Catch-Up

Hey Folks! Hope everyone had a good week. Unfortunately, just as my parents arrived, I came down with a pretty nasty cough. And I'm still fighting the last of it off. However, we were still able to see some sights, have some nice meals, and generally visit. And I think the time off helped recharge my batteries, so to speak. I felt more refreshed, and ready to tackle some work this morning.

Unfortunately, a lot of that work this morning involved catching-up on admin stuff. The inbox gets a bit hoary after being neglected for such a long stretch. And there were a few emails to reply to, forms to fill, posts to follow-up on, and bills to pay.

On the brighter side, Michael sent me a very interesting message about trading, encounters, and narrative which could be the seed of a system to tackle my current obstacle: what does the player do with their ship now? More discussion to follow here, no doubt.

I also fired-up the game just to get reacquainted with where I left off, and in the process, fixed a null pointer bug. So despite not trying, minor progress was made!

But the one task I did try to tackle was catch-up of another sort: the main menu. It has been weeks (months?) since Emily submitted her latest main menu mockup, and I've been meaning to cut that up and layer it in a Unity scene for testing. That's today's screenshot.

So far, I've got the control panel, dangling cables, room backdrop, and hallway beyond that layered in a scene, along with a logo placeholder. I originally attempted this in perspective, thinking I'd use the camera to gently sway things back and forth in parallax. However, setup for this was really kludgy, so I switched to orthogonal camera mode, and I'll just fake it in script. Shouldn't be too hard to scroll each layer variable amounts to simulate parallax, and it keeps things tidy in the scene to not be dealing with depth scaling.

As you can probably tell, still a lot missing here. None of the buttons have been added yet, just placeholder color blocks. No animation of any sort, despite room for neat things like blinking lights, coffee thermos steam, etc. I'd like for the main readout to be actual scrolling text, for news and other info to show the player. And we're missing any background activity, such as the crew silhouette.

But it's getting there. And it'll be nice to finally have some refined art on the main menu!