Nick Carlson: The Blue Screen of Death

Hello everyone! Thank you for reading our weekly development blogs! This past week has  had some of the most frustrating moments of my life as a developer. The laptop that I’ve been using, an HP Zbook Workstation, updated to the Windows 10 Creators update a few weeks ago. Ever since that update, my graphics driver has been having issues, which eventually led to a Blue Screen of Death. I spent the entire weekend on and off the phone with HP tech support, and my dad (who also happens to work in IT). We finally got the issue fixed by using an HP download manager to install ALL the important drivers on my laptop one by one in order.

Besides that huge waste of time, I was able to improve the menu of the game. I changed the menu controls from having the player rip documents off the board to play/exit, to a UI canvas and buttons. This change ensures that the player can’t accidentally knock the exit button off the board, closing the game. We may end up re-implementing the paper pull-of method in the future, but for now we are sticking with the more reliable UI system.  I also wrote descriptions for each of our levels, and implemented them into the level select system. I had to go back and change my previous level select script to handle UI objects instead of just game object. This seemingly small change allows me to transition through sprites instead of materials on a plane or flat primitive. I made all of the level descriptions in GIMP, so they’d look a little more professionally made, and we wouldn’t have any issues with 2D/3D text in Unity.

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I also managed to squash some other bugs in the game, including seam issues on level 5, where the player could see the Unity background through certain walls at specific angles. I went through and mended each seam, but then one of my teammates suggested we make the skybox around the level Black, so even if there are seam issues, the player won’t notice a difference.

Walker and I also tackled a bug where the player would accidentally trigger the return to main menu button, and get pulled out of whatever puzzle they were doing. We did this by creating a popup that appears when the player grips the controller twice, that notifies them to squeeze the grip buttons one more time to exit. This way the player is still able to return to the menu, but the controls aren’t easy to accidentally trigger.  This may be changed in the future, and we are working on polishing the popup,  but this technique works well for the time being.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful week. Be sure to keep an eye out for an updated game-play video, next week’s blog post, and changes to our website :
http://www.ottercopter.com

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