Arriving in Damascus – Postmortem

Arriving in Damascus is an on-rails first-person hypertext interactive fiction (ORFPHIF), made as my One Game A Month, and produced to help battle-test “uTwine”, a Twine for Unity implementation I’ve been working on.

If you just want to play it, try here, or here. It’s short, and even shorter if you tap + a bunch of times.

Arriving in Damascus - the pines

I started out planning to make a Dear Esther parody, but as I went along, I discovered that (1) not surprisingly, it had already been done, and (2) I was finding it difficult to make light of the original, given the subject matter surrounding grief and loss. So, I went for some parallel universe ‘fanfic’ instead, and tried to capture some of the atmosphere, extending the story in another direction. Here are a bunch of things I learned along the way.

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How to use Unity NavMeshes with LoadLevelAdditive (aka “A Dirty NavMesh Hack”)

Unity Pro has a nice feature for baking and navigating via NavMeshes. In Unity Pro (4.x), a baked NavMesh is associated with a saved “Scene”. Most of the time, this is all well and good, but as others have discovered, sometimes this simplification / limitation poses a problem when you want to use LoadLevelAdditive or LoadLevelAdditiveAsync. The current NavMesh is always the one from the last scene that was loaded via LoadLevel or LoadLevelAsync. This poses a problem if you say, have a fast loading title screen (scene A) which then uses LoadLevelAdditiveAsync to load the main level (scene B) containing the guts of the game, including the baked NavMesh you want to use. The NavMesh in scene B won’t be loaded.

To solve this, I discovered a (hackish) workaround that involves associating a single baked NavMesh with two scenes, via editing the Scene file in text mode (TLDR; the NavMeshSettings section in .unity Scene files defines the NavMesh for that scene. It appears two scenes can point to the same NavMesh. Gentlemen, start your Vim’s & Emacsen !).

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Def visual tests

The last few weeks I’ve been working on a post-compo version of my tower defensish LD48 game “Def”. Apart from fixing the obvious balance and stalemate issues that pretty much everyone discovered in the ‘survival mode’ after the deadline (thanks for all the screenshots !), I’m adding a campaign mode with some story elements. It’s shaping up to be pretty awesome so far :)

Shooter range diffuse, below transparent grid.

Shooter range diffuse, below transparent grid.

Shooter range transparent, above diffuse grid.

Shooter range transparent, above diffuse grid.

Shooter range transparent, BELOW transparent grid.

Shooter range transparent, BELOW transparent grid.

 

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