Monthly Archives: January 2022

Stacking Menus

Seriously, where would I be without Unity Learn. There’s been a fairly detailed introductory lesson (with pictures!!! because that’s the important part) for every project goal I’ve set out to complete so far and I could not be more grateful. I’m sure I would have taken twice as long to figure things out otherwise.

This week’s focus was on creating our game’s menus – not anything terribly complex, but definitely a bit more time consuming than I anticipated. It was a lot of little things that slowed me down though, like figuring out why one button looked pixelated in game view while the others didn’t (scaling and text size difference) or altering the overall sizes of the Canvas areas little by little until I deemed it a decent size. Plus, it’s not even fully completed yet. Even though everything I’ve set up so far is working as expected, I’m still not satisfied with how it looks. I’m going to have to let that be for now though. As Ryan told me, the polish can always come later, and we won’t be adding the UI art until later on anyway.

Menus on top of menus on top of menus…

I knew developing a game takes a good deal of time and effort, but now I have a more accurate idea of how much and just, wow. Solo developers are very dedicated souls. If I didn’t respect the developer for Stardew Valley before, I absolutely do now!

Try, try, and try again

I think at this point, I’ve watched almost all the somewhat current videos covering common intro Unity topics. This is most definitely an exaggeration but that is honestly what it feels like. I wanted to take advantage of this time to practice working in the Unity environment, while still pushing forward with developing our project. So I thought, adding the VR rig shouldn’t be too difficult… I knew Ryan put in a good chunk of work already in setting up our VR environment, but for some reason, I had a lot of trouble interacting with an object I created – a sphere.

My enemy of the week

The funny thing is that I went into this thinking the most difficult thing would be adding the ability to move and turn around the scene I created – only because that had a few different options! As in, do I want the player to teleport, should the controllers project the player’s potential movement, etc. (which, in the end, we decided it would be more immersive to have continuous movement, but I digress). However, as it turns out, that was as easy as adding a couple of components. Grabbing an item, on the other hand, had me struggling.

I wish I had thought to record what it looked like from the player’s perspective because I’m sure it looked ridiculous – like when you glitch through a map and end up in unknown areas in video games. Basically, every time I tried to pick up the sphere, I would try to move the left joystick to walk around while holding the ball, but then I would immediately get launched off the plane object. At first I thought it was a gravity issue. So first, I tested it by turning off the gravity for the sphere – the only difference being that the ball floated up once I let go of it instead of it falling. (Hindsight thought: well, duh!) I won’t bore you with the rest of the details, but after trying a bunch of different settings on several components on both the sphere and the player objects and many thorough readings of the properties of those components, I finally got it. To be honest, the Movement Type property of the XR Grab Interactable component should have been one of the first things I checked. It was set to “Instantaneous” so I’m thinking that the movement of the sphere was being transferred to the cube objects I set as controller placeholders. But hey, I’m learning, right? Now I’ll never forget it.

Note to self: Read all properties carefully

I have to admit, I did celebrate a bit once the scene was working as expected at that point. It might have been a tiny problem in the grand scheme of things, but considering the fact that I had no experience with Unity at all just last week, I’m feeling pretty dang good about it. Small victories can still be important ones, and for once, I’m not dreading trying again.

Here we go…

Oh man. This week seriously went by so quickly – I feel like I’ve completed so many things, but at the same time, it feels like I’ve done nothing. On the personal side, I’d say it’s been a win. I was finally able to complete some goals regarding my anxiety issues, I felt I was properly able to communicate things I’ve been holding back with some friends, and I didn’t completely freak out while discussing the project with my new group members. Yay for personal progress!

Speaking of my teammates (Ryan and Angel), they’ve been fantastic so far. We got together on Monday and Tuesday to flesh out more details for our VR Simulation Challenge and as of right now, I’m pretty pleased with what we have so far! Brainstorming ideas with them was easier than expected – it’s been nice to have such good energy between us. We’ve officially decided on creating an immersive language learning simulation, with a bit of an RPG twist to it. As a friend said when I was explaining it to her – it’s education inside education! Exciting stuff!

My only issue right now is that we’ve sort of divided general responsibilities, but I’ve gone and volunteered myself for something that I have no clue of where to start! However!!! This is pretty much what I told myself I’d do for this class. I went into this course knowing I wanted to take this opportunity to properly figure out Unity and C# because I was curious about game development. I’ve gone back and forth about fields I’d like to explore further, but game dev has been on that list consistently. So even though it’s absolutely terrifying now, I can’t afford to let my team or myself down! I just need to keep telling myself it’s okay to ask for help. After all, I know my teammates want our project to go well so obviously it’ll be in everyone’s best interests to push me in the correct direction.

And so my goal for tomorrow and this weekend will be to ask all the questions I’ve been thinking are too stupid to ask during our group meeting on Friday. I’m hoping that it’ll at least help us paint a better picture of the mini world we’re trying to build. We’re slightly ahead of schedule for our project plan – even though we were constantly joking around during our first two meetings, but hey, that’s what makes for good team morale, right? What’s life without discussions about a Furby seance? (I realize this makes no sense right now, but all will be clear if we accomplish what we want to in our game.) Am I joking? Maybe. Guess you’ll have to wait and see?

Let’s Review

Hello there and welcome! I haven’t really blogged since Xanga was the Cool New Thing so I’m a little rusty. Let’s see… I’m Brittany, and I started my journey with OSU about five years ago. It’s funny how it feels like I’ve been in this Postbacc program for twice that amount of time, but it also feels like no time has passed at all. I’d guess that those feelings are most likely because I didn’t actually believe I had proper knowledge of anything CS-related until a couple of months ago, which was when I was in the middle of CS 325. I should’ve listened to everyone that suggested that I take it earlier – it might’ve saved me some of the time I spent agonizing over whether or not I made the right decision to try and switch careers.

Now that I’m nearing the end of this program, I’m more confident than ever that I chose a better path for myself. While there were plenty of moments where I didn’t think I was going to be able to follow through, just being in these classes felt significantly more fulfilling than my current job as an accountant. I’m confident that the capstone project will continue to push me forward in the same way.

I am terribly excited about this course. I honestly have no idea where to start, but I’m ready to figure it out! Not too bad for someone who was pretty much completely paralyzed by imposter syndrome a few months ago. I mean, I definitely still have plenty of those moments, but now it’s a little easier to power through – which is more than I could say for myself before! Remember folks, be kind to yourselves. If you’ve put in the work, you know a lot more than you think you do. It’s okay to have a brain fart every now and then, too!

Hmm… I’m going to stick with my little Xanga theme for this post and throw out a few fun facts about myself:

  • I recently bought a Quest 2, so I’m extremely excited to work on a VR project with my team for this course.
  • I could talk all day, every day about the animated series, The Legend of Korra.
  • My dog, Titan, is named after my favorite character class from the video game, Destiny.
  • I spend entirely too much money on building mechanical keyboards and Lego sets.