Well first, updates were never very regular. But this time I just got burned out.
In what was supposed to be a great experience, I booked a trip to Atlanta for Toylanta, a toy collecting show that started as an alternative GI Joe Collectors’ Show, as an option for those who could not or would not attend the official GI Joe Collectors’ Club Convention.
I was lucky enough to attend two of those, one in Providence, because it was just down the road, and one in Dallas which I went through great pains to go to.
I loved both.
But since the Collectors’ Club shut down, I figured this would be a great opportunity to attend Joelanta (now Toylanta) and see a lot of people who have wanted me to go for many years. Friends I knew only online.
And I did meet many of my good friends there, and had a great time. And met many good new friends.
But the show kind of overwhelmed me.
It put me on the back foot. It drained me. It should not have drained me. It should have invigorated me. But it drained me instead.
From March to mid August I have done NOTHING in my 3D printing hobby.
Orders languished. Many parts printed, but I found no compulsion to clean them up and assemble them. So they sat. And sat.
In fact, in that time I turned to my video gaming interest and began work on a new game in Unity.
Let’s face it. I’m a game creator. Always have been, since before I got my Commodore 64 in 1984. Hell, when I worked at Radio Shack, I started writing a TRON Light Cycles game on a TRS 80 Model III. And I wrote a Star Wars-like space shootem in BASIC on a Color Computer Model II.
My current game started out as a rolling ball Q*Bert kind of idea that I have had for more than a decade, where you roll a ball around and color squares on a grid. Evil villains would get in the way, and some would try to undo your work, and some even worse – would try to kill you.
I was in the process of this game for some time. Working on it a little bit here, a little bit there, but with no real eager effort.
Then one day I tried to implement a jump feature, where you hit a controller button and the ball would jump off the board. This would serve to avoid board elements, such as short walls or gaps.
And in doing so, I put in an Update() loop to trigger an upward impulse on the ball if you held down a joystick button.
Stupid me didn’t realize there was already a function to add a single impulse to a RigidBody, and instead put this on an Update() loop. And so when I hit the Jump button, instead of jumping once, I began to hover. All the while being able to still move around.
I had invented Space Taxi! (A Commodore 64 game I loved from my early life.)
So I began to see a new game take form instantly in my mind.
Since March that’s mostly what I’ve worked on. I spent a lot of time creating a simple Taxi out of primitive shapes, and then began to work with RigidBody physics code to get the car to hover, turn, land on landing pads.
I created a city out of a single cube by scaling and populating them on the ground (on a floating cylinder world) and pretty soon I was flying around.
Then came goals, and achievements.
I soon had a pretty good-looking Taxi flying around with blue jet flames out of every attitude jet when I hovered, braked, turned, strafed. It was looking pretty good and played well.
I spent a lot of time then adding a way to make the buildings in the city take on clusters of height, so a center could be taller, outskirts, shorter, etc. And I put in 3 distinct buildings for variety.
Then I put in landing pads you had to make it to to pick up and drop off passengers. And repair/gas stations to fill up and repair damage taken from colliding with buildings.
Then I came up with the idea of achievements. After every level you got something new for the car.
Level 1: Radar so you don’t have to go searching for the next passenger pick-up point
Level 2: Radar indicator to point to the nearest repair/gas station
Level 3: Strafe control – makes landing much easier
Level 4: Turbo – jet across the city much faster
And more to come, such as larger gas tank, faster fill-ups, faster repair, auto-hover, etc. I can imagine MANY useful upgrades.
Then I put in a very rudimentary badly-implemented UI panel that simply told you what new upgrade you got. Eventually I hope to implement a choice system where you choose which upgrade you want out of a list of ones available at that level.
And the best part: It’s fun to play.
It uses an XBox 360 controller (USB) and is compiled from Unity.
At this point, I’m calling it Hüvver.
I even used my 3D printing skills to print a model of my primitive taxi cab.
I finally got my Anycubic Photon SLA printer fixed by putting in the third screen it’s had. I got it cleaned up, put together right, and began printing again. Not a lot of prints. I find the process arduous. But the result can be amazing.
The first few prints of my Space Taxi, however, didn’t turn out well. One did, though, which I painted yellow with rattle cans and have at my desk at work.
I may begin updating this page to show my work. Concepts, what the original game was to be, what the new game is now, and what it aims to be later.
And an executable you can play.
But since then I also