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The answer to every 'Can it be done?' and 'I've lost my way' post.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Gigiwoo, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. GenericGame

    GenericGame

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    2 weeks in, i have this game, almost ready for mobile. I will say I started work on this about a year ago but never finished it. Here is 2 weeks of work with me and one other person on the team.

    infinite terrain downhill sledding game
    The point of the game is try to go as fast as you can down hill. You get torque top-speed power-ups for collecting coins. The inverse of that is, hitting the terrain too hard lowers your torque top-speed.

    Web Player:
    http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/re46tixonqwzd4o/01.html

    $Screenshot1x800.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  2. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

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  3. GenericGame

    GenericGame

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    strange, it is loaded for me and another colleague. Maybe try a CTRL+5 refresh on the page?
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2013
  4. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

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    For months, one of our apps outperformed all the others, in both downloads and content consumption. And yet, it had the lowest monetization of all! As bullets go, it was a near-miss. So, for my 12 week challenge, I rewrote it from scratch. New stories, art, interface, everything! I even hired Iron Belly Studios (thanks Ryan!) to create a model for my wife, so she could tell her side of the story (pics below)!

    10 weeks and 2 days (for approval) later, it's now available on iTunes Good Sex, Great Marriage. Share some love on the forum thread or with a review on the app-store.

    PS - If yer dating, engaged, or married, give it 7 minutes, and you'll be a fan too.

    $Image1_Combined_960x640_shrunk.png

    $Image3_shrunk.png

    Gigi.
     
  5. MarkrosoftGames

    MarkrosoftGames

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    no android love?
     
  6. BTStone

    BTStone

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    I would like to hear some opinions about a certain view:
    My girlfriend and I started our Indie-Life months ago. I was a student and she is still (both studied/studying GameDesign/GameDevelopment). I'm the Programmer, she's the Artist. Before my study I never got in touch with programming, but in the first semester I got into object-oriented programming (Java). After two semester I figured out that that certain study path is extremely theoretical and didn't focus on game-development but just IT. I started foolign around with Objective-C in order to create a little App. I succeded, but never put it in the AppStore since it...sucked :D
    That moment I knew what I want to do in my life: creating games in an independend way. But I knew: I'm an amateur and I'm also not the best programmer there is. A lot of my colleagues were/are so much better in coding than I am. So I searched for professional advice on the internet, and all advice I found was like: "Think small. Then think smaller again." or for example this topic/this startpost.
    To be honest, it is great advice, but I started to think in a different way, too. Of course I didn't wanted to think "small", but I didn't want to create a big MMO on the other hand. I started to think what I want to do exactly. At that time I had a certain game-idea with my girlfriend. And then I realised:

    What can I do? What can I realise with my personal skill-set?

    I knew I never could create my own game-engine (well, never say never, but I knew it would take a long long time), so I downloaded Unity and started to learn the handling with that Engine. I didn't start prototyping the game, but looked up different tutorials, tried things out, searched for problems I never had (UnityAnswers) just to know in case, peeped in the AssetStore, bought some plugins (PlayMaker :p ), dived in documentation of Unity and Third-Party-Plugins. Some Months did past and at a certain point I expanded my knowledge. I'm still not a good programmer, but after hours of "training" with that certain toolset I felt ready to tackle the idea, and yeah, the project is developing further :)

    I think it's not important to think "small" or even "smaller", but it's essentially to think realisticly.
    Is it possible to make a big (to instance) MMO? Of course it is.
    Do I have the skills to make a MMO? Hell no.

    So, personally I would suggest: don't necessarily think "small", but think honest about the skill-set you have.
     
  7. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

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    Supporting Android has costs - $1500 Unity upgrade + purchasing devices + time. So, instead, I have chosen to focus on perfecting my craft. Releasing products, testing bullets, improving EVERYTHING I do - art, stories, interface. And the deliberate practice is paying off - earlier this month, I hit two major milestones: 100,000 downloads 1000 reviews!

    This recent update took a massive 10 weeks, and for my little niche of the world, it's about as close to perfect as I'm likely to get. Time will tell if it warrants crossing the Android divide or who knows, maybe one day, I'll win a free upgrade. Where can I get lottery tickets for that?

