Unity Updates: It’s all about communication

In between working on other projects, like typesetting articles for Carleton’s Undergraduate Journal of Humanistic Studies and slowly filling a spreadsheet with lemma and definitions of Latin vocabulary, I’ve continued my Unity training. In this tutorial, I learned more about lighting, assets, and scripting. I also built my first game controller to manage score-keeping and UI (user interface) and added my first sound effects.

Adding the game controller created some logistical problems which, though I’m new to them in Unity, are very familiar to me as a programmer. Essentially the problem is that when different objects are separated out, their information and variables are private. Sometimes, for instance, the game controller doesn’t have a way of observing something that happened to the player object, but it needs to be able to act on that information. Setting up the objects so that they can communicate about events is essential, but it’s not always obvious in the beginning that they need to share information. Figuring out that aspect of scripting will be very important in scaling development from demo-sized games to the large Unity project for which I am training.

Use arrow keys/WASD and mouse to play my game.

Getting the ball rolling on Unity

While my colleagues have been migrating content from our old website to our new not-yet-live one, I’ve been working on learning my way around the Unity game engine, a major part of Project Workhouse. I started from scratch with only a vague knowledge of C#, the language that customized scripts are written in for Unity. In the past week I’ve worked through the “Roll a Ball” tutorial and gotten started on importing assets like textures and materials and using them to good effect in a 3D game environment. – Bard

Here are some snapshots from my version of the “Roll a Ball” tutorial:

Introducing… Bard

13900097_10205740773433412_3525587915357198074_nHi, I’m Bard, and I hate writing introductions. When I was supposed to introduce myself as a freshman at Carleton on the Facebook page, I got so worried my introduction would sound like every other one that I wrote a sonnet instead. Since then I’ve found outlets for my interests in medieval history and literature, romance languages, early music and folk music, roleplaying games, programming, and theatre. I’m a Computer Science major and a Medieval and Renaissance Studies concentrator. I got excited about digital scholarship as the natural intersection of my disciplines. As a DHA I hope to learn new software and best practices for collaboration in digital scholarship so that I can apply them to research projects in grad school and beyond.

During this week’s training, I was surprised to learn just how much our group of student workers helps build websites. I was used to thinking of 3D printing and modeling or GIS (geographic information systems) as standard digital humanities projects, but at its simplest and most widely useful, our job is about making scholarship digital and widely accessible, and the way to do that is by making (good) websites. Time to actually learn some CSS.