A fairly standard week, following up on some of the issues touched upon last time; namely, the awkward broken layering.

Changing Code

My first go around at correcting the layering issues didn’t go down so well. With the help of my supervisor, I tried to attempt a few coding changes to the Player’s layering script. However, such a task was much easier said than done; with every issue we accounted for, a new one seemed to pop up. After some mental delegation over the weekend, I realized that coming up with a solution would take far more effort than I initially thought if I tackled it through code. Dynamically shifting whether the player is in front or behind any given sprite requires most objects to be rendered in the same order, and those that aren’t are the outlier cases. Trying to have the code account for these outlier objects would frankly be too much. In the end, I opted for plan B: going through the editor.

Sorting New Layers

Unity has a nifty feature regarding it’s sprites. Not only do objects have a given layer order, but you can also sort them into layered planes. For example, an object with a order of 1 would normally be behind an order 2 object, but if the first object was on a higher layer, it would still appear in front of the other object.

Though fairly convenient, this methodology has its flaws, the most notable of which is the fact that each object would have to be sorted manually. It’s not a universal fix; each edit would have to be done by hand. Furthermore, I have to be careful which objects and NPCs get sorted where, as putting the wrong objects on the wrong layer would cause even more layering errors. Selecting objects the player was incapable of walking in front of was paramount, thereby preventing the player from appearing behind the object whilst in front of it.

This method also required the creation of 2 new layers, something that I’d rather not have done if there was another option. Even though it doesn’t have big negative effects on the project as a whole, I find that adding more to a project just leads to excess clutter and confusion later down the line, and therefore should only be done when fully necessary. I’m not quite sure how necessary these new layers are, but in the absence of a better solution, I’m willing to make the change.

Hotel Sketches

I’ve been continuing my work on SNAK3 hotel proposals. Here are a few very early sketches of some designs that didn’t quite cut it for me:

This large, round-topped variant of a hotel feels a little to simple for me. I think the problem is the building’s silhouette; if I were to continue this, I’d definitely want to change the main body of the building. The front looks good, however, so I may reuse that in future designs.

This glitzy-feeling building has almost too much going on, and despite that it still doesn’t feel quite like a hotel to me. If anything, I’d label this as a casino! The sketches of more stand-alone resort-type hotels didn’t really click at all, so I think I’m best sticking with the kind of hotels you’d see in cities.

Next Week

I’m not quite sure how long my co-op is gonna last, but assuming I’m still on the clock next week, I think I just need to wrap up and push my final project changes and hotel sketches. It’s been a blast working here, and I might continue doing artwork even after my co-op ends!

This Week’s Media: TRG Colosseum 2022

As one of my final media spotlights, I wanted to highlight one of my favorite YouTube channels: The Runaway Guys! Every year, the channel hosts a large charity collaboration with a bunch of gaming YouTubers, and every year it’s a joy to watch. Even though they aren’t necessarily the most well-known content creators on the site, I highly recommend checking them out alongside their individual channels if you enjoy a good Let’s Play.

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