    Gigi.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2013
  8. jjennings1990

    jjennings1990

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    I guess I took this challenge on without even knowing it exists , it was fueled by a poor interview I did at one of my favorite game studios but hopefully this will improve my portfolio and it was my first real foray into gameplay. I developed the project by myself in 3 months and its my baby . I came up with the entire concept, all code, and even the music myself.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KIfe2zWNH7o&feature=c4-feed-u

    Here is my portfolio link http://www.behance.net/gallery/Invasion-Force-(-Unity-3D-Personal-Project)/9512283 for the gallery

    Here is the link to the game online

    http://jjenningsgames.weebly.com/invasion-force.html
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013
  9. Christian-Tucker

    Christian-Tucker

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    Hello Community, I've been messing around in Unity for about a week now and I've done a great deal in my mind, but my problem is, I like to set my goals way too high and I expect myself to be able to finish it rather quickly, I'm aware that creating a game shouldn't only take 2-3 weeks, although considering I spent about 18hours a day messing with this, I'm sure I can figure something out.

    I'm just asking for some Small projects you guys can toss at me, kind-of like "Novice Challenges" to see if I can complete them, and continue to move forward.

    Suggestion should include Game Mechanics, please.
     
  10. wh1036

    wh1036

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    I would start with any of the tutorials provided by Unity to get a grasp of the engine. Even though you may know how to do something one way, you may find easier and more efficient methods by using the tutorials.

    Other than that, try making some mini-games. My first personal project was a 3d shooting range. It had a menu that kept the high score local to the computer, a timer, targets with animations to pop up at random time intervals and get knocked over when a projectile collided with them. Should be able to finish something like that in well under the timeframe you had in mind.

    Keep it simple. Try to complete a few small projects concentrating on 1 or 2 mechanics before tackling a big project. You can always expand on them or put them together to make a mini-game compilation.
     
  11. Christian-Tucker

    Christian-Tucker

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    I've already done this, I'm trying to stay away from the "Shooting" type of games although. Thanks for the idea, hopefully I get some more thrown my way, I'm currently working on an RTS engine, but I'm having some problems understanding the best way to handle unit selection. I've got everything running fine, unit handlers, and I have a method of selecting them, but it's not that great and doesn't write to anything, it's just a boolean.
     
  12. wh1036

    wh1036

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    Look into raycasting and comparetag for unit selections. Search the answers section for them and any other particular game mechanics problems you run into. With a rts game make sure you are prepared to make lots of menus and look into pathfinding.

    I still recommend starting small. For example, making a board game or puzzle with a grid system and menus would teach some concepts to make a rts game. The main thing is to work on a project you can finish. If you are dedicated and passionate about the project you're working on, go for it. Just be prepared to hit a few bumps on the way.
     
  13. thomsonwm

    thomsonwm

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    Thanks to share.
     
  14. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    Make a few clones. Tetris, Space Invaders, Pac Man, Breakout. All simple games and all well known, but they'll each teach you something important.
     
  15. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

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    ^ this. Other ideas include Tower Defense, Runners, etc... Things to avoid include: networking, 3D physics, character models, ... Things that 'seem easy enough' until they knock you on your butt.

    Gigi
     
  16. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    I started a new game on Friday. Still not 100% sure I'll finish it since it's still in early prototype phase and I'm still spending a reasonable amount of time on master Thief, but I'll post screenies.

    If I decide to finish it I'll be having a go at that 12 week challenge, I think. :)
     
  17. TruthOf42

    TruthOf42

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    I am a professional [C#/.NET/Web] developer, with a year (of work experience) under my belt, but I have been programming since highschool. I think of myself as a good coder, though with much to learn.

    My long-term goal is create a side scroller, akin to Limbo or Braid. But first I must learn the basics of using Unity and general game design. Right now I'm checking out tutorials, (e.g. Runner) and going through the steps.

    Has anyone moved from being an Application Programmer/Developer to being a Game Developer? Were/are there things that are good to learn first? Are there things about being a Game Developer that are dramatically different?

    I'm also interested to hear about the artistic aspect. I personally, have very little artistic skill. Are there other developers who have little artistic skill, but can develop good looking games without paying a fortune for artists/designers?
     
