Archive for September 2017

Dream Build Play 2017 Dev Log #1

Yes, I’m late in getting started with this, but better late than never I guess. :\

I’m attempting to get a game that I’ve had on the back burner for a couple years completed for Microsoft’s new Dream Build Play competition using Unity and the relatively new Xbox Live Creators Program. Over the past week or so I’ve been looking into the Xbox Live functionality offered when using Unity and the results have been less than great.

It seems the documentation for integrating the functionality into Unity is not complete in the steps required. I posted the problem on the Unity Indie Dev Facebook page and after some back and forth with the awesome Simon Jackson we seem to have come up with a solution, which he recently released a blog post about.

The game I’m working on is one I’ve been kicking around for years, an online and local bot racing/battle game. I’m hoping to include some features that make it attractive – an editor for custom levels that can be shared between all players for infinite replayability, upgrading bots by using earnings from winning games, “awardments” (since XLCP games can’t have Xbox achievements), and leaderboards. If nothing else, I want to at least finally get a game out there. I’ve spent so many years helping others, writing books, and putting out samples that I’ve yet to get a game on a store as an indie game dev. 🙁 While all the things I’ve done have been rewarding it’s a goal I want to cross off my list.

The main work so far besides trying to get the Xbox Live functionality working has been setting up the skeleton of the game – menus & scenes, main game objects, etc. I do this with all my games. I really should make a package out of it to make things easier every time I start a new game, but I never seem to get around to it. It only takes about a half-hour each time, but with all the games I start I’ve wasted at least a dozen hours or two. 🙁 Here’s my typical folder structure:

Since this was a game that I’d started developing in XNA, I already had some existing content. The “Levels” and “Sprites” content were brought in from that game. There will be the standard levels that ship with the game and custom levels that players develop and will hopefully be able to share with other players. Those I’m hoping to store in the cloud using Azure (to score some bonus points in the DBP contest ;)).

Even before creating all this, I set about trying to get the Xbox Live login functionality to work. I’d tried getting it to work in a skeleton project and run into problems so I started a new project with a single scene and tried again. It’s supposedly as easy as dropping a couple of prefabs into a scene and it should just all magically work. That doesn’t seem to be the case however. The prefab tries to automatically sign me in, but fails:

After going through possibilities for a week, I stumbled across a step that I’d missed. This page talks about getting a new title set up in the Xbox Live system. The step where you push your game’s configuration to the test environment I read as something that you did if you’re testing an Xbox version of a game. Since what I’m working on is for the PC, for now, I’d skipped over it. Turns out it needs to be done for any platform using the Xbox Live functionality. :\ I did that and, viola:

So now on to figuring out Leaderboards! 🙂