Learning More Best Practices and 3D Gameplay Prototyping

Yo dawgs!

On my spare time, I finished reading Game Engine Architecture by Jason Gregory, a lead programmer at Naughty Dog.  I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning better ways to handle both common and complex problems in a 3D environment for all different fields of the game industry.  Some of the best practices mentioned in the book are GJK collision boundary testing for convex shapes, retargeting poses for 3D objects that have the same skeleton, blending animations using a blend tree, and swapping memory portions of different sections of an open world.  It even does an analysis of different architectures found in the Naughty Dog engine, Ogre, and Unreal.

I have also been messing around with 3D gameplay prototyping with Unreal and Unity.  They both seem to have their pros and cons, but so far, I find that Unreal has more powerful game development features than Unity and its interface has become very similar to Unity.  Also with the move to use C++ as its main scripting language and a similar component based archectiture with Unity, I have begun to like Unreal more.  The gorgeous rendering in Unreal really captured my eye before and seeing features such as retargeting animation poses that was mentioned in the book makes me want to explore Unreal more for now.


Looking Beyond the Horizon

After learning more about game UI in terms of architecture, localization, performance, and constraints, I decided to expand my knowledge about other parts of the game industry.

Recently I have finished reading Practical Game Development with Blender and Unity to learn more about the artist to game engine workflow that optimizes rendering performance and to learn any advanced techniques the book had to offer about being a generalist in the game industry.  I’m liking it so far.  The first few chapters cover about the process from designing to developing the game in more detail.  Then it delves into more about the Blender to Unity workflow and how to optimize that. It also covers the component based system and different ways to save data in Unity.

I also recently purchased some other books such as Learning C++ by Creating Games with UE4 and Game AI Pro 2: Collected Wisdom of Game AI Professionals to further my game development interests.  Learning C++ by Creating Games with UE4 seems too basic for me since I already know how to program.

Game AI Pro 2: Collected Wisdom of Game AI Professionals has some advanced tidbits about AI programming and I’m enjoying it so far.  I would recommend it to anyone looking to do AI programming.


Exporting Blender Models to Unity

Hey all!

Here’s a little tip when exporting Blender models to Unity that I learned while developing games on no budget.  If you export a Blender model directly to Unity, Unity will rotate it by -90 degrees in order to correct it.  We don’t want to deal with this especially if we are manipulating the model’s rotation via code during runtime.


  1. Select the model you want to export to Unity
  2. Go to File -> Export -> FBX
  3. In the Export FBX (See screenshot for reference):
    • Click the Selected Objects box
    • Change the Forward to – Z forward and Up to Y Up to match up with Unity’s left hand coordinate system
    • Check the Apply Transform box

Blender Export Screenshot

There you have it!  Your model appears correctly in Unity and you don’t have the wrong rotation in Unity.



GDC was a blast!  I got to meet a bunch of game professionals, get awesome swag such as a BlackBerry playbook tablet, attend sessions relating to mobile development and publishing, go sightseeing with my fellow RIT friends, and play some Indie and Triple AAA games.  Best part of all, it was all free for me thanks to the funding I got from the RIT honors program.

This quarter has been more programming intensive for me.  In my Data Structures and Algorithms I class, I have been creating physics engines that generate dynamic graphics, while in my Mobile Game and Web App Seminar class, I have learned about using MadComponents for rapid mobile app development.

For my Mobile Game and Web App Seminar class, I am designing and developing a RIT campus mobile app with my partner, Nate, in Flash CS5.5.  Right now it’s in  the rough prototype state with the google map web service being displayed as the stagewebview in Flash Air and a searchbar above, which will be used to search for specific buildings in the RIT campus.  We are hoping to also implement the RIT events calendar feed into our app, so RIT students can find out which events are happening for the week and where.  I also want to see if there is a way to incorporate the Google 8-bit map that was released for April Fools as a side feature to our app.

That’s all for now.  Next week is midterms for me and RIT’s Creativity: Careers in Motion event.  I hope to get some more portfolio feedback from that event and meet companies that offer web design and development internships.


Hello there!

I am Rebecca Vessal, a video game design and development student with the ambitions of breaking into the video game industry.  Feel free to check out some of the games I have designed and developed as part of a team project, solo project, or just for fun.  Hope you have fun playing them!

Currently looking for a summer internship in the video game industry and can double block, be available for 6 months, if needed too.

Check back for updates on my games and blog posts.