How to Procrastinate Effectively

When November started I want to get Nixie’s attack animations done. I didn’t. Instead I had the most productive month of gamedev yet, adding a bunch of new features to the game!

Turns out the key for me to be productive is to identify a task that I don’t want to do or am scared of starting (in this case, the attack animations). Then I have to create a list of smaller tasks or ones that I am more interested in starting. Then the secret to effective procrastination is… to actually do all of the other tasks. Here’s all the stuff I got done:

Heads Up Display


Nixie now has a functioning heads up display that displays health, ammo, weapon strength, and (eventually) weapon charge. The display is also dynamic in that when maximum health is increased, the “frame” sprite of the display automatically resizes to fit the additional health sprites. I even got to design and generate my first font file for the game for the pixel numerals displaying the ammo!

Animated Environment

Just because I flaked out of animating the attack doesn’t mean I didn’t do some animated pixel art this month! Everlush Biodome now has lots of bleepy-bloopy computer screens as well as scrolling clouds.

One Way Platforms

Spikes & Screen Shake Effect

Boxes (with a lot of code)

The boxes were the largest feature I added this month. This is another feature I managed to program on my own and was able to add a lot of useful features in one re-usable script.

First up is the cascading box:

Next up are boxes that break after being stepped on:

And then we have boxes that can only be destroyed by a certain weapon type that flash a “hint” to the player to reveal what weapon destroys them:

Other Stuff!

New Input System – I updated Nixie to use Unity’s new input system, which I should have been using the whole time, but one of the early courses I took used the old system instead. Converting over was not an automatic process, but definitely worth the effort.

Controller Rumble – One of the immediate benefits for using the new input system is gamepad support and the ability to easily access the controller’s rumble features. I’ve added some rumble to a bunch of appropriate areas already – surprisingly easy!

16:9 Aspect Ratio control – I can now change the game’s screen resolution without the aspect ratio being changed. Believe it or not this is not a native Unity feature. This ensures that everyone experiences the game screen the same on any size monitor.

and last but not least a new music track!

Watch the full video dev log below:

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