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James West

//Installing the needed modules.

Photo by Fotis Fotopoulos on Unsplash

Now that the work on the 2.5D platformer has wrapped up for Game Dev HQ’s professional Unity Developer course I am ready to jump into mobile game development. For this project we will be working with 2D again, just as we did the Space Shooter game. I am kind of excited to get back into 2D work but before I can I have to get my environment setup for game development.

Before I can get started I need to expand my Unity installation to include the tools needed for Android development. …

Photo by Joshua Aragon on Unsplash

Reflecting on life, code, and growth

Sometimes we have to look back to see forward.


I have always done things differently, and my career in Software Development is no different. I hope you will bear with me for a moment while I lay out my backstory and just how much of a beginner I actually was.

I first started working with computers and programming when I was a sophomore in high school, way back in the olden days of 1998–99 in the hills of Eastern Kentucky. Back then, I was a freelance web developer and hobbyist with a full-ride scholarship to a university, where I planned…

//Animation blending is a nightmare

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

One of the challenges I was presented with for my 2.5 Platformer was to create a ladder system where my main character, I have named him “Ralphus”, can climb up to higher platforms. A few days ago I wrote a set or articles the demonstrated creating a ledge grab system (links at the bottom). With the ledge grab under my belt I thought, the ladder can’t be much harder. That is where I made my first mistake.

I again used Mixamo from Adobe to source my animations. Even though I decided to setup a DIY…

// Forget the scripts, lets do this the easy way!

Moving camera in action

We’ve all read the massive number of tutorials out there on “How to make the camera follow the player?” The most common options are A) Attach the Camera to the Player and B) Write a script to handle the movement of the camera based on the player. While both of these methods are perfectly fine ways to accomplish this task I am going to look at a third option using Cinemachine.

In previous articles, I used the Cinemachine virtual camera set up to create camera transitions and cinematics. …

//Hit my head on this one a few times.

This took a little longer than you might think.

Creating a roll animation in Unity with the character controller is a little tricky. Some of the previous tricks I used in ledge grab and ladder climbing didn’t really fit the bill. Here’s a sneak peak of how the ladder and ledge grab worked behind the scenes.

  • Ladder : the ladder climb system snapped the player character controller to the base of the ladder and used movement on the vertical axis to determine the movement of the climb. When the character controller got to the top it froze while the player…

//Limited money? No Problem!

Home made mocap

The last few days I have looked at how we can use Mixamo to download animations for use in our game development projects. What do we do when we can’t find the right animation for our situation?

Luckily you don’t have to drop tens thousands on a mocap suits and cameras. How you might ask? Well let’s have a look at what we need to make this work from your everyday computer.

DISCLAIMER: While I am using iPi software in my demonstration this is not an endorsement or advertisement for their product. …

//remove the headache

Photo by Peter Gombos on Unsplash

Over the last few days I have discussed how to create a ledge grab system in Unity. In one article I noted how the Ledge checker could cause a lot of headaches because we needed to determine two different vector3 coordinates for each ledge. We needed a snap point and a standing position location, each one took a lot of iteration and trial and error to get correct. Today we look at how we can clean that up and create a truly modular ledge grab system.


Part of the animation even script

Over the past few days I have written about how we can use animations to help make a smoke and mirrors ledge grab system. Today we look at the final piece to that puzzle, Animation Events.

//Smoke and mirrors

Hang Time!

The image above might look familiar if you saw yesterdays article on animations from Mixamo. We are going to focus on what is actually occurring in image and not the animations.

What you should notice is a primitive ledge grab system that allows the player grab onto the ledge and hang there until they pull themselves up. So how exactly do we pull this off?

As always we need to look at two aspects of the system, the in engine setup and the code.

In Engine Setup

The system might look like we are grabbing onto a ledge but we…

//Using Animations from Mixamo

5 animation clips and 25 lines of code

Yesterday we discussed how to get assets for our game dev journey from Filebase by GameDevHQ. Today let’s look at how to combine them with Adobe Mixamo to get them animating.

If you are not familiar with Adobe Mixamo, it is a free website (though requires an account) where you can grab quality 3D animations for you characters.

Obtaining an Animation

To get started we need to head over to Mixamo and snatch a good running animation.

James West

Turning my passion for video games and 11 years of software development experience into a focus on video game development using Unity3D.

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