Game Programmer

By: James Keats | April 19, 2018

This is the home stretch!

Today we picked up our caps and gowns for graduation. I've officially signed a lease for an apartment near my new full-time position. The days are simply ticking down until not just Senior Production, but college as a whole is over. What a crazy journey it's been. If, during my first year orientation in August of 2014, you had asked me where I thought I would be at the end of April my senior year, there are so many things I would never have guessed. My time at Champlain has been a wild, incredible ride. It's hard to believe it's really almost over. Last night was my final performance at The Grind Open Mic, a venue I've attended almost every Wednesday night since starting school. Soon, I'll give my last tour of campu...

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By: James Keats | April 11, 2018

 

In some ways, I almost wish Capstone/Senior Production wasn't ending.

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By: James Keats | April 11, 2018

So.

There's been a lot happening over the last few weeks, and I've been too busy to update this blog like I'm supposed to. A lot of really awesome stuff has happened in my personal life (I just got a job offer, I've been spending time apartment hunting and setting up finances for post-graduation), and it's taken away from some of my class work. In terms of actual tasks, it's been full-steam-ahead for re[Mod], but things like my blog have fallen by the wayside.

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By: James Keats | March 30, 2018

We're getting into the final stretch now! Re[Mod] is almost feature complete.

Last week involved adding TWO new weapon parts! We're almost done with weapons; after this, there's only one more grip and then we're finished! This week included the riot shield, which was super simple to implement (essentially, it just adds a "damage zone" to the player when equipped that absorbs 90% of damage). The second was the Revenge Trap, a grip that drops a grenade when the player dies, doing a massive amount of damage to everyone around them. Both of these saw a ton of usage at QA, and are already crowd favorites!

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By: James Keats | March 23, 2018

A lot has changed over the last few weeks!

Unfortunately, due to a technology limitation, there won't be many screenshots or videos again this week. But I'll briefly discuss some things that have changed since the last blog post and some challenges along the way!

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By: James Keats | March 02, 2018

Hard to believe we're just about halfway there! It's easy to see that the game is starting to shape up. Here's what I did this past sprint:

Team Gameplay

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By: James Keats | February 23, 2018

I'm writing this week's blog post in a bit of a hurry, so unfortunately we won't have as many visuals as usual. Here's what I accomplished last week:

  • Implementing two new weapon parts: the "X-ray/tag" sight, and the "laser" mechanism

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By: James Keats | February 16, 2018

Could it really be blog post time again already?

HUD Overhaul

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By: James Keats | February 09, 2018

Another week, another re[Mod] technical update!

WeaponView Refactor

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By: James Keats | February 02, 2018

This week on re[Mod], we saw a lot of improved player feedback, some new features, and more refactoring of the network code!

Improved Feedback

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By: James Keats | January 28, 2018

Node-Based Narrative Dialog Tool - Unity

For this project, my plan is to create a node-based editor for building a complicated, branching narrative dialog in Unity. The long-term goal for this project is that it will be well-documented and extensible, allowing users to easily hook it up into their games and projects without major modification to their existing codebase. It will have support for localization and dynamic substring replacement, branching based on player choice and dialog system variables, and the ability to call arbitrary functions in the codebase as long as they have simple parameters.

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By: James Keats | January 26, 2018

This week saw some new progression in re[Mod], but it also saw me come down with the flu., so my contributions this past week haven't been quite as large as I would have hoped.

Redoing the Sniper Scope

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By: James Keats | January 19, 2018

I wasn't totally sure how to title this post. It's Week 1 of the second semester of re[Mod], and we're gearing up to take this project from its current pre-production state to something final and complete by the end of April.

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By: James Keats | December 15, 2017

The final project for Artificial Opponents is complete, and the final test/battle was... exciting, to say the least. My AI was relatively successful; it was not the best, nor the worst, although I ran into bugs during the test that never once appeared during any of my testing. We ran into other unexpected issues with almost everyone's final submission during the final test, as has often been the case in this class.

The Good (My Code)

Category: Artificial Opponents 

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By: James Keats | December 10, 2017

My portfolio post about re[Mod] is available to look over now, and discusses my primary roles for the project. Thanks again to Max Sanel, Charlie Carucci, and Tyler Bolster--the other members of the team--for making all of this possible.

The fall semester is coming to a close, and we're all completing our closing kits, tying up loose ends, and prepping to move forward into next semester. The good news is that re[Mod] was one of the projects selected by the faculty to move forward into full production in the spring semester. That was an incredible bit of validation for the entire team, and we're all excited to get started with our new team members. First, though, we all need to reflect on the successes and failures of the project, and the thi...

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By: James Keats | November 15, 2017

Weekly State of the Repo

This week was primarily spent fine-tuning documentation and getting in a few last minute features. I also spent a good chunk of time removing unused code and refactoring things to make potentially bringing on new people a much smoother process.

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By: James Keats | November 13, 2017

As previously mentioned, the next Artificial Opponents project is a four-player tank battle. The movement portion has already been completed, and so the next step is to plan the AI for things like combat and planning.

First, though, a look back at moment. In my last post, I wrote about my plans to use Context Behavior for the movement in this project. After getting a quick implementation in place (heavily based off of my previously iteration of it), I realized that it was not going to work as well as I had hoped for this project. While it worked perfectly fine in the initial sample level we were given, more complex levels left it confused and unable to move anywhere. This may be a limitation to my code and not Context Behaviors in general, b...

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By: James Keats | November 08, 2017

Weekly State of the Repo

The mid-year show and final presentations are coming up quick! It's hard to believe, but we're just under two weeks away from finding out if re[Mod] gets to go on to next semester!

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By: James Keats | November 02, 2017

The next Artificial Opponents project is going to be a tank battle. Unlike the previous two projects which were established games with known strategy and rules, the Tank Battle is going to be a real test of our ability to write a smart AI that can adapt to change. The design of the levels can change at any point, the health and damage values can change, and the points that different actions score you can change. The result is a complex game with many different variables and a lot of data for an AI to process.

The first step in this AI is going to be writing a movement system. The locomotion of the tanks is decided by differential drive kinematics. We are given two treads that we can control the speed of independently, by certain stepped quan...

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By: James Keats | November 01, 2017

Weekly State of the Repo

We're in Vertical Slice! We're not totally sure, but we think we may have been the first team in all the Capstone sections to reach this stage, although a few others have done so since Monday. It is, of course, not a competition--but it's still nice to feel a little ahead.

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