"Through the Fire and Flames"
This week has been a little shorter than the previous ones because of a Swedish holiday, This week has been fruitful. This week has been frustrating. This week has been... complex.
I will start with the negative, because I'm a devoted fan of ending things on a positive note.
I mentioned in the last blog post that I would show the final part of the level that I was working on the this week. Well, that plan crashed and burned. My computer would continously crash when I was working on the level. Let's take a deep dive of what happened.
In our Unity project, there is a scene where all environment pieces are gathered. That way, us level designers can just copy the scene, rename it and then we have our own scene where we can quickly build a layout since all necessary pieces are already there. In theory, this was fantastic and it should have been just as fantastic in practice.
However, whenever I was working in the scene that I had created by copying the original scene, my computer would freeze and the only way out was to kill the power.
"Well, this is a bummer" , Filip thought to himself.
I feared that my scene had become corrupt, so I made a new scene (through the same procedure as before). I decided not to make a prefab of what I had created in the potentially corrupted scene, since I didn't want to risk bring over anything potentially harmful into the new scene. In other words, I started from scratch. It was a bit of a pain to start over, but I discussed it with the lead designer and got his approval.
The same thing happened again.
"Oh darn tootin'", Filip cursed internally.
In addition, I was far from the only one this happened to. Five other people in my group had crashes as well. Some of them because they were also using a scene that stemmed from the same scene that I had copied, but others had crashes for other reasons. However, one thing was in common. We were all computers that belonged to the school when the crashes occured. When someone was using their own computer while being in the same scene, no crash happened.
Sadly, I do not own a powerhouse of a computer, only a cheap laptop. If using the school computer hinders me from working, I will have no choice but to change hardware. Before I resort to that, I have another plan. I began said plan this Friday and it has actually worked so far!
The plan consisted of creating a completely naked scene with nothing in it. I would then add one prefab (I started with the largest floor tile) and place it in all of its designated locations. I would then create a copy of that scene and add another prefab. The reason why I had begun using this tedious work flow is because one programmer thought that at least one of the environment pieces was what caused the crashes (if used on a school computer).
By having different scenes that have gradually more and more environment pieces in them, I can use the process of elimination to find out which pieces do not cause the computer to crash and which piece potentially does.
This is what I spent the entire Friday doing and I have successfully created the entire level in that time, though it is a skeleton of what it used to look like since only consists of a few pieces for now.
Level design and and chaos has not been the only thing on the menu, though. I sat down with a few other designers and spent the majority of the week playtesting for real as well. The Player Character, the Orc Enemy as well as the Melee Goblin Enemy have now been tested and had their variables tweaked to feel suitable and satisfying! The Ranged Goblin also has its functions implemented, so we will look into that next week as well. There are still have a few pieces missing to make the combat feel fantastic, but it is only a matter of time. We're on the right track.
I would say that this week has been the most challenging one because of the problems that arose, but I'll be damned if I let that stop me. The song I chose for this blog post summerizes my current state of mind more so than any other song that I've posted so far.
Until next time; Stay safe and stay indoors!
Title song: DragonForce - Through the Fire and the Flames