient Frontier is a cinematic turn-based strategy PC game with RPG elements set in the far future. You command the fleet with combat inspired by games like XCOM, Master of Orion or Age of Wonders. Players will explore, conquer, pillage, or liberate the frontiers of space. Take control of massive fleets of capital ships and support craft as you play through multiple campaigns."

It's not my project obviously. I'm just working on it on a free-lance basis, coding and giving some input to the design. Anyway that's beside the point, I'm making this post to let you know that the studio has just started a kick-starter campaign for the project. Please check it out and pledge some support if you like what you see. 

Thanks for reading!

Monday, 31 October 2016

Element TD free is out!

I didn't notice that it's been 4 months since I last posted something. So if you have been reading these regularly, no I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. I've been working very hard on MechCorp but I will take about it in another post. For this post, as the title suggested, ElementTD free version is out! Apparently we have a video:

The free version is similar to the full version in term of content. But there are features that are locked behind pay wall. But you can still play the full game in it's standard mode anyway. I apologize in advance for the ads but I'm sure you understand the team has to monetize this, somehow.

Anyway following are the links, please download and rate! Your support is much appreciated!

Now more screenshots to get you intrigued.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Now released: Element TD!!

I never talk about this publicly but I've been working on this for quite some time. In case you don't know, Element Tower-Defense is one of the custom mod originated from Warcraft-III. It was very popular during the warcraft days and it still is, having being ported to Starcraft-II and Dota-II.

I've been contacted by the game creator some time ago to work on the mobile version on a collaboration basis. Obviously the game only existed as 3rd party mod for other game prior to this, so the prior team have very little experience making a full fledged stand alone game with other engine. And this is where I came in. For a long time I was the sole Unity developer/coder on the small team, which consists of two coder (one came in at a later stage of the project), an artists, two designers/testers. Since we can't use anything in previous version we have to build everything from scratch.

A glimpse of the towers

The development process is very challenging to say the least, we are trying to port a game that is originally designed to be played on medium/high-end pc to mobile device. To put things into perspective, the game has 30+ unique tower with unique abilities (some are beyond wacky and have crazy visual). Player could potentially build 50+ towers on the map. Not to mention the packs of fast moving creeps. It's a monumental task alone to make sure the game run smoothly on mobile device, let alone taking consideration of control scheme and UI. Which need to accommodate game usability and all its intricate mechanic. Needless to say, I've personally put a hell lot of effort into this, despite it being a part-time project.

Anyway, it's done. Personally, I think there are still some rough edges and certain lots of room to improve. The team do plan to keep working on this. Adding more polishes, more features and contents, etc. It will be interesting to see where will this takes us.

If you are interested, it's on google play store right now and coming to other platform soon. Feel free to give it a go -       :)

Edit: iOS version is out -

You might recognize this. It's the map layout from the original warcraft mod

This is a new map layout though

Friday, 6 May 2016

It's the 5th Annivesary!

There has been a negligence on this blog for the past few months I admit. Not for the first time too I think. I was too caught up with other stuff. I've been keeping myself busy since the January to do some major update to all my AssetStore packs. TDTK, TBTK and TDSTK has all becoming a massive framework to maintain in each of their own right. Then I've took a much needed break to binge on some games. Before I know it, April had come and gone. Some game just kill time like not one else business. I'm looking at you, dragon age inquisition.

Anyway, I was just reminded that today is the 5 years old birthday for this little blog of mine. It also means that it has been 5 years I've been trying working as independent game developer. Well I should clarify that there are 2 things that are not true in the previous sentence. First, technically I've been working, not just trying. Second, I'm not really an independent game developer, am I? Well not until I release my own game anyway. Software/toolkit (as comprehensive as they are) doesn't count, even all of them are game related.

Truth is, I'm been trying to concentrate on getting a game done. It's very hard. But not for the usual reason why making game is hard as many other source would have you believe. This is going to make me sound a bit like an a** but bear with me. I want a game that any core gamer look at and go, 'well that is something I would gladly play'. Not some casual mobile or web game. I want to make something that I myself would be enjoy playing. Something someone would happily sit down in front of a pc and spend some quality hours with it. 

