The First Five Days: A PC dies, Unity kicks my ass, Google+ shows me a way, and staying in touch with my InnerNoob
It’s been and interesting few days.
First, my trusty old PC finally died. I think it might have committed suicide rather than live on in the shadow of my new iMac. Unfortunately all my file archives are on drives in the PC. So, I’ve ordered a piece of kit I’ve been putting off for quite a while, a Drobo S 5-bay Drive Array . I am looking forward to having a computer independent storage solution. I also priced out a self-build i7 monster as a replacement for my ex-parrot.: i7 processor, 24 gig of ram, 3x nVidia vid cards, über case, color laser printer, LCD TV as a large monitor. Comes to just over 55,000 dkk. A bit pricy at the moment, and the Drobo will do most of what i want the PC for at the moment anyway. The death of the PC meant that most of the work I’d planned to do this week toward my first game project didn’t get done. I have a set of models from DAZ and a set of sound effects I’d planned on making into Unity3d packages, but they are on the drives in the PC. Oh well.
I did do a lot of reading and watching of Unity3d materials. I tried using the Unity site, but was quickly overwhelmed. I tried a straight Google search with the same result. Then I posted a plea to the Stream at Google+ and found the #Unity3d circle there. If you aren’t on G+ and want to learn Unity I can not recommend G+ enough. Another useful tag is #Unity3dBeginner, if you want a way of talking to fellow beginners. The kind folks on G+ pointed out +Will Goldstone’s excellent video tutorials at www.Unity3dStudent.com. These videos should be required viewing for anyone new to Unity3d. Short, sweet, and informative, these videos did more for my understanding of Unity3d than all my previous readings. Will has included the code used in each tutorial on the page that contains the lesson so there is no need to search the video if all you need is a reminder of the code. Excellent beginners resource.
Part of Will’s method is to include challenges using what was taught in the tutorials. I was quite excited to see what I could do with my newfound knowledge. The first challenge consists of shooting a cube at a wall and having the wall disappear when the cube hits it.
I typed in the code, created the game objects, created the prefab and hit play. Got an “instantiate is not pointing to an object” error and could not get it to go away, even restarting from scratch. So, I decided to step back and just recreate each lesson as presented in the tuts. Got to collision detection and though it seemed to work for the first two collisions, no subsequent collisions were reported in the console. I posted to G+ and wracked my brain trying to explain this very odd behavior. I thought about putting a static hit counter into the routine but I didn’t want to overcomplicate it and I was being lazy. It cost me a whole day. I finally got frustrated enough to go into the Unity3d IRC Channel (irc.freenode.net and join #unity3d) and ask there. It turns out the console defaults to “collapsed” and so only showed 4 messages of many. Like I say, I am in touch with my #InnerNoob.
So all in all a satisfying if somewhat frustrating week of Unity3d learning.