January: The third dimension

Posted in terrynews

What I’ve been working on recently

Hey, welcome back! It’s a new year and I’m excited to get working on some new things! Or, you know, to continue working on the thing I started near the end of last year. Here’s some screenshots I took today:

 

It’s very much still a “I’m learning 3D!” project, but I think it’s gonna end up being pretty fun.

This has been another month for just sitting down and learning new stuff, which takes forever, but is really starting to pay off. I’ve learnt more in the past couple of months than I have in years. There are things I know how to make now which I couldn’t even consider making before!

As for this game: There’s still a little way to go – I only have one finished level, and I want a lot more – but I’m pretty sure I’ll have it all wrapped up by the time next month’s blog post rolls around.


A crash course in 3D

Since the main thing I’ve been doing lately is watching tutorials, I thought I’d share my notes! The three main things I’ve been learning are Godot, Blender, and TrenchBroom.

For Godot:

I sort of learnt a lot of the Godot basics back when I made Triangle Run – since then, it’s mostly just been practice and google. But I did put together a bunch of links in the “Where do I start?” section of the Stop Waiting For Godot jam page that’s still worth a look! (It also gets into the “Why Godot and not X” question, if you’re curious about that.)

The BEST Godot tutorials I’ve come across, though, are Miziziziz’s series on youtube. I normally find video tutorials excruciating – but these are about as to-the-point as you can get. To an extent that’s actually hilarious – be prepared to pause every five seconds to check what he’s doing. These are probably no good if you’re an absolute beginner, but if you have at least some experience with other gamedev tools, they’re amazing.

For Blender:

Man, I wish I’d just learnt Blender sooner. Blender used to have a reputation for being impossible to learn, but these days it’s actually great, and really intuitive to use.

The thing about Blender is; it’s an extremely powerful piece of software, and you can do a lot with it – but to actually make 3D models for games, you only really to need to learn like, 8 things, and then you can ignore everything else.

Everybody recommends the Donut tutorial, and everyone is right: it’s excellent. That’s my donut in the gif at the top of this section! (edit: not everyone – turns out donut guy is a bit of a dickhead. That link has some details, as well as some alternative tutorial links.)

The first couple of parts cover the basics of mesh editing, and from there, it goes through a bunch of advanced features like shaders and geometry nodes and lighting. None of that later stuff is useful for what I actually want to make, but I found it fascinating to see the zoomed out view of what’s possible with the tool – somehow it made the basic stuff less scary. The tutorial starts here!

For TrenchBroom:

TrenchBroom is my big discovery this month. It’s an open source level editor for making Quake maps!

There is a plugin for Godot called Qodot, which lets you load in Quake .map files directly into the editor. Getting it all set up is unfortunately a little bit of a faff, but it’s worth it because then you get to use TrenchBroom, and TrenchBroom is incredible. It’s so much fun to use, and it’s super fast to iterate on your work.

For actually learning to use TrenchBroom, you should check out the dumptruck_ds tutorials on youtube, which are a series of nice short 5 to 10 minute tutorials on getting up and running. It opens with the most reassuring 15 seconds I’ve ever seen in a tutorial, highly recommended.

(You can actually mostly skip through the first dumptruck_ds tutorial, since it assumes you’re trying to make maps for Quake and mostly talks about setting that up.)

That about covers it! Hey, if you’ve got any other 3D tutorial suggestions, please drop em in the comments! I’ve still got a lot to learn here!

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One last project for 2022

Hello! Time for December’s episode of “here’s what I’ve been working on recently, and also here’s another thing“! I guess I’m gonna try to do these every month, roughly? That seems doable.

What I’ve been working on recently

Since my last blog post, I had a go at making something for this year’s #7dfps – short video above! (I livetooted my attempt over on Mastodon, if you’re interested in the details.)

I called it quits on day 5 though. Partially, because I was running out of steam, but also partially because I like where it seems to be heading, and I really don’t want to rush it. I’ve now had a few days to recover, and I’m excited for it to be my new main project for a while. Going to keep poking at it when I can, over Christmas and the new year.

It’s a bit unexpected, but I’m starting to really like working in 3D. Godot is a lot of fun! And I’m finding (to my surprise) that I really enjoy 3D modelling! I don’t know why it took me so long to just sit down and learn how to use Blender. It’s nice to have a new project that lets me practice these new interests.

The Dicey Dungeons Christmas Special

For today’s “something else”, I just wanna give a shout out to a new Dicey Dungeons mod that came out today – it’s an update to last year’s collab mod “Christmas Special“, with 8 new episodes! The update is available in two flavours – as a standalone with just the new episodes, or in a big megamod with last year’s episodes as well.

[Christmas Special 2]

I played through the new episodes near the end of development, and there’s some really good stuff in there! I particularly like the Robot episode, which explores a forbidden design space that nobody was meant to contemplate. Here were my thoughts, in order:

  • oh my god, how are you doing this
  • why is this not crashing the game
  • I can’t believe you made a whole episode around this idea

And: while I’m recommending Dicey mods, I wanna give another shout out to Tennis, which came out earlier this year and which I liked a bunch. Not only is it packed with great ideas, but the mechanics made me laugh out loud more than once!

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Begin/Again

Posted in terrynews

Hi there! Welcome to the first in (possibly) a regular new series of blog posts about what I’m up to. Blogging! Why not!

Here is my new plan: now that twitter is gone forever, every couple of weeks, I’m gonna try to make a short post about what I’m up to. If you wanna follow along, I’ll post links on Mastodon and Cohost. Also I’m pretty sure this site’s RSS feed is still a thing, but I’ve never really understood how RSS works?? Anyway here we go


What I’ve been working on recently

I’ve been trying to finally get to grips with 3D. It’s about time!

I’ve made some 3D things in the past of course, but I’ve always felt like I was cheating. The truth is, I only really know a couple of basic tricks – like how to stick cubes together to fake a 3D model. I get out of my depth pretty quickly, and everything takes me ages. I had no idea how lighting and shaders work, or how to make a real 3D model, or how to rig and animate something, etc.

So, I’ve gone back to basics, learning it all for real – I’m working my way through the Blender donut tutorial, and slowly learning how to do things in Godot. This is absolutely exhausting – but I am slowly starting to get somewhere with it. Making big steps forward, but starting off with 30 steps back. My screenshot above is, uh, where I am right now.

I totally failed at making something for the Haunted PS1 Halloween jam – but 7DFPS is coming up, and I’m hoping I can make something small for that instead. Hopefully I’ll have something to say about that next time.


Leaving Twitter

I figure a good structure for these new blog posts is:
– Something I’ve been working on
– Something ELSE

Today’s “something else” is that I’ve stopped using twitter.

Obviously, this feels like an incredibly dumb thing to do – I’ve been active there for more than a decade, I have 62k followers, it is the MAIN way I communicate with people online, and the main way I tell people what I’ve been working on. But man, it’s just been harder and harder to justify staying there. Like the skeleton once said, if it sucks, hit da bricks.

It’s not just the Musk stuff, although that’s obviously a big factor – truth be told, twitter has been a source of stress for me for a while now. I’ve thought about quitting multiple times! I know this is kind of a good problem to have and all, but once you hit a certain follower count, twitter stops being fun. Even when it’s not necessarily negative, it starts to feels like you’re on stage at all times, and it’s stressful! Or at least, it was for me. (And it’s *addictive*, in a way I found genuinely distracting.)

If twitter somehow survives in the medium to long term, I’ll guess I might reactivate it to post the occasional big news, like a newsletter you forgot you signed up to. But I think I’m done with posting there regularly. Excited for the new things, whatever they might end up being.

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