For that reason, it's been very hard to actually come out with something that I myself would approve. It's not secret that I've been working on MechCorp. I have come up with countless iteration of build, and scrap the lot of them because they doesn't make it past my own play test. In a nutshell, it's very difficult to come out with a fun, balance design that full fill all the criteria I'm looking for. With that said, I've gone back to the drawing board with the general design of MechCorp and currently rebuild it again, for the N-th time. At least I have a good feeling about this one, more so than all the previous iteration. I like to think this is the culmination of all the previous effort so they are not in vain. I've given myself two months (that end of June) to bring it up to an early alpha state. Then hopefully this time next year, I would have a playable game on my hand. Finger cross...

Now I should say that I've been very lucky to been the position I've been. Not many people have the luxury to do what I'm trying to do, with the way I'm doing it. Not to undermine the work I've put into it but I've been very fortunate to have stumble on UnityAssetStore when I do. Along with some freelance work, they has given me the most of the funding I require to do what I do. If you are wondering, no they not making me millions. Just enough for me to live on moderate life style. On that note, I'm not rich by any mean and I make laughable amount of money compare to many. But I'm just glad to do things I enjoy so I'm quite content with that. After all, I'm my own boss, I'm free to work however I like, and I'll take that freedom over any high paid job.

I suppose this is the time where I reflect on my experience and spur out some advise for being an indie game-dev or some deep philosophical stuff about life and universe. Unfortunately I'm not going to do that, as much as I enjoy lecturing people on life and universe like the old man I'm. I have a game to work on and that's exactly what I'm going to do.

Until next time. (Probably months later at the rate I'm updating this blog)

Thursday, 24 March 2016

TopDownShooter-ToolKit v1.2

It's finally done, the so call progression system for TDS-TK that I've been talking about so long. It turns out better than I expect it to be and I'm really exited about it.

So basically we have the perk system that is more or less resemble the one in TDTK and TBTK. You can create perks item that do various thing. For now in TDS-TK, the options are modify player stats, modify weapon or ability stats/effect, or add new weapon and ability. There is an option to do custom effect but of course that would require additional scripting effort.

Apart from the perk system, there's the leveling system. It's pretty straight-forward. Player can gain experience from various source and level up once they accumulated enough experience point. As they level up, they gain various stat bonus.

Now the beauty is, the two leveling and perk systems can be used along side each other to do all sort of wonderful stuff. A very straight-forward implementation, level up would give the player perk currency which can then be spent on a skill tree (world of warcraft system). Or the perk can be used as attributes that player choose to invest point in upon level up (diablo system). Or a more passive system where certain perk would be unlocked automatically at specific level. All these setup are demonstrated in the demo scene. In theory, they are not mutually exclusive however the default UI can only support one of them at any given time. Anyway, these are how they look like:

On top of that, there's little addition here and there to support the new system like new trigger and new collectible, save system, etc. Pretty cool if I do say so myself. If you are wondering how is the leveling system is configured, here's a screen shot of the editors.

The new update has just been submitted to the AssetStore. There's a chance that it has gone live by the time you are reading this.  :)

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

New Update for TBTK and TDTK

Following my last week post on the new asset that I've made, and the fact that I've been putting it to good use in the latest update of TDTK, I've been working on doing the same for TBTK. Now I'm pleased to announce that the asset update on TBTK is done as well. With any luck, the new update is already up on AssetStore by the time you are reading this.

Unlike the update on TDTK, this update on TBTK actually contains more. First, if you are a long time user of TBTK, remember that it use to have collectible item before version 2.0. Well now it's back again. You can now procedurally generate (during both runtime and edit mode) or manually place collectible item on the grid. I recon it has a better application than the old system. Instead of just a simple effect that is applied on the unit, you can link a collectible item to ability which can do all sort of stuff. For instance, repair all friendly unit, damage all hostile within range. You can even have a wild card item that can trigger random abilities.

Along with the collectible system, I've also added some extra 3D model. It's not as fancy as the tank or turret. They are just a series of container/parts that are meant to replace the old freighter set. Like the old asset, they can be stacked. And they works pretty well for the most part with the new vehicles.

That's about all the major stuff I've been working on for the past few days. Hope you like what you see. Now this is done, I'm going to see what sort of progression system I can add to TDS-TK.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Pretty Pretty Things! (Tanks and Turret)

So I've teased about making a new turret and unit set in my last post. This is pretty much the follow up post. In short, it's done! Voila!


