ProjectXyz: Why I Started A Team For My Hobby Project

Who Needs A Team?! I've been building RPG backends for as long as I've been able to code. I think my first one that I made for my grade 11 class is the only RPG that I "finished"... It was text-based and all you could do was fight AI via clicking attack, buy better weapons, level up, and repeat. It was also 10000 lines of VB6 code and so brutal that I couldn't add anything to it without copying hundreds of lines of code. Since then, I've had the itch. I keep rewriting this thing. I keep taking "Text RPG" (super cool and catchy, I know) and rewriting it. I had my first visual representation of this game called Macerus (here's another rewrite for unity), which is actually how I landed my first co-op job. But every time I'd get…

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Stitching – Combining Unity3D And Autofac

Before We Talk About Stitching... In Unity3D, the scripts we write and attach to GameObjects inherit from a base class called MonoBehaviour (and yes, that says Behaviour with a U in it, not the American spelling like Behavior... Just a heads up). MonoBehaviour instances can be attached to GameObjects in code by calling the AddComponent method, which takes a type parameter or type argument, and returns the new instance of the attached MonoBehaviour that it creates. This API usage means that: We cannot attach existing instances of a MonoBehaviour to a GameObject Unity3D takes care of instantiating MonoBehaviours for us (thanks Unity!) ... We can't pass parameters into the constructor of a MonoBehaviour because Unity3D only handles parameterless constructors (boo Unity!) So what's the problem with that? It kind of goes against some design patterns I'm a big fan of,…

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Using Autofac With Unity3D

Why Consider Using Autofac With Unity3D? I think using a dependency injection framework is really valuable when you're building a complex application, and in my opinion, a game built in Unity is a great example of this. Using Autofac with Unity3D doesn't need to be a special case. I wrote a primer for using Autofac, and in it I discuss reasons why it's valuable and some of the reasons you'd consider switching to using a dependency container framework. Now it doesn't need to be Autofac, but I love the API and the usability, so that's my weapon of choice. Building a game can result in many complex systems working together. Not only that, if you intend to build many games it's a great opportunity to refactor code into different libraries for re-usability. If we're practicing writing good code using constructor…

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Dependency Injection with Autofac – A Primer

Before Autofac... I've written before about IoC and dependency injection, but these are older posts and my perspective and experience with these topics has fortunately been growing. I think they're incredibly important when you're building complex systems, but the concepts can offer some benefits in all of your programming! When you get in the habit of practicing this kind of thing, you can get some pretty flexible code... for free. So a quick recap on what I mean by dependency injection here... I'm mostly focused on passing interfaces into constructors (and yes, I'm going to be using C# terminology as I do in most of my programming examples, but these concepts are generally the same in other languages). The benefits here: You can write implementations that don't depend on other implementations... Just an API. Not depending on an interface means…

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Unity3D and .NET 4.x Framework

Unity3D Default .NET Framework I recently wrote that I wanted to start writing more Unity3D articles because I'm starting to pick up more Unity3D hobby work. It felt like a good opportunity to share some of my learnings so that anyone searching across the web might stumble upon this and get answers to the same problems I had. Unity3D as of 2018.1.1f1 (which is the version I'm currently using), still defaults to using .NET 3.5 as the framework version. Nothing wrong with that either. I'm sure there are reasons that they have for staying at that version, probably because of Mono and cross platform reasons if I were to guess, so I'm not complaining. For reference, this setting in Unity3D is referred to as "Scripting Runtime Version". So if you're googling more about this later, that's what Unity calls it.…

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Delta State Algorithm Creation Series

Delta State Algorithm Motivation This post will act as the table of contents for an algorithm I'm developing for calculating deltas between state for generic sets of data. I figured this would be an interesting series to write about so I can document my thought process, trials, errors, and successes. At the end of this I plan to share working code that implements this algorithm so that you can use it in your own work. Now that I've been not diving more into Unity3D development for my hobby programming, I'm getting to a point in game development where I need to manage state for data in a way that allows patches of state to be applied in a layered fashion. A couple of examples of this include: Applying save game state to a base game state Applying a patch to…

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What Makes Good Code? – Should Every Class Have An Interface? Pt 2

Should Every Class Have an Interface? This is part two in the sub-series of "Should Every Class Have an Interface?", and part of the bigger "What Makes Good Code?" series. Other Peoples' Code So in the last post, we made sure we could get an interface for every class we made. Okay, well that's all fine and dandy (I say half sarcastically). But you and I are smart programmers, so we like to re-use other peoples' code in our own projects. But wait just a second! It looks like Joe Shmoe didn't use interfaces in his API that he created! We refuse to pollute our beautiful interface-rich code with his! What can we do about it? Wrap it. That's right! If we add a little bit of code we can get all the benefits as the example we walked through originally. It's…

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API: Top-Down? Bottom-Up? Somewhere in the Middle?

A Quick Brain-Dump on API Desgin I'll keep this one pretty brief as I haven't totally nailed down my thoughts on this. I still thought it was worth a quick little post: When you're creating a brand new API to expose some functionality of a system, should you design it with a strong focus on how the internals work? Should you ignore how internals work and make it as easy to consume as possible? Or is there an obvious balance? I find myself trying to answer this question without ever explicitly asking it. Any time I'm looking to extend or connect systems, this is likely to come up. Most Recently... Most recently I started trying to look at creating an API over AMQP to connect my game back-end to a Unity 3D front-end. I had been developing the back-end for…

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What Makes Good Code? – Should Every Class Have An Interface? Pt 1

What's An Interface? I mentioned in the first post of this series that I'll likely be referring to C# in most of these posts. I think the concept of an interface in C# extends to other languages--sometimes by a different name--so the discussion here may still be applicable. Some examples in C++, Java, and Python to get you going for comparisons. From MSDN: An interface contains definitions for a group of related functionalities that a class or a struct can implement. By using interfaces, you can, for example, include behavior from multiple sources in a class. That capability is important in C# because the language doesn't support multiple inheritance of classes. In addition, you must use an interface if you want to simulate inheritance for structs, because they can't actually inherit from another struct or class. It's also important to note…

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What Makes Good Code? – Patterns and Practices Series

What Makes Good Code? It's been a while since I've had a programming oriented post, and I figured this would be a great topic to write about. It's been a topic I've been thinking about more and more over the last year and I've been experimenting with certain patterns and practices to see if certain things actually make code "better". A lot of the information presented in this series will be completely based on my opinion, but I'll try to back up my opinion with as many concrete examples as I can. If you have a differing opinion, I'd love to hear it in the comments. I'd also like to call out that much of what I'll be discussing is in the context of object oriented programming. To be specific, there may be mostly C# examples used. If this isn't something…

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