Dream Build Play – A Change in Plans

This is the last few weeks of the Dream Build Play 2017 competition, and I’ve decided to put my action-RPG game Myriad on hold.  The game just has too far to go in order to make it a completed game and respectable entry.

In it’s place, I’ve decided to make Turn Back the Clocks 4 my Dream Build Play entry.  Honestly, I’ve enjoyed playing it more than any of the other games I’ve created.  I started working on the game in early November, so using it does not break any rules of the Dream Build Play competition.  Plus, there’s a story that goes along with the development game, since it was originally created for the 0hGame jam in an hour.

I’ve spent the past few weeks improving the gameplay and graphics.  I feel like there’s just a little more to do to make it a complete game.  I need to fix the way the balls move in the line as they are shot.  Right now, each ball just targets the position to where it needs to move, but that doesn’t work correctly when the balls are shot rapidly.  I would also like to have the score display for each clock hit, in the color corresponding to the ball which hit it.

The game already has leaderboards implemented, so I’ll just need to remove the screen with text entry to use the XBoxLive services.  I still plan on using my own host to store the leaderboard information, so I’ll just pass the user’s gamertag and score to the leaderboard function.

I also need to do some small changes to graphics.  I want to make the board a little lighter, so that the balls stand out better.  Then I will need to make the inactive clocks darker, so that they stand out against the board.

Modifying the controls to work on XBox One shouldn’t be too big of a problem.  I’ll just need to assign button input events to each of the buttons, like I did with my Kitty’s Adventure game.

Irwin McSpenders

Irwin McSpenders is on a quest to become the greatest tax accountant in the world. Help him gather as much money as possible. Unfortunately, the more money you have, the worse the taxes are on him, as he will be placed in higher tax brackets as his income rises. Therefore, you must help him rescue the dependents to get a big deduction. Beware, the government tax agents are lurking everywhere, and they are targeting Irwin McSpenders for a big audit! Gather boxes of paperclips, and use the paperclips to send the evil agents from whence they came. Help Irwin make his way to the exit of the office building, so that he may claim the title of greatest tax accountant in the world!

I tried to simulate the tax calculations as closely as possible, by using real 2017 values and formulas data for tax brackets, deductions, and taxable income.


Unity Health Bar Explained

The following are the steps that I used for creating a health bar using the Unity UI system for my Shark Food game.  Many of the settings for the size and images can obviously modified to meet specific needs.

First, create two images for the background and foreground.  This can be done in Gimp, using the dimensions 512×64.  For the meter fill,  use the Filter > Render > Clouds > Difference Clouds.  Then use Colors > Colorize to make the bar red (hue value 0) and increased the saturation and lightness.  Create the background by simply filling the entire image with black (Edit > Fill With BG Color).   Set the transparency for the layer for the background image to 50%.

Save both of these images in the Assets / Textures folder of the Unity project.  Select both images and set Texture Type to Sprite (2D and UI) and press Apply



Create a new Canvas object.  I recommend setting Canvas Scaler to Scale with Screen Size and set Reference Resolution to 1920×1080.

In my Shark Food game, the health is stored in a float variable in my custom Shark class called fHunger.  This value ranges from 0 to 100, which is ensured by using the Mathf.Clamp function after it has been set.

Under the Canvas object in the Unity Hierarchy, create two new UI > Image objects.  Assign the background image to the first one and the foreground image to the second one.  A Text > UI object can also be created to display the value on the health bar.  Parent the foreground Image and Text object to the background image object.

Add a new UI > Mask component to the background image.  Ensure that Show Mask Graphic is selected.

Create a new custom C# script for the health bar.  I called mine HungerBar.  Attach this script to the background image object.  Open the health bar script in an editor (I used Visual Studio) and add a line of code in the Update method to set the position property of the foreground image.  Use Find on the transform to get the foreground image, and use GetComponent<RectTransform> to get the localPosition property.  Declare a float instance variable for the x position.  Set the localPosition property to a new Vector3 with the x property set to the instance variable and y property set to zero.

Create a setValue  method, which sets the instance variable to the passed in value times the health bar width in pixels, minus the health bar width.

Whenever the health value is updated, call setValue and pass in a value from 0 to 1.  This was in the updateHunger method of my Shark class, which gets called on every Update.

The health bar object can be returned with GameObject.FindObjectOfType<HealthBar>(), assuming that you only have one health bar in the scene.  Since my hunger value was a float from 0 to 100, I divided by that value by 100f before passing it to the setValue method.  The text can also be set by using GameObject.Find and setting GetComponent<Text>.text Be sure to import UnityEngine.UI, because it doesn’t get added by default.  If the intellisense doesn’t work for the Text object, it’s usually because of the missing import statement.

That’s all there’s to getting a health bar working.  It’s fairly simple once you know the steps and settings.