A Programmer's Blog

Prototype: Cubemaze

Dec
19

Good Morning!

As I don’t know what else to write, I thought I will present some of my older prototypes I wanted to turn into a game eventually, but never found the motivation to do so.

Today I will present you Cubemaze, a prototype I created somewhere in 2014.

Cubemaze

The goal is to get out of a maze in a cube drawn with an orthographic camera. You move with your arrow keys, by hitting the spacebar you can rotate the cube and proceed to find your way out of the maze.

Here is the demo. Here is the source.

I think this has quite some potential, but I don’t like to create puzzle games by myself. I would be glad to see this beeing turned in a real game, so feel free to do with it whatever you like 🙂

NPBehave Tutorial 02: Simple Patrolling AI

Nov
23

I created a new tutorial for how to create a patrolling AI with NPBehave.

Tutorial: Automated Functional Testing in Blueprints in UE 4.14

Nov
17

I made a simple tutorial for creating an automated functional test within a blueprint in UE 4.14:

I made this as I couldn’t find any useful documentation for how to set this up. I hope that it helps someone.

NPBehave Tutorial 01: Getting Started

Nov
11

I created a first video for how to getting started with NPBehave (my Behaviour Tree library for Unity).

If there is interest, I will continue this series and dive deeper on what you can do with it and how to use it to create AIs.

The path how I became a game programmer

Nov
11

I haven’t been writing for the past 4 years. The reason is that I had really problems in motivating me to update the blog. I think it was primarly because of my career’s focus. This post is about the past 4 years of my life.

Last time I wrote I was still working for Memonews/Sentric on our big data project, with Hadoop, Ruby and such. Shortly after this, I eventually began to start working for their unbrella company, YMC. There I worked mostly on various mobile projects (Android & iOS, checkout my blogposts here). But focus shifted more and more towards web between 2014 and 2015. I developed mostly pretty small PHP websites with the Symfony Framework. During that time I realized that, while my most experience so far is indeed web development (I write PHP code since 2000), it wasn’t really not what I wanted to concentrate my future on.

That’s only part of the story, the other part is that since 2013 I already was a bit depressed at YMC, as there was just not so much sophisticated work and I felt pretty subchallenged. So I began with a new hobby, a hobby I tried often before, but never kept going. That hobby was game development. That’s how Moyo was born.
After working a couple of months on Moyo, I lowered my job at YMC to a 60-80% position to give my new hobby more time. I was very glad that YMC was so flexible and I am very thankful for that. 60-80% from a Switzerland salary is still enough to have a good life, especially if you live nearby the German border, where you can buy things cheaply. But having so much extra time helped me to develop my game development skills a lot.
I never went up to 100% at YMC again. I released Moyo in May 2014, as a free browser game and a (optional payed) desktop game with better graphics and gamepad support.

It was fun to create Moyo, but it took me over 1 year to build. Most of the time was spend working on the engine. I knew, in order to produce games more quickly, I have to learn one of the popular game engines. That’s why I began trying new engines like Godot and Unity. For the next year or so, I attended many online gamejams, which helped me to learn Unity a lot ( you can check out my projects here ). I think the coolest games I produced at that time were Alice in the Mushroom Hole, the VR title The Captain took your Ducky and probably Dragon Fightress or Ace of Traze.

Programming games is what I like more than any other work, so I started to think about how I could make my living out of it. I often thought it might be cool to quit my main job and just work on the stuff I like most, but I knew it’s gonna be hard. Very hard. Probably too hard. I am not good at Art, Sound Design and especially Marketing. And it were already hard times for indie developers, as there were just so many of them.
I checked out other options. My (now) wife and I wanted to leave Switzerland anyway to get back to Germany, that’s why I started to check out if there are probably some game companies nearby I could try. I found only one in Offenburg, which was around 150km away. It’s Black Forest Games and it’s where I eventually started working for 🙂
I earn a lot less than before, but it’s still enough to have a good living and I finally do what I enjoy most.

In the future I will write about game programming topics. Right now I work mostly with the Unreal and Unity engines. Especially for Unreal there isn’t enough information available in my opinion. Unreal has a lot of features with little documentation and it’s often hard to figure out how the stuff works. This was the main pusher why I decided to start blogging again. I want to write about these things that took me ages to get working and wished I had found more information for upfront.