WebGL Helicopter update

Ok, I know videos are only so good and you probably want to try the real thing – I get it!  It’s almost there!  I just have to clean up a few things to make it not so frustrating because flying the helicopter in and of itself will probably most frustrating 😉  If you ever played Battlefield 1942 with the Desert Combat mod and learned how to fly the helicopters there, this will be JUST like that.  I loved flying the helicopters in that game – and ever since then it’s just gone down hill.  They keep putting baby controls on the stupid things and it just ruins the cool factor IMO.  Yeah it was hard to fly, but once you got it, you owned just about anyone and everyone in the game.

Anyway, I originally mimic’d the physics and that worked ok, but then thought why not dive into a javascript physics engine and really get dirty.  So, I picked up Ammo (which is a straight API port of Bullet) and armed with very little in terms of documentation and examples was able to mimic the flight experience I’d created in Unity3D.  I’ll definitely be posting some examples and explanations of things I learned so sit tight for that – I’ll definitely attempt to de-mystify using Ammo as much as I can.

Goo Create IDE

If you saw the earlier post where I had an industrial area, you’ll notice that this time the scene is completely different.  I wanted to play with the different shaders and post processing affects and after playing with Goo I was inspired to recreate the scene I’d created there, here.  Goo definitely makes it a million times easier to achieve this look (another post for another time).  The floor is a mirror which has a nice subtle smoke / noise map and the only effect I applied was a vignette.  The performance so far is good at 60fps, but after adding the skyscrapers it’s starting to show signs of hitting the performance cap.

At this point, my overall impression of WebGL development is both inspiring and disappointing and somewhat cruel.  Documentation is probably my biggest gripe.  For Ammo, I had to go to Bullet’s API and docs and for examples, I just had to search the web for anyone who might have used Threejs with Ammo.  Thankfully, there was just enough to answer the basic questions, but it was tedious to say the VERY least.  Don’t get me started about browser issues and simple things like locking the mouse – I mean geez, really?? is that so much to ask a browser to do?  I have it working, but was astonished to find this wasn’t something supported up until recently and even then it’s only the main browsers (shocker, I thought I’d left all this crap back in the late 90’s? – why people are anti-plugin is beyond me, talk about wasted hours in QA?! oye!)

Ok, I’ll rant later and rave as well.  There’s good and bad of course, but the bottom line is, I at least enjoyed myself and the challenge has taken me back to the days when Papervision3D was just starting and we had no idea how to do many of the things we developed.  So that part is really very cool 😉

I promise – I’ll get the link up soon for you guys to try!

WebGL Helicopter Demo – Controls

It’s funny how things in life prompt you to change course or learn something new.  If you’d asked me a month ago about WebGL and if I’d be doing it, I would have surely said “no”.  But, after talking to 2 different agencies about contract work recently, I quickly realized that WebGL was catching fire to a certain extent.  Then, after talking to Carlos Ulloa about it, I realized I had a lot more experience with this type of 3D development than I realized.  After years of Papervision3D development, I found I was right at home with WebGL development.  It’s very similar to many of the techniques and limitations of Flash/3D development, with the nice twist of Javascript and browser incompatibilities thrown in… as if it wasn’t difficult enough to write 3D games/apps!

So naturally I dove in head first with a helicopter simulation 😉  I’ll be able to release this by the beginning of next week hopefully


Starting New!

PinkyIconWell, it’s time to start fresh on a few fronts!

First, I’m now looking for a new position in Unity3D with another shop.  My time with Infrared5 has finally concluded after 6+ wonderful years there!  So, if you know of any shops looking for Unity3D developers or have need of a contractor, please drop me an email!

Second, Save Pinky!  has received MANY updates and is in for review by Apple right now [update: it’s just been approved and is live in the app store now!]- I’m hoping it’ll go live by mid January at the latest.  But the downloads continue to astonish me!  We’re getting well over 150 a day most days and the GameCenter leader board count is well over 12,000!  What’s even more, there are TWO players who have posted scores over 1000!!!!  what?!  Incredible!!  My high score is 635, and I can’t imagine hanging on for another 800 holes!!  But I’m so glad people have enjoyed it like I have, and with the new ramps and balls, they should have even more fun with it.

Third, I updated my blog to a new more clean look and cleaned up some of the images/icons on the right menu for my iOS game titles, and I have made a commitment to start adding more content related to C#, Unity and Flash this coming 2014!

Enjoy the screenshots from my work in the past 6+ years with Infrared5!

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Apples n’ More Released!

Single Player mode

Single Player mode

Well it’s been 3yrs since I actually started this little project.  I started it when I bought my first iPad and have been tinkering with it ever since on and off.  I finally got some help with managing the final tasks and then UniSWF came out and really kicked everything in overdrive.  UniSWF rocks – for an old flash geek like me, I was able to create GUI and animations and implement them in Unity3D with complete ease.  I had the scoreboards redone and implemented may new animations  that would have been nearly impossible for me in Unity3D without the help of UniSWF.

So, now that it’s been released, I’m trying to get some exposure, so I’ve dropped the price to free for 5 days.  It’s a lot of fun for single player mode where you can challenge your friends on GameCenter as well as challenge your friends and family in 2 and 4 player modes.  Just make sure they trim their fingernails before you play with them 😉  It gets vicious!

If you like the game please leave a comment and rate the game if you would, we’d love to know how it’s being received and if there are any suggestions for updates and fixes,

Thanks every one!


