Monday, October 13, 2014

Desk Maps with Unity Pro and Render Textures

In a previous post we talked about huge desks in unity basic hovering below true game objects pretending to render them on a map. This time we've invested in Unity Pro and are ready to deal with Render Textures.


Major Upsides: 
  • No more candelabra floating above your map in the editor.
  • All districts about the same shape can share a single desk object set

You can either make a new universal desk or take one of the old ones and use it as a base like I did. 
  • Make sure to set it well out of your play-map range to keep it out of the way.
  • The size of this desk doesn't matter. It and all it's objects could be huge or tiny because it's relation to the game map is no longer important.

Now all that's left is creating the individual maps that you can turn on and off as you access the Desk Camera. Each desk can even activate it's own accessories on the Unified desk.

Like So


To Create the Map Textures
  • Assets -> Create -> Render Texture
  • Create a camera and set it above what you want a map of. Orthographic view is great for this
  • Set your new Render Texture to the Camera's Target Texture in the Inspector
  • Set the Render Texture as the texture for the object you want to hold the map (I used a flat cube)
For for large or irregularly shaped districts, there's a second, larger desk. This also lurks out of sight, visible only through activated cameras.

Viola! Now you have an interchangeable map-desks using Render Textures!


All blog posts by UnityGirl are inspired by my work with Brunelleschi: Age of Architects on the Aesop Games team. Check out our Crowd Funding page(s)!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Draw Pad: Mapping, Proximity and Contours

Recently, the Aesop Games studio has acquired a Wacom Intuos Pen and UnityGirl is in art heaven. Here to share some of the joy and knowledge, we're going to go over the basics of draw pad usage.


Getting Started
Surely if I hold out my hand long enough, it will fill with ink.
First Draw Pad Doodle
Some of the first things I learned were

  • You can totally install the drivers from the web site without having to put the CD Drive back into your computer to finish installation
  • For at least the first day, you'll be using the pen as your new mouse.
  • Don't leave the pen on the tablet, it'll mess up the sensitivity.
  • It CAN survive being fumbled
  • It can handle multiple monitors


Actually, one of the coolest things about the draw pad is that it will map to almost anything. Basically, mapping is the relationship between the surface area of the draw pad and the area you want it to be able to draw in. I have two screens, but prefer very small hand strokes to draw, therefore I leave it mapped to span both screens. If you're doing super detail work, or just don't want the pen to leave your work-area, you can map it to a specific small section of the screen.

It also has advanced settings for multiple display use, but I won't post on it until I've played with those more.


This is where you use your draw pen for your mouse the whole first day. Perhaps the coolest thing on that first day is realizing that when you hover your pen at-the-ready, the pad can tell. It's all about proximity.

When the tip of the pen is near the pad, the indicator light lights up and your pen takes over the cursor on your screen. I personally felt like a god of wireless control at the time.When you're ready to draw (or click, or drag) just press the tip of the pen to the pad. 

What it Takes Getting Used To
  • The mapping of the draw pad means the location of the pen is absolute, not relative like the mouse.
  • The tip of your pen doesn't "roll" like that of a ball point
  • Pressure only applies as much as the program and your settings allow - don't push too hard.

Now where did I leave my eyebrows?The two major revolutions from mouse-based computer art to draw-pad based are pressure and control. Like most artists who started analog, I find the mouse lacking in finesse for the fine arch of a girl's forearm..... I mean UI elements. However, even for mouse-wizards, the draw pad pen offers the feature of Pressure.

Either way, the extra detail and control offered with the draw pad setup are remarkable. In a matter of days my image work has improved from Frankenstein-ian clip-art creations to pretty nice original art if I do say so myself.

The next time we talk about Draw Pads, we'll combine it with Inkscape and the sculpting tool.