  18. Valder

    Valder

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    it's the same problem for me. I've got the great book "Watkins A. - Creating Games with Unity and Maya How to Develop Fun and Marketable 3D Games" - must have for devs withouht "artistic skills"

    description:
     
  19. mBeierl

    mBeierl

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    I accept. I will finish my space game prototype in the next 12 weeks. You will hear from me. Thank you, Gigiwoo2.
     
  20. Maklaud

    Maklaud

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    Finally, I have finished this! I'm not a native English speaker, and you guys use a bit difficult constructions in your rather big posts, so it was a good challenge for me :)

    But you guys tell really good and useful things! I have learned something from your posts and I try to use it in my gamedev journey.

    As for my way, I don't know if it's left or right. It seems I never made this mistake - didn't try to make a huge game right away.
    First, I'm a software engineer, it's my job, so I can develop software. I never say I'm a very good developer (there is a rule - always think you are "average"), but I can develop :)
    Second, now I'm making my first Unity game, but it isn't my first game. I started long ago, and I have given up some games, but I have also released a few ones. The first was a mineswapper using Ogre3d, rather simple and nice colorful game. Then 6 games on Windows Phone - again, rather simple. I started from a matching game, then jewels game with some effects and achievements, then a simple shooter, then a "connect four" game, then a simple sheep animation (to count running sheep to fall asleep :) ), and then one game to train memory. I don't remember the time I spent on these games, but not so much, and I didn't work on them every day and the whole day - just a few hours a week, when I had some spare time.

    And here is my next game (in my signature). Again, I don't want to make it too complicated and I really want to finish and release it. That's why I don't want to add too many features there. But I have already spent too much time on it (I started it last spring), because I don't work on it every day. So I didn't use Gigi's challenge here (maybe I should have used...), because I didn't even know about it when I started this game. And I really fill I'm stuck with this game. I want to draw some new graphics, add levels and finally release the game. And if it's a success, I will add some more features in the 2.0 version. If not, I mean if the game fails, I don't want to give up and will try to make another simple game, like Gigi says - Fail, Improve, Repeat! :)

    I can't accept the Gigi's challenge, because I can't always manage my time because of some reasons. And I'm pretty sure - if I accept it, I will not finish the game on time.

    And... Frankly, it always hurts when you fails, I know that. Even if I understand this, it hurts anyway. But it's always important to be strong, not give up. And as a final of this post I want to share one good thing I met some time ago: No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.
     
  21. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

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    So true. And it cuts much deeper when you've invested 2 years. Which is why I started the 12-week challenge. Fail. Improve. Repeat. Fast and often.
    Gigi

    PS - My app is now the #1 Marriage App on iOS! And it took a lot of failures to get there.
     
  22. minionnz

    minionnz

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    I agree and think it can be applied to other types of projects as well. I come from a web development background and I remember working on one amazing product for over a year. At the end of that year, demand had dropped, the scope had changed significantly from the original, my budget had been blown - and I had to make a choice: Continue investing into the project and take the risk of it failing, or cut my losses and start fresh (smaller scale).
    I decided to continue pushing the project - after all, I had spent a year of my time + thousands of dollars already, to give up now would be a complete waste of all the time.
    Looking back, I made the wrong decision - the sunk cost fallacy at work. I ended up spending another $5,000 finishing the project, only to have it fall on it's face at the end of it. I should have cut my losses, and instead salvaged as much of that code as I could and pushed into a smaller project.

    The biggest problem is that everyone always wants to create the best product, so they dream up amazing features - and while those features are amazing, a lot of the time they're unrealistic.
    If you're aiming to create the best product ever, then you're never going to be happy with the end result so you'll continue extending the scope, pouring more money and time into a project that will likely never be finished.

    The 12 week challenge is a great way to avoid these problems and enforce self-discipline, and I'll be using that in all aspects of life now - Small, incremental releases/goals are the key.
    I'm three weeks in and I've already thought up other enhancements - but the 12 week limit has meant I've had to push those aside. Overall, I'm really happy with the progress I've made so far - and I'm excited that I have ideas for the next version already.

    I'm not quite ready to share, but expect to see another project listed on here very soon :)
     
  23. GenericGame

    GenericGame

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    My progress on the challenge:

    http://apps.facebook.com/downhillomg

    Still not complete, but most things I wanted to get in there, are in there and functioning. I'm going to spend the next week polishing the game up.
     
