44 Optimize workflows in Unity

Good news: a new video on my game development process! I know a few of my loyal readers really like the development side of game development, and like to know how I approach development. For them: Enjoy this new video!

And of course, the regular updates on Find the Gnome 2. With the demo release approaching, I am finishing up all systems and mechanics. In this blog I will tell you about 3 systems that need some rework now everything is coming together.

And a short update about Roan his game to finish up this blog post.

Optimize workflows in Unity

The video segment of this blog is this time about: How I use Unity Editor scripts to optimize my workflows.

In it I use Find the Gnome 2 to demonstrate most of the scripting. And on the end there is also a bit of Roan his game to demonstrate how editor tools can really improve the workflow of an artist.


From the video, on to the upcoming release of the demo. With first a bit of background on what the demo will be.

I know that I projected the game to be completed around now, but reality proved to be a stubborn thing. Especially with me wanting more and more quality. On the music, on the story clips, on the amount of content, on the mechanics, on the animations… pretty much on everything.

So that is why I am working on a demo first. With a few levels in it. That’s a goal that is manageable for me.

A few blogs ago I told I didn’t know when the demo would release due to asset delivery issues, but those issues have been solved. Most of that work was fixed and then done leading up to the previous blog.

Past weeks I have worked on a ‘demo’ release pipeline. These scripts and pipeline make it so that I can work on Find the Gnome 2, and automagically always have a demo that derives from the ‘full’ version.

How close is the demo? Its closer (than before), lol. But something happened last week.

3 Systems that need rework

I sat down with Meinder last week. He is my cartoon artist and concept artist, and he basically does the prototyping of the levels with his concept work. However, with time it became clear that almost all of these levels need rework because their layout and items don’t work that well together with the game mechanics.

So that is what we did. We played the game together. And talked about what needs rework to make the game even better and more interesting.

Do I think its a problem that the early designs of the levels didn’t work out? No. Not at all. We didn’t have all the components together like we do now. Its until now that we know for sure we need rework.

The 3 systems are

  • The hidingplaces for the gnomes are unbalanced. Some levels are extremely hard because of this. While other levels are waaaay to easy.
  • We had planned for some puzzle mechanics with machines you needed to activate. We totally forgot to include these. But we need them for the later levels for having ‘enough’ interesting & fun & challenging interactions.
  • The amount of levels is 12. That is 3 levels in each theme, with 4 themes in total. I want to make 6 levels in 4 themes, because creating more levels is relatively not that much work compared to inventing a whole new theme or adding in a new mechanic. You are probably finished too soon with these 12 levels.

Basically I have an amount of content problem and a difficulty curve problem. And I know I have the solution to solve these, so lets solve this in the 4 demo levels first. So that when you guys can play the demo, I know that at least these problem are less of an issue.

This brings me to the planning:

Release plan

I don’t have a release plan. Other than: I will release the full game after releasing the demo. So no point in time currently. The steam page is saying otherwise, but that’s just a date I keep pushing forward.

I do know what I need to do after the demo to get to the first release:

  • Complete all 12 levels worth of content
  • Complete all 9 parallax cinematics
  • Complete all the support systems: menu’s, achievements, control schemes

When this is completed, I will launch the game.

After that, I will do another content release:

  • 12 additional levels
  • 4 additional cinematics
  • accessibility improvements and requested features

And, while working on Find the Gnome 2, I am (of course) working on other projects. That’s something I need to keep going. Especially if some work is tedious, I need a side project to keep me happy.

Roan game

The game from Roan is such a game.

If you watch the video of the blog, you will see at timestamp 36:03 that I introduce Roan his game. It was called ‘Icelands’ when I introduced it a few blogs ago. The current name is a bit different, but we haven’t updated it yet.

But we did work on the game! We have sword, damage and death animations, a lot more dungeons, a lot more enemies, a lot more items. Still a lot of work left, but Roan is going very strong on the design and art. I barely keep up with my supplies of scripts and tools.

Sword with damage, and puddles of blood. In one of the starting dungeons:

A desert dungeon inside a pyramid. With mummies, traps, teleports, puzzle hallways to get lost in, and much more:

A part of the overworld that is a swamp with toxic clouds:

Roan is working on a lot of boss designs with interesting mechanics. All dungeons have their own bosses with their own mechanics. You need to kill these bosses to upgrading your tools so you can progress on to other dungeons.

We are still working on importing the animations from Aseprite into Unity and thinking about interesting ways we can script your actions and the enemies. So that its easy for Roan to create the world, but also for the mechanics to look cool and work properly.

That’s it for today. See you next time!

Published by Erik_de_Roos

Erik de Roos is a Freelance software developer.

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