All blog posts by UnityGirl are inspired by my work with Brunelleschi: Age of Architects on the Aesop Games team. Check out our Crowd Funding page(s)!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Unity Script: Building a Small Village with JS / UnityScript


This here's an introduction to instantiating onto multiple lots at the beginning of your scene (or script). We'll start with some good ol' fashioned JS. You'll recognize this structure as a stretched version of BuildHere which we used to instantiate just the one building on the one lot. This is the way to do it if you want to avoid an Array and For-Loop situation. Good for small stuff but not great for generating large towns.

Basically we're just multiplying everything by six.


The Script

#pragma strict

var building : GameObject;

var lot1 : GameObject;
var lot2 : GameObject;
var lot3 : GameObject;
var lot4 : GameObject;
var lot5 : GameObject;
var lot6 : GameObject;

var buildHere : GameObject;

var resourceLoadString1 : String;
var resourceLoadString2 : String;
var resourceLoadString3 : String;
var resourceLoadString4 : String;
var resourceLoadString5 : String;
var resourceLoadString6 : String;

var thisPos1 : Vector3 = new Vector3();
var thisPos2 : Vector3 = new Vector3();
var thisPos3 : Vector3 = new Vector3();
var thisPos4 : Vector3 = new Vector3();
var thisPos5 : Vector3 = new Vector3();
var thisPos6 : Vector3 = new Vector3();

var thisRot1 : Quaternion = new Quaternion();
var thisRot2 : Quaternion = new Quaternion();
var thisRot3 : Quaternion = new Quaternion();
var thisRot4 : Quaternion = new Quaternion();
var thisRot5 : Quaternion = new Quaternion();
var thisRot6 : Quaternion = new Quaternion();

function Start () {
//sets your building's position to the same coordinates as your lot
thisPos1 = lot1.transform.position;
thisPos2 = lot2.transform.position;
thisPos3 = lot3.transform.position;
thisPos4 = lot4.transform.position;
thisPos5 = lot5.transform.position;
thisPos6 = lot6.transform.position;
//this raises your building up a bit above the lot so you don't get z-fighting flickers
thisPos1[1] = thisPos1[1] + 0.45f;
thisPos2[1] = thisPos2[1] + 0.45f;
thisPos3[1] = thisPos3[1] + 0.45f;
thisPos4[1] = thisPos4[1] + 0.45f;
thisPos5[1] = thisPos5[1] + 0.45f;
thisPos6[1] = thisPos6[1] + 0.45f;

thisRot1 = lot1.transform.rotation;
thisRot2 = lot2.transform.rotation;
thisRot3 = lot3.transform.rotation;
thisRot4 = lot4.transform.rotation;
thisRot5 = lot5.transform.rotation;
thisRot6 = lot6.transform.rotation;

//this string should be your path through your Resources folder
resourceLoadString1 = "MoveConst/Construction Frame 1";
resourceLoadString2 = "MoveConst/Construction Frame 2";
resourceLoadString3 = "MoveConst/Construction Frame 3";
resourceLoadString4 = "MoveConst/Construction Frame 4";
resourceLoadString5 = "MoveConst/Construction Frame 5";
resourceLoadString6 = "MoveConst/Construction Frame 6";

buildHere = Instantiate(Resources.Load(resourceLoadString1), thisPos1, thisRot1) as GameObject;
buildHere = Instantiate(Resources.Load(resourceLoadString2), thisPos2, thisRot2) as GameObject;
buildHere = Instantiate(Resources.Load(resourceLoadString3), thisPos3, thisRot3) as GameObject;
buildHere = Instantiate(Resources.Load(resourceLoadString4), thisPos4, thisRot4) as GameObject;
buildHere = Instantiate(Resources.Load(resourceLoadString5), thisPos5, thisRot5) as GameObject;
buildHere = Instantiate(Resources.Load(resourceLoadString6), thisPos6, thisRot6) as GameObject;



  • Make sure to set your Resource.Load() paths correctly and 
  • Assign your Lots in the Inspector if you don't GameObject.Find() them.

All blog posts by UnityGirl are inspired by my work with Brunelleschi: Age of Architects on the Aesop Games team. Check out our Crowd Funding page(s)!