Jono Shields

Procedural Patterns

 So a few weeks ago I saw a really great pattern on a van driving around.

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I thought it was really cool, so today I sat down and made an algorithm to generate something similar.

Lets begin with the finished product.

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I started with perlin noise, this is for the smooth transitions and is actually the core of the pattern.

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In the example above the perlin algorithm gives me values between 0 and 1 depending where on the grid each point is. I am then rendering it so that the values closer to 0 are darker and closer 1 one are lighter.

Then I simply map those values from 0 to 1 to a full spectrum of hue. This basically means that each value represents a colour in the rainbow, 0 is red, 0.2 is orange, 0.4 is yellow, 0.6 is green …. so on so forth… and every colour in between.

Then we get something like this…

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The last step is just breaking it down into triangles, giving each triangle a different saturation and brightness. Then we are done. Easy as pie.

And here is a lovely animated version for reading the whole thing.

The source code for the above is here.


Learning to Draw

As a programmer I am usually pretty limited making games by myself. And when I say limited I mean that I tend to use programmer art or get stuck in procedural generation rather than my actual game.

So when I arrived back from MIGW I decided that I was going to learn to draw. I found a nice set of lessons online and now 2 weeks later I have finished my first one.

I used /u/Uncomfortable’s lessons on DrawABox and would highly recommend them for anyone learning to draw. I found them especially awesome because of how methodical they were, super easy to follow and highlighting exactly what you want to learn from each stage of the lesson.

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I am not going to bore you with the details but I will list some of the great things I’ve learned so far.

  • Drawing from the shoulder
  • Drawing straight lines
  • When drawing from perspective, the closer something is then the bigger it should be.

This sounds really simple and kind of obvious, but there is a big difference between have the theoretical skills to notice something looks wrong and the practical skills to draw it right first time.

#learninglots

More and betterer art things to come…

Jono out.

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Asylum Jam 2016

Hey TEAM!

In the weekend past my brother and I took part in Asylum Jam.

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Asylum Jam is a 48 hour long game jam where game developers are challenged to make a horror game and explore the genre without negative mental health or medical stereotypes.

And we didn’t just make something stupid scary like some of the other (seriously fucked up) games I have made at game jams.

Instead we wanted to make something more meaningful, an experience that anyone playing could empathise with.

If you are interested you can check it out here.

So how did we do?

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Not great. And here is why…

We prioritised gameplay and aesthetics over dialogue

This meant that our first iteration of the dialogue was also the last. Interactions were thusly short, not well thought out and overly simplified.

We lacked commitment

We still don’t have a narrative. We had an idea on day 2 to make the story about someone transitioning from man to woman. I fell in love with this idea immediately and wanted to pursue it further. But I was a wuss, I was scared that I would fuck up and misrepresent trans. I was also way too anxious to even ask people with more knowledge on twitter, this was super disappointing considering all the new and diverse people I met at MIGW.

This is one of those moments of self reflection where I need to take a good look at myself and actively try harder if I want to improve.

As Liam says…

He is my hero ❤️

We had normal game jam problems

The usual lack of time, lack of sleep and lack of resource that you encounter doing a gamejam.

Final thoughts

I feel you get as much out of game jams as you put in. It was a great learning experience and I got a lot out of using Unity for 2d and visual effects for the first time. And this is definitely something I would like to keep working on.