They looked gorgeous don't you think. Well, maybe it's just me but I'm extremely pleased with what I've come up with. Objectively, there can be no arguing that they are miles better than the current tank and turret set I'm using for TDTK and TBTK.

If you are wandering, they have a very low poly count and works well with Unity's dynamic batching for the most part. You can probably tell from the images that they are modular. Parts are interchangeable so you can create different units to a certain extent. The best thing is, the color are not texture dependent. You can change both the main and secondary color on the fly in Unity. You can even apply some wacky styling by applying a 'mask' texture, with result like the images below:

At this point you may think they are great and ask if there's any chance I will release them? Yes I would. Right from the start, I plan to include the set in TDTK and TBTK as a replacement to the old unit set. In fact, I've already updated TDTK to use the new unit. Hopefully it is live on AssetStore by the time you read this. I've yet to done the same to TBTK but it shouldn't be long until I do. Just need to take care of a few other updates before I commit the update.

Anyway, the set will be available as a stand alone package on AssetStore at some point (Depend on how long the review process take). I plan to add more stuff to the set yet. Feels like there are something missing, drone or transport container for instance.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

January and TBTK v2.1 update

Time flies. Feels like it was new year yesterday and now January is gone. Well I like to think the month is well spent. I've spent the month working on TBTK, giving it the same face lift I've done to TDTK.

The update (version2.1) has since gone live on AssetStore a few days ago. So basically the new update has got:
  • Major restructuring of most of the framework
  • New and improved UI
  • New Editors (more intuitive, undo/redo support, multi-instance editing, etc.) 
  • Added support for square grid diagonal neighbor
  • Added new ability: overwatch
It's a lot more work than TDTK. For a start the base game logic is more complicated. Took me quite a while to restructure and optimize it. But the end result has enabled me to add the new feature. I've been wanting to do that but the old code is just a little bit too complicated for more complexity. 

Then there's the UI. Unlike TDTK, I've reskin the it on top of remaking it with new code. I really enjoy making new aesthetic for the UI. And because I've done that, the UI in the demo (campaign mode) has to be redo too for consistency sake. 

All in all, I think it's worth the effort. Hopefully all you user (or potential user) will enjoy the effort I've put in.

Now that both TBTK and TDTK has been updated. The next thing I would like to do is update the art asset for both of them. The vehicles and turrets set I've been using have started to look a bit dated. And if I'm honest, they are not very well done and I recon I can do a better job this time round. So following image is a sneak peak of what's coming next. Keep in mind that it's very much a work in progress, not everything will make it to the final build.

Now while I'm here, I would like to announce that I will be away for two weeks starting on February. I'll be carry on working on this as soon as I'm back. Until then, please don't hold your breath.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Happy 2016! (and new TDTKv3.1 update)

It's a new year and boy I'm glad that I'm here.

Since the release of the new TDS-TK (TopDownShooter-ToolKit), I've been busy working on giving TDTK a overhaul. I know, my packages naming is getting a bit silly but whatever. At least they are adequately named. Back to the point, TDTK is now ready for another update to version3.1. I've made so much changes in the new update that I'm a bit tempted to version it as 3.5. But I will have to say very little of those change applies to gameplay and mechanic.

First, all the editors has been rewritten to improve its usability. Most noticeable would be the layout. I've put a lot of attention into making the editor more intuitive and explaining what each setting does. Then there's the detail like better integration between different editor windows and undo/redo, multi-instance editing for certain prefab and so on. Have to say, the most important of this all is that the code will be much easier to maintain and expand in the future.

The new UI
The next big change would be the new UI. The old UI is a bit clunky if I'm honest. It's done in the earlier days of unity GUI when I just started to getting the hang of it. Some of the code is even obsolete post Unity5.1. So the new UI, it's cleaner in term of code and better organized when it comes to arrangement in hierarchy. Not to mention it's marginally better looking (in my opinion). At any rate, any user who intend to modify it will have an easier time. Or at least it will serve as a better example for anyone who wants to make their own UI

Finally, lots of changes has been applied to the existing code base. Most of these are to simplify and optimize the code, or at least have it make more sense structure wise.

In a nutshell, I would say that all these have pretty much laid the ground work for TDTKv4.0. I cant tell you how much I have fight the urge to simply carry on, give everything a face lift and simply make it 4.0. But that would be a task for some other time.

So now that the update for  TDTK is done (It's now live on AssetStore). Moving on to TBTK.