Prototypes and practice vs. theory

People in Love gameFollowing my own preaching about the importance of prototypes, I’ve put together a quick and dirty prototype of People in Love, a game about urban design and quality of life. Or about love. The prototype is here and I got some interesting feedback.

Now what happens? Well, I throw away the prototype and build a new one. Based on user feedback? Well, not exactly.

This first prototype (actually n-th, first shared with more than 2 people) got me to find a way to include graphical narrative and hence give depth to play, which will be my next prototype. No tester asked for this in clear words, but it is what puts together the feedback I had.

This on the background of my testing many creative games and extensive readings on games and narrative. The critique of your prototype is non trivial and requires a background theory.

User will provide a refined usage feedback in action, but likely a rough and maybe misleading theory about it (Jeff Atwood wrote a beautiful post on this). You have to know the context and put the puzzle together.

So prototyping is a productive tool if in the context of an intense research; it lives by research, it is a form of research, not a replacement of it.

Feeling better now I said it clearly :-)

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A very short note on Unity 2D and pixel characters

Just a note on a simple problem with Unity 2D and small sprites’ physics.


imageI could not get my 2 pixel by 2 activist demonstrating in the scene to collide with buildings when working in 2D. By using the 3D box collider and locking rotations everything worked fine, but it was not cool at all given the very flat design of People in Love.

I am using 2D Toolkit for handling sprites and atlases, and I was using its built-in 2D physics collider integration, letting it compute the perfectly fitting box collider. But I didn’t get (2D) collisions.

But then using Unity 4.5.2 I got this warning at runtime: “The collider did not create a collision shape…”


Turns out this is the problem:

Box Collider 2D does not collide when its size is small (like 0.01)

2 pixel wide activist


The solution is not hard: I simply set in 2D Toolkit to leave the colliders as user defined, and I added an Edge Collider 2D to the activist prefab. Works fine Sorriso

EDIT: Thanks to a suggestion from the ineffable Daniele Giardini I’m now using a Circle Collider 2D which works fine even at 0.003 radius and fits perfectly with my activists.

Now I am a Unity beginner dev so any suggestion on refining this would be very welcome – I’m here on Twitter.


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