Goodbye ADA

So as usual, we here at Trilum have been smashed by the real world and university commitments, and have totally left this blog to rot. A lot has happened in the last little while, and the team has done a lot of soul searching, bonding, and a lot of introspection. The biggest change has been that we have changed our core project.

ADA was a great learning experience, and we still love the idea and are proud as heck of what we achieved, but in terms of feasibility it didn’t make much sense to continue working on it. The project was a freakin beast, and during its creation we learnt so much… if we were to start again, there is so much we would do differently, and to make an honest attempt at finishing the game, we would have to do just that. There is also the fact that it would take us forever to finish, and as a small team really wanting to put something out into the world, it no longer made sense to continue pushing in that direction.

So we sat down and felt very sorry for ourselves, and asked ourselves what we had learnt. One of the main criticisms of ADA was that it simply didn’t ‘feel’ right. That the controls were too loose, and that the animations didn’t convey what we intended the player to ‘feel’. This will happen when you are:
A) Students
B) Trying to do something completely different
C) Your peers and mentors really can’t give you input.
Game feel is a big deal, and it’s not like we didn’t agree with any of the criticism, it’s just that ADA was a technical beast.

So during the last couple of weeks of the semester, I assigned our brilliant and handsome technical artist Wade to the task of researching humanoid animations within Unity using Mecanim. We had previously just kind of hacked and slashed at the issue, and the person doing most of the animation tree work was actually one of our programmers. So with Wade being our expert at rigging and weird animation issues, I thought his input and knowledge on this would help.

So ol Wade basically ignored what I asked him to do, which is common, and got a cool plug-in for Unity called PlayMaker, which is essentially a node based programming system ala Blueprints for Unreal, and put together a prototype third person player controller.

While doing this he worked out how to really get what we wanted out of Mecanim, and solve some issues that we have had for a while. Hopefully he will be so lovely as to do a post on that first iteration at some point.

His success with setting up a nice player controller and animation system really impacted our decision to move onto a new project, and what we wanted out of that next project. Ultimately we went back to a game design I had created in my first year of study, but did not have the know how to pull off. We extrapolated on that idea and started steam rolling ahead with prototyping and setting up systems to make the game.

So that’s a kind of general update on where the team is at, and why we have abandoned (for now) ADA and moved on. Ill talk about the new project called Optimise the Null in another blog post, but its something the whole team is really passionate and hyped to be working on.

As usual… its scope is pretty ridic, but… at least its not an entire fucking solar system. 😉


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