Hello and welcome to the first developer log not only for this game, but also for the site as a whole. I’ll be writing a minimum of one of these a week to highlight everything I’ve done, and shine some light on how they’ve been done, as I value transparency on this site because I believe it can help people out there. Anyway, the game I’m currently working on is called HoneyMoney, and it’s about breeding bees and managing hives to produce a goal amount of honey during a level.
I won’t talk too much about how I’ve set up the project, as I’ve recently talked about that in my post about how to start a new project, but I will mention that I created an MVP, scouted out assets, and then started coding out the most broad and obvious skeleton parts of the game.
I’ll start by mentioning what I always like to do first, which is designing the base user interface, or UI. I do this by either grabbing my wacom tablet or a pen and a piece of paper, and I projecting my brain onto the medium.
To backtrack for just a bit, whenever I think about starting a new project, my brain starts going off with a few different visions of how the game runs, but they all tend to be a bit a cloudy. To account for this, I just make mental anecdotes of the bigger picture, like where each UI panel will go, which buttons I’ll need and where they’re placed, and how “big” the main part of the game needs to appear. When I say big, I mean we need to account for how accessible the gameplay portion that’s more than just UI is to the user. For example, In HoneyMoney, I needed to make sure the tiles were large enough for the player to tap, interact with, and even just see.
So after I draw a few sketches of how the UI might look, I re-evaluate all the buttons I’m going to need, and what else needs to fit, and then I start implementing it. In my case, as I use Unity, I use the UI features to layout the interface in just minutes. I actually used a free UI icons pack from the Unity Asset Store, as it very much helps to visualize the game with proper assets whether or not you use them in the final product.
After I work on the UI, I work on the gameplay features, so in this case I searched through the Asset Store again for a set of tile sprites, and ended up finding a free tile kit with snapping capabilities, which ended up being exactly what I needed.
The game is now at a state where basic features work, such as placing hives and gaining honey per second, as well as updating this through the UI. I’m next planning to add bee breeding, costs to hives, and a bee menu.
Until next time,