Week 1 – Good start

I’ve been actively working on my new project for about a week now. I thought maybe I should start blogging about the progress every now and then. So stay tuned!

low poly landscapeThe game I’m working on is yer good ol’ classic tower defense game. I think this is a fitting project for starting out and gathering experience. I hope I can finish this in a few months of time, leading to a simple but quite polished game that is highly moddable and supports multiplayer. After all, I am running out of Warcraft 3 tower defense maps to play with my best friend, so let’s hope so…

Why am I doing this?

I work as a full-time programmer at a big, well-known company in Austria and I have really nice colleagues there. With some of them I’ve studied game engineering at a university in Vienna. Most of the time I really love my job. However, the only games I work on are slot games, which, in the end, is as fulfilling as it sounds. Even though they are high-quality products, they are not the kind of games that put a smile on a young player’s face like e.g. Sonic The Hedgehog has done for me. Thus, after some years I’ve decided that I need a change-of-pace to work on my own video game projects in my free time. I hope I can finally put my gathered and ever-growing not-slot-game-specific knowledge to good use and create some fun games for you guys out there!

New game project

It’s been some time…
I’m now officially allowed to work on private projects in my free time and I’ve got some great ideas for enjoyable games. The first one will be a small, personal project that will provide training in UE4, blender and FL studio for me. So this will be the starting point to gather some experience as indie game dev.

I’ll keep you up-to-date on my Twitter account. Feel free to follow me ;)

Windows 10 Anniversary Update – External Hard Drive Not Showing Up & Black Screen Circle

You are probably also getting the Windows 10 Anniversary Update these days. Although you can use the Microsoft Edge browser now, since it supports custom download locations and AdBlock, there are some typical quirky Microsoft moments happening on PCs thanks to that. Unfortunately, I have experienced some of these problems. Here are two of them and I hope that I can help you fixing them.

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Enabling the two finger tap middle mouse button for Elan touchpad

Recently I’ve upgraded to Windows 10 on my notebook and had problems to get the two finger-tap working. The newest version of the Elan touchpad driver only supports showing the context menu for that action. I don’t know if anyone actually needs that because that’s exactly what the right mouse button is for…

However, there is a relatively easy way to enable the old functionality of the two finger-tap. I know this is a less game dev related topic, but for me it’s actually important for the workflow in Visual Studio or Firefox. This should work not only for Windows 10, but also for 8, 8.1 and maybe 7. So here we go:

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Camera Navigation for Strategy Games in Unreal Engine 4

Lately, I’ve been fiddling around with a game prototype for a strategy game in Unreal Engine 4. Although it’s possible to create any kind of game with the engine, it’s main focus rests on the action and RPG genres. Thus, things like a camera navigation for strategy games have been a little tricky. I couldn’t find much help in the forums and the strategy game sample didn’t help.

Strategy Game Prototype
Prototype of a stragety game I’ve been working on.

However, I’ve come up with a solution that I wanted to share with you. So maybe you are also working on a strategy game in UE4 and need some help.

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Have you played Move?

Preview Move

I’ve already mentioned it in my very first post: Move is a simple game created by me and could be best described as a puzzle game. It’s available on Desura, itch.io and, good heavens, Windows Store. However, I’ve also created its own page on gamedevpuzzler.com (thus introducing the “My Games” category  below the search field) where you can play it directly in your browser, watch the trailer and get more infos.

Have fun!

Disabling / Enabling an Actor in Unreal Engine 4

Maybe you are like me and have been working with the Unity3D game engine. However, how could you resist from trying the new Unreal Engine 4? Especially, since you can get the whole engine including the source code for free.

Well, the time may come that you notice some minor differences between the two engines… Thus, soon the single most important question will come to your mind: “How do I disable and enable actors in UE4? Where is the checkbox and why is there no SetActive() method?” For example, when you are thinking about improving the performance for mobile projects, patterns like object pooling come to your mind. Or you simply want to disable an item when the player stores it in his inventory.

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Welcome and what’s the deal with the puzzles?

Welcome to GameDevPuzzler.com!

Who is this guy and why is he talking about puzzles? Well, my name is Simon and I live in the great country of Austria (you know… Schnitzel, Würstl and so on). As long as I can remember I’ve been playing videogames, starting with games like Sonic The Hedgehog on the Sega Megadrive (Genesis) as well as Railroad Tycoon and Dungeon Master on the Atari ST. And I’ve never stopped, which is why for example I have over 2300 hours of game time in Guild Wars and I’m not sure if I should be proud or ashamed about that.

Continue reading Welcome and what’s the deal with the puzzles?