GetRandomInDonut() – Random location in a donut area

[tweetmeme source=”neoRiley” only_single=false]The scenario is: you’ve got a player object, and you want to spawn enemy characters away from the player, but within a range.  Basically, within a donut area, right?

using UnityEngine;
using System.Collections;

public class Utils
    public static Vector3 GetRandomInDonut(float min, float max)
        float rot = Random.Range(1f, 360f);
        Vector3 direction = Quaternion.AngleAxis(rot, Vector3.up) * Vector3.forward;
        Ray ray = new Ray(Vector3.zero, direction);

        return ray.GetPoint( Random.Range(min, max) );

To use it, just call it with the minimum and maximum distance away you want your new position to be. Then add it to the transform of where your player’s spawn point is:

public void LoadCharacters()
    // add the transform's position since the returned position is from a location of Vector3.zero
    Vector3 pos = transform.position + GetRandomInDonut(20f, 50f);

Chance to win an iPad 3 from the folks at BrassMonkey!

Hey everyone, I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I do have some goodies coming up shortly for Unity development 😉

BrassMonkey is hold a contest for a new iPad3 for playing Tank vs Alien – for details, head on over to BrassMonkey!

Unity Flash Export – Now Available in Open Beta

[tweetmeme source=”neoRiley” only_single=false]Just released – the Open Beta developer preview of 3.5 which, as you may have anticipated, includes the Flash Exporter.  For those of you who have spent your Flash 3D lives without a decent editor, prepare to soil yourselves.  Come to the dark side and see where I’ve been living (and loving) for the past 3yrs!

Unity Open Beta

Jing Goodness

[tweetmeme source=”neoRiley” only_single=false]Well, I guess it’s true – it doesn’t mean as much to you until you pay for it, right?  I’d been getting awesome help from Techsmith with a Jing Pro acct for over 2 years now, and I’ve LOVED it.  I use it on a daily, if not hour basis 😉  It’s the best tool out there for quickly capturing and sending/storing/saving screen captures (does video capture as well).  I used to use snagit all the time, then when I moved to mac, I had to find something else and Jing came out shortly there after.

Now, after years of begging for freebies, I finally decided that it was well worth the $14.95 to pony up the cash this time.  I use it, I love it and it was time to say thank you to Techsmith, Brooks and Betsy for being so extremely cool and helpful.  If you haven’t tried it, you should definitely install it and give it a go – you’ll be hooked 😉  You can use Jing for free of course, but if you’re a heavy user like me, it’s the best money you’ll spend on a subscription this year.

Finally, a big MASSIVE thank you to Brooks Andrus and Betsy Weber for helping me out these last few years with a pro account – you guys were the best in Toronto at FITC (one of the best conferences ever!) and I look forward to seeing you again when Shawn lets me speak about Unity3D at FITC Conferences 🙂

Jing History

Copteropolis – Canyon Run

[tweetmeme source=”neoRiley” only_single=false]

It’s nearly ready!

Copteropolis (was StuntCopter): Coming Soon

[tweetmeme source=”neoRiley” only_single=false] I’ve been BUSY!  Between IR5 work and my kids sports, I’ve had very little extra time to work on projects.  However, a little while back, I got the urge to breakout Battlefield 1942 and install the Desert Combat Mod so I could fly the helicopters again!  If you played the game, then you know – it’s helicopter controls were the BEST EVER!!  It took me a month to figure out HOW to fly them because of the rudder controls with pitch/roll combined.  But once a friend of mind showed me, I OWNED EVERYONE.  Even the jets feared me.  I loved flying the helicopters in that game!

Well, I finally snapped and decided I was going to try and recreate the controls and feel and see how hard it was to create that sensation in Unity.  It was definitely a bit of a labor, but I had it dialed in in about a weeks time and it rocks \m/

So, of course, I decided to create a game – StuntCopter!


The Refinery Compound

The story line is that we have a helicopter academy and we’ve secured 2 abandoned locations, so far, for helicopter training: Copteropolis and The Old Refinery Compound.  As a pilot, you’ll have the ability to free fly around both locations and learn how to pilot the helicopters.  Take you’re time as you learn in the slow but sure Huey.  Taking off, landing and turning all sound very simple until you have to work with throttle and rudders along with pitch and roll at the same time!  As you become more comfortable and consistent, move up to T.C.’s chopper of choice -Hughes 500D.  It’s quick, is very touchy with the controls, but can take harder landings because of the height of it’s landing gear, and might be the perfect choice for those more detailed courses.  You’ll also have access to the more recent BO 1o5 helicopter – you may have seen it doing back flips on youtube!  This heli is FAST!  Not as nimble as the 500D, but if you’re looking for flat out speed, this is the copter of choice.

And don’t worry – I put in noob controls so you can fly it with 2 thumbs.  However, you’ll be limited to certain tracks and courses, so you just might want to man up from the beginning and fly with the true controls.

There are 3 competition types:

  1. Rescue:  In Copteropolis, you’ll be trained to locate accidents and air lift victims to the nearest hospital!  The closer you land to the middle of the landing circle, the sooner the victim is loaded and you can fly to the hospital.  How fast can you save everyone?
  2. Race:  In Copteropois and The Refinery Compound you’ll have to race through obstacles to beat your best times.  You’ll be ghost racing against yourself!
  3. Car Chase:  In Copteropolis, you’ll have 2 choices of difficulty for a car chase:  OJ’s bronco (easy), or the Ferrari (difficult).  The goal is to block intersections before the car gets to them to force them up on the freeway down to the either end. You have to master the controls to even think of attempting either vehicle chase!

The game functionality is nearly complete and I’m working on create more levels for ghost racing, but it’s nearly there!  I’ll post about it again once it hits the app store, but I’m also considering releasing it as a web game, so I’ll be posting details about that soon!

[UPDATE] – thanks to someone being more heads up than me, it was discovered that an iPad game called “StuntCopter” has just been released! I’m changing the name and for now, it’ll be “Copteropolis”.  Suggestions are welcome!

Until then check out the first demo video featuring footage from all 3 competition types: