Finally got back into finishing up the little things with Paws this month. The menu scene is done, Facebook is integrated and the backend is working smoothly, even after switching to using GameSparks after finding out all of a sudden that Parse is shutting down next year. What’s next is implementing the virtual goods, designing the levels and animating our lovely Paws. Now back to Unity! ♥
The Facebook SDK (7.1.0) for Unity came out in late September and I’ve been playing around with it in Unity 5.2. I’m finding out what Facebook integration really means in terms of the api calls, posting scores, achievements, app invites, and sharing. I’ve also set up Parse.com to use as my backend for now.
Even though there isn’t much in terms of straight-forward documentation or tutorials online, it was possible to figure things out. Grey Zoned’s tutorials were helpful but I needed to update as things have changed a little in the 7.1 release. I’ve got things working well enough that I may consider creating a Facebook Canvas version of Paws on top of the iOS and Android versions.
The coolest thing is the integration with Parse.com that I am using to store my leaderboard/score data. As Facebook only allows the storing of one high score per game, I needed to store a score for each user for 80 levels. After connecting to Facebook, we grab the user’s FB id, profile picture and name, as well as store a list of friends that have authorized the game while also creating a new user on Parse using the FB id. The list of friends is used to query the top 4 high scores for each level from Parse and at the same time pull their profile pictures using a FB.API call.
Pretty neat. Look forward to going deeper into the Facebook integration.
Recently added a few things to Paws and finished up the panic scene.
I decided to make the levels all about reaching the target score while balancing between using power-ups to keep going without using all the panics or moves. One can complete a level by getting power-ups, keeping the stress meter down, not making too many moves and skillfully using the other power-ups.
The stress meter is not necessarily to deter. It’s to make the game funner, not stress the player out. I’ve made it so that it’s not difficult to keep it down. And even if it gets too high, that’s where the power-ups come in. I was also able to change the pitch of the background music to match the stress meter with Unity’s audio mixer snapshots.
With the panic scene, one needs to keep their finger on the screen and follow along with the animation to get back to the level.
Next up is the menu, level start/complete/fail boxes, facebook integration, animating Paws and level design.
Update video showing the stress meter working. Feels good when it relaxes all the way with the Zen Powerup. It changes color, pauses, resets, changes speed depending on how many possible swaps there are, and decreases based on how many points you get in a chain bonus. Almost time to bring Paws to life.
New things since the last update include clearing mind jellys and using bomb pieces to clear entire rows or columns. There will be 80 levels with increasing difficulty, and the powerups are at the top. The powerups include resetting the stress meter, pausing the stress meter, 5 more moves, 1 more panic, and removing any one type of idea from Paws’ head.
Unity is far better than using Spritekit/Xcode. I’m glad I switched. Up next is the stress meter and animating Paws.
Paws the puzzle game has a site up now where you can sign up to be notified when it is released. Check it out here. Please help spread the word. I put up the mockups I created, which were helpful in thinking the game through. I’ll post any changes and updates as they come up as I go further into the programming and playtesting of the game. I’m also looking to do some deeper Facebook integration, whatever that may mean.
Poor little Paws. He overheard some humans talking about all the things they stress about and now he’s got all these crazy ideas about stress and relaxing stuck in his head! No wonder his stress levels are all over the place. Help Paws on his journey. Remove the ideas of stress and relaxing from his head. Ensure that he doesn’t panic! Calm him down and help him breathe!
Paws, my new game is starting to come together. I created a few mockups to help flesh out some details and how things may work together. I also started on a little backstory about Paws.
It’s no longer so much about balancing between stressors and relaxers, but to remove the whole idea of stress and relaxing from Paws’ head.
Somehow it’s turning into a match-3 game of sorts. There are 8 pieces, 5 special resources, a stress meter, target scores, move limiting, and stubborn pieces that are harder to get rid of than others. Point is to make matches to keep the stress meter from going up in order to reach each level’s objective. The more combos you make at a time, the happier Paws gets, the more the stress meter comes down.
Check out the layout so far and stay up to date on Facebook or Twitter for now.
Started on my new game last week. It’s called Paws. It’s a puzzle game where you have to balance between different stressors and relaxers while ensuring that little Paws’ stress doesn’t build up causing him to have a panic attack. And if he does, there is a little mechanic to breathe him out of it.
I’m excited. This is the first game I’m designing while actually learning some game design, as well as my first made using Unity and C#. Say hello to Paws, the character from my new game, getting an anime studio makeover.