Whitepot Wednesday Blog – May 2020

Whitepot Wednesday Blog – May 2020

posted on May 6, 2020

Hello there.

Hard to believe it’s May already, seems like March lasted for millennia but April zooms past at the speed of light. We hope you are all keeping well and not crawling up the walls at home. We’re looking forward to the day we can all see each other face to face again.

This month we’re gonna be doing something a little different with our update. We thought it would be fun to give our Discord community members a voice in our blog for the month!

So May’s blog will feature three of the community member’s personal updates on what they are doing these days. Enjoy the read from Caolan, Simon, and Denver, and we shall be back in June with an update on both Malone Manor and Stargazing.

You too can join our Discord community at discord.gg/whitepot, and read more about our upcoming game night on May 10th further down the blog post.

Caolan

@caolanmckendry

Sup nerds. Matt has asked me to fill yous in with what I’ve been up to during quarantine, but unlike Simon and Denver I have no work ethic so I’ve been doing very little work. That being said it hasn’t been completely wasted – I have been working on bits and pieces for the NI Raspberry Jam, a monthly STEM education event I volunteer at (plug http://www.niraspberryjam.com/). I’ve started learning the basics of Unity, been wrapping up school work, and I’ve helped a couple of businesses pivot to online sales with everything going on. 

The weather has been great here recently so that brings along with it clear skies and awesome stargazing conditions, so I borrowed a telescope with the hope of spotting some of the April Lyrids or Starlink satellites as they passed by a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve recently been (badly) attempting some astrophotography! 

Closer to home, I’ve spent a lot of time frying electronics and breaking code in my attempts to DIY smart home, stealing and reviving my mother’s plants that she keeps killing, impulsively dying my hair, enjoying the nice skies, and playing a lot of Halo Reach and Apex Legends/ Borderlands/ Jackbox with my friends.

Simon

@DirectiveDev

What’s up it’s ya boy, Simon. Back at it again with more dev. It’s been a grand old time living at my computer for the past 7 weeks or so. Quarantine really does get you in the mood for some progress. 

So that’s what I’ve been doing, makin’ progress. I’ve been at 3 real big things during this time.

1. Refactoring Directive. 

2. Worldspace UI. 

3. Custom Tools.

Refactoring was a big part of my time because I essentially had a system built upon a single dependency. There was one huge controller for Directive, and because it was a Singleton, it really hampered my workflow if I needed to change one piece of code. If you change anything, Unity will recompile and everything that used the Controller suddenly lost the reference to it, resulting in 999+ errors, and needing to restart the game anyway. So I did that, there is now a host of controllers, and every component talks to them as needed, rather than routing them through a huge monolith. It’s a lot cleaner. I promise. Worldspace UI is FUN, and I mean it. It’s an ambition of mine to create a game that relies on nothing but the world for conveying information (it won’t be directive). A good example of this is Sea of Thieves. In SoT you get instructions on how to complete your current mission, (whether it be to find treasure, deliver items, or kill some angry skeletons). This information is on a piece of paper in the world. Not on a screen. You can take the piece of paper, run about with it, and even turn it around to show other players. It’s a small thing, but it adds so much to the flavour of the world and the game. You begin to realize that this information is directed at your character, rather than you, and that makes the immersion so much deeper.

Custom Tools was my favorite thing I’ve done in the past month. I’ve re-made the Item Database as part of that big refactor, and I remade the Item Editor, as well as creating a new inspector for the Database. Funnily enough, part of this meant breaking Unity and the rule regarding ScriptableObjects. See, ScriptableObjects aren’t meant to interact with GameObjects directly. You can’t have a SO in your scene. But I figured out a way around that, and have my SOs directly interact and trigger GameObjects, and events related to their monobehaviours. It’s kinda cool because I can essentially use ScriptableObjects to change somethings behaviour on the fly, in a drag and drop kind of methodology. If anyone wants to hear more about that, I’d be happy to share. But I’m leaving it out of here because it gets quite cumbersome. 

Apart from that I’ve been feeding my dogs, playing music, and accidentally discovering I’m partially colourblind to certain shades of green. Have fun, take care, be good, be safe.

Denver

@SketchNI

Hi, I’m Denver. I’ve been a moderator on the Whitepot Community Discord since 2017. It’s been so long already! I’m not a game developer by any means although I have now done two global game jams. 

