Workflow Basics

Howdy! This is TrinketTom reporting to give you a rundown of the add-ons and services that contribute to our daily workflow. The program we use the most is Unity, with ex2D and NGUI added on top. I’ll briefly review our experience with them and then discuss the web services we use for task tracking, version control, and analytics.

CSEditor

ex2D

Out of the box, Unity provides minimal support for creating 2D games. Unity doesn’t actively stop you, but there’s nothing to help manage depth, easily pack sprite animations, or assist with resolution-independence. After a bit of research, we chose ex2D to give us a boost in creating our first 2D game. With source access and the straightforward, Unity-style components, we’ve been able to focus on making a 2D game instead of a foundation for one.

Pros:

  • Full source is cheap ($150 from their website)
  • Animation editor is the best available. Great for hand-drawn animations and easy to use
  • Solid atlas packer (better than Unity’s and modifiable with source)
  • Follows the Unity component and animation paradigm

Cons:

  • No collision editing (we haven’t needed this yet, but 2DToolkit has it)
  • No sprite dicing (2DToolkit supports it)
ex2D Animation Editor

ex2D Animation Editor

Color Sheep's gigantic ex2D FX Atlas

Color Sheep’s gigantic ex2D FX Atlas

NGUI

We had some experience with EZGUI but settled on NGUI and have been very happy. Creating a new UI screen is very easy, there are a ton of great default widgets, and most things work right out of the box.

Pros:

  • Source access ($95 but is often on sale for over half off in the Asset Store)
  • Widgets are extremely easy to understand and create
  • Great Inspector integration – easy to hunt for draw calls
  • Follows the Unity component paradigm, so it’s easy and safe to tween

Cons:

  • Atlas packer uses Unity’s and has a weird UI (planning to link to ex2D’s)
  • Font updating sometimes requires encouragement
All of Color Sheep's UI

All of Color Sheep’s UI

Asana

We use Asana for our task and bug lists. Asana is extremely lightweight, which is great for a team of 3, but still full-featured enough for any odd tasks. I think our average programming task takes 30 minutes to complete, though if that was significantly higher we might use Trello. Asana has a bunch of features we don’t use, but they aren’t intrusive. The Asana folks are adding new features all the time, like subtasks, which we now use frequently.

Assembla

We’re using multiple free Assembla repositories. We’ve been perfectly happy with their implementation of commit emails and haven’t had any hosting problems. Our short projects haven’t hit the free storage ceiling yet, either. Highly recommended for small projects.

Playtomic

Playtomic is a free service for analytics and leaderboards (and a bunch more stuff that we aren’t yet using). We use their leaderboard service, which integrates with Facebook IDs easily, and gameplay statistic tracker.