  24. chelnok

    chelnok

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    Link is broken: "Sorry, this page isn't available The link you followed may be broken, or the page may have been removed." You might have forget to make the page public..?
     
  25. GenericGame

    GenericGame

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    you have to be logged into facebook to use any facebook app. the app will then request permissions afterwards.
     
  26. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

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    A dev found himself at GDC 2013 this year, and wrote up a nice piece on Indie development, where I found these quotes:

    And also this quote about NimbleBit (makes of Tiny Tower):

    And then the author shared this about his own work:

    Which is eerily similar to Minionnz story:

    @Minionnz - liked your story. Thanks for sharing and look forward to seeing your new game.

    Gigi
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013
    asdzxcv777 and John-Catan like this.
  27. Fornoreason1000

    Fornoreason1000

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    I accept, 12 weeks? am i allowed to continue Updates for the game when i release it? (e.g new features, guns, more levels)
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  28. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    Nobody's going to stop you or discourage you. The point is to get in the habit of finishing things, not to cut yourself short if there's more you want to do. But bearing that in mind, don't let tweaking something stop you from starting something new as well.
     
  29. Fornoreason1000

    Fornoreason1000

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    DLC was the word i was looking for... and of course bug fixes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013
  30. yoonitee

    yoonitee

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    Yes, good advice to some extent. But 9 weeks? The quickest game I've made from concept to putting it in the store was about 3 days! And surprisingly it was well received too and maybe downloaded about a million times in a year so what I'm saying is start a bit smaller maybe?
     
  31. landon912

    landon912

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    Woah boy! My project has one month left before it has to hit the market and man it has been a ride. I'm approaching the feature freeze and the race to polish is on!

    Gigi's word of wisdom that finishing a project is death by paper cuts is defiantly coming into perspective as I start to polish the game.

    Alpha testers needed for next weeks release of version 0.4! hehe ;)
     
  32. roger0

    roger0

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    I have vaguely took the challenge. But I started a game in July and this is what I have been able to do in 86 days. 2 days over the challenge deadline. Its not even near completion though.

    It's a logging game where you build a logging company. Like a RTS game except there's no combat and just resource gathering.

     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2013
  33. fivearchers

    fivearchers

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    I just blew five figures and a year figure this out. I mean I sort of understood the idea of making something simple, but now I really get it. You really don't want to find out the hard way! You end up getting into a poker type situation, where you don't want to drop something because so much is invested in it. But I feel pretty good now - working on a bunch of prototypes, it'll be prototype, see if it has legs, and then polish and release (with promotion/user acquisition in there as well of course).

    One day I'd like to get back to my bigger project, probably :)
     
  34. halley

    halley

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    A classic Sunk Cost Fallacy here.
     
  35. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

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    Big Think has a nice vid on it here.

    Gigi
     
  36. Adrianis

    Adrianis

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    Awesome thread. Thought I was convinced that this path was the righteous one but, now it's for sure

    I accept - 15/10/13
     
  37. CaptCanada

    CaptCanada

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    Great thread with lots of really good feedback!
    I accept the Gigi challenge on October 20 2013. Making a Halloween themed fps explore game.
    Wish me luck!
    Where should I post screenings and/or updates to this challenge?
     
  38. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    There's a Works In Progress forum section. Start a thread and start showing off. :)
     
  39. DilipRamirez

    DilipRamirez

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    I accept. When I finish my product, i'll post here the link for my work :)
     
  40. Mattyy

    Mattyy

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    I have been wanting to post I accept right after I finish school but now it's 5 days over and I have done quiet some progress !
    My Deadline is in 4 weeks from today
    I accept
     
  41. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

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    Heard of survivorship bias? That's when you read only the success stories and ignore the lessons of the disasters, as the guys that made Little Red Runner Hood describe in their gamasutra postmortem.

    Worth a read.

    Gigi
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
  42. Gigiwoo

    Gigiwoo

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    Which is whackier? Making a game about cooking fish and chips (aka British food), or charging up front for it? Whatever the reason, these Indie's made the news. And, I'm beginning to think they're lurking here somewhere ... check out their 12 week dev cycle!