I’m a web developer and gamer which lead to an interesting invention that’s still being invented. Linkcraft. It allows you to create whitelists for online multiplayer games like Minecraft, ARK: Survival Evolved and probably more. It has gone through several iterations which has lead me to believe that I now know exactly how to accomplish its main goal of delivering and enforcing whitelisted users. 

I had planned to use a mixture of SSH, FTP and file-writing to accomplish this but a conversation with Simon, King of the Nightpots and founder of the !ecstatic command, led me to discover you can issue commands to an Rcon Query server and Minecraft, ARK et al will execute them. This is amazing and I love it very much.

Community Update

With everyone being stuck at home, we’re going to start holding regular game nights! The first one will take place this Sunday 10th May with Borderlands 2!

ou can have your say by voting on days and games – just check out the pinned messages in #gaming! If you’re interested, we also have a Whitepot Community Steam group over at steamcommunity.com/groups/whitepotstudios :big_fan:.

As ever, this server is for you – so we really appreciate any ideas or feedback! Let us know what you’d like to see in #suggestions.

And for the latest recommendations from the Whitepot Studios team, here’s we’ve been reading, watching, listening to and playing the past month. 

Adam: “It’s a new month already?! Ok, let’s see, I’ve been continuing to explore gamepass having spent a load of hours in Hollow Knight (fantastic metroidvania that fans of the genre should definitely play if they haven’t) and Forza horizon 4 (fast cars go brrrrrr). I also played through Doom Eternal (I enjoyed it, but probably not as much as Doom 2016) and started Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (I miss the social stealth from the old games but the cultist system seems very interesting). All these games I’ve been playing have eaten up most of my free time so I haven’t been watching much other than whatever’s on TV the odd time it’s on (shout out to snooker crucible classics). And as for what I’ve been listening to, I’ve been checking out the series of charity concerts Devin Townsend’s been doing, have a look if you’re into your progressive metal https://youtu.be/Qv4RqR0ud2g

Vicky: “Time flies when you’re stuck inside huh? I’ve been playing a lot of Trailmakers, it’s a bit like building vehicles using a mix of Lego and K’NEX and it’s really cool – especially when you’re trying to build your own flying machine with manual wings to pick up stuff from inside a volcano…”

Matt: This month I watched the final season of the Clone Wars. I know it’s well known at this stage but if you are interested in checking out Star Wars at it’s best you should definitely give the show a watch. As well as that I’ve been rewatching Rebels and the Vicar of Dibley. I’ve been reading some comics like Saga and Maus which are both really good. I’ve been playing Warzone and Rocket League with my mates on the weekend and also been playing a fun game called The Creature in the Well on xbox. As well as those things I’ve been making progress on my Star Wars project which is exciting https://diabeticspoon.artstation.com/blog/DaNO/i-have-a-bad-feeling-about-this-4

Amy: “I’ve been watching a fair few film re-runs on the tv so out of those I’d definitely recommend the original Jurassic Park trilogy, I’m still blown away by how well the dinos hold up in today’s effects standards. I’ve also been listening to a lot of Queen (always a good bop) and playing some Animal Crossing – which I warily recommend as a sloth has appeared in-game selling shrubs and bulbs and suddenly all my money has disappeared…must be some sort of glitch…”

Robbie: “I haven’t really been playing a lot of games over the past month, none worth recommending anyway, but I have been watching a lot of TV and films. Normal People was released on iPlayer, it’s an adaption of the Sally Rooney novel of the same name and it’s fantastic. We’ve also been watching Modern Love on Amazon Prime which is quite a wholesome series based on essays from a New York Times column about different love stories. Speaking of wholesome, if you still haven’t subscribed to the Bon Appetit YouTube channel that’s also something I can recommend doing – Gourmet Makes being the standout playlist to watch. Finally, some good music I’ve been listening to lately includes; Gimmie Love by Joji, GET UP by Young Fathers, Kyoto by Phoebe Bridgers and Everyone Requires a Plan by The Lumineers. Thanks!”

We created a playlist of tunes to help you get through the lockdown.

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3xaUv12G9ym4KaecH1O2G3?si=XkmqGXLpQm2pEiPMGqrL7w

Talk soon,

Matt



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