Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Darner's Digest, vol. 1

Darner's Digest is a series of occasional posts about the game dialogue system Yarn.

As I've written before, there are a variety of different narrative system plugins to use with Unity. Fungus is a full visual scripting solution ideal for beginners, Ink is great for text heavy games with huge word counts (like 80 Days), and Yarn / Yarn Spinner is a lightweight extensible Twine-like dialogue system for games about occasionally talking to characters (like Night In The Woods).

I don't know what's going on in the Fungus community, and I loosely follow Ink -- they are running an upcoming Ink Jam to encourage new users, and the maintainer Inkle Studios is doing exciting dynamic narrative research in Inkle with their upcoming game Heaven's Vault.

However, I can definitely speak to more detail about what's happening with Yarn these days though, so here's my attempt to recap:

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Tips for working with VideoPlayer and VideoClips in Unity

Traditionally, game developers use Unity for real-time 2D and 3D games and shun any use of pre-rendered video, partly out of design dogma but also because the MovieTexture system was a nightmare. However, the recently overhauled VideoPlayer functionality means that *video* games are now much more doable. You can now feasibly make that Her Story clone you always dreamed of!

I'm currently making a video game that makes heavy use of video, chopped into many different video clips. It's been fun trying to figure out how to build basic video functionality like playlists and clean transitions between clips, except in Unity.

The thing they don't tell you about re-inventing wheels is that it's fun and exciting to re-invent the wheel, and it gives much more appreciation for the craft that goes into wheels. It was fun to think about how a live telecast cues up video footage on multiple monitors, and how a real-world broadcast works, and I learned a lot about why they do it like that.

Let's talk video in Unity.