    Gigi
     
  43. MarkrosoftGames

    MarkrosoftGames

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    at least its not another free to play but we'll try to trick you into buying diamonds because after you play for awhile everything takes a really long time to do and paying speeds it up somehow game
     
  44. roger0

    roger0

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    Has anyone heard of project tank? It was a facebook game that was a clone of world of tanks someone did with Unity. I think wargaming sued them, but if it was just one guy who made it, that's incredible. Since world of tanks is made by a company with tons of people....
     
  45. Deleted User

    Deleted User

    Guest

    If it all possible, I'd like to discuss something that I think people with grand goals may end up hitting at some point. So we have hit a certain point, we started with Unity free for three months and trialled Unity pro for the last month and I'd like some community feedback and try to work this out before we give up on this path and move to another engine, so I gather this is a can it be done :):

    > On an original 500x500 terrain size scene (now cut to 200x200) having the best asset's we could purchase and build, Unity is becoming un-responsive due to the amount of RAM taken up as a 32-Bit application. Some times Unity hit's the point of completely un-responsive.. Which is becoming problematic to say the least. Our machines are top end I7's with 16 /.32 GB of RAM just to mention.

    > The performance after occlusion culling and lightmapping, with standard shaders (Nothing fancy) without Vsync is still very poor.. This seems mainly down to Intricate asset's, lighting in darker scenes (Point lights) and especially water.. I'm intrigued as to how a reflective mesh can call so many draw calls when the likes of CryEngine has a beautiful looking ocean that seems to have relatively little impact on performance. Just for reference we have 24 point lights in one scene (It's a night time scene).. It ends up writing off any merit of occlusion culling, because if you turn to the side the game seems extensively jittery as you move around and the frame rate / draw calls jump up and down. Again not an issue in Cryengine..

    > More on performance, deferred lighting and HDR seems to be a good option on increasing performance with post processing AA etc. Albeit increases flicker at an exponential rate and seems to cause more intricate meshes to jump slightly. Again not an issue in the likes of UDK / cryengine, I mean we have tried every quality setting enabled / disabled. Used Unity and our own shaders, created new scripts for Post Process AA and nothing seems to work..

    There is so much in Unity that we love, that even though these are potential deal breakers.. If we can find a solution to these issues, then we don't have to move to the likes of Cryengine (Simple stuff like importing and GUI is nothing short of a pain), as far is it goes Unity is by far the most intuitive and easy to progress engine. Were at a point where we either invest in Unity or move and a decision has to be made.

    Cryengine seems to be the complete opposite of Unity, hard to start but you don't seem to have to battle with rendering paths / GI / performance and all the advanced features for a well performing eye candy game.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 10, 2013
  46. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    To be honest it sounds like you're not making efficient use of resources at all. CryEngine (and potentially UDK) will definitely do better at the things that you're trying since it's purpose built for the type of scene that you're making. Still, Unity will do a pretty decent job if you use resources effectively.

    What units are your terrain sizes? Is that 200m or 200km or what? We can't help without knowing what you're actually doing.
     
  47. Deleted User

    Deleted User

    Guest

    Well the standard Unity Unit AFAIK for terrain is in M so 200 X 200M.

    I'm unsure as to what you mean by using resources efficiently? We followed this to a T http://docs.unity3d.com/Documentation/Manual/OptimizingGraphicsPerformance.html

    We followed the forums and used things like garbage collection as little as possible, last night we imported a similar scene on a grander scale into CryEngine which is a full city size 5KM by 5KM.. Constant 110FPS and no issues what so ever.. We spent nearly a month profiling, looking at bottlenecks, baking, switching, culling with Unity, trying out of the box ideas. If it was as easy as resource management, I'd be very happy..
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 11, 2013
  48. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    Well nobody can help you based on vague descriptions. Make a thread somewhere with screenies of the scene and of what's going on in the Editor and maybe someone can help you from there.
     
  49. HoboMechanistic

    HoboMechanistic

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    I accept - I currently have like three unfinished projects due to scope creep.

    Im starting fresh! It's gonna be small, it's gonna be crappy, but it's gonna be finished! :)

    Will also post here once it's done.
     
  50. Ian094

    Ian094

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    I accept.

    My previous project went down the drain due to lack of vision planning but my new one will definitely be a success.

    I'll post how long it took plus a link to the game when I'm through with it.
     
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