Recent Posts

A New Dev’s Look at Publishing a Game

When I first started working on Mello about this time last year, I had no idea how difficult it would be. I mean, I knew that it wouldn’t be easy. If it was easy to make a game, skilled developers wouldn’t be paid as well as they are.

It was a difficult process, even though I had a solid team working with me and great instructors and tutors. Sometimes it was a technical problem or question, sometimes it was logistical- a “who, when, and what” kind of question. Most often though, I was plagued by a far more difficult problem to tackle- motivation.

Keeping your nose to the grindstone on a long-term project is almost never easy for me, even on a project that I enjoy working on, such as Mello. If it had just been up to me to finish development and publishing of Mello, I wouldn’t have made it. There were just too many days when I didn’t want to work or wanted to work on something else, or any number of things other than working on this project.

An early cutscene screengrab

The most important thing I learned while working on Mello was how to overcome this “developer’s block.” My best solution? Have immovable deadlines and someone (or someone-s) to keep me on track. That doesn’t mean hurt yourself over arbitrary deadlines- there’s (almost) always some leeway that should be left in the margins of a good schedule. However, it does mean that having an immovable date to get something done by gave me a solid enough reason to work on the project most days. Having good accountability from peers and mentors has also been incredibly helpful. There were plenty of days when I was encouraged (or shamed in a friendly way) into working by tutors, teammates, professors, or even just friends who knew about the project.

That’s not to say it’s all been difficult though. The joys of successfully solving a game logic issue, seeing an animation in motion, and, of course, seeing your page on the steam store are all plentiful and worth all the pain and annoyance that can come with game development.

A level in development

The other thing that I discovered in the process of developing Mello is that a game doesn’t have to be perfect from the get-go. It’s called game development for a reason. There are going to be trials and plenty, plenty of errors along the way. But figuring out how to solve those errors- discovering what’s possible and what’s not- finding the best solution to a given problem and figuring out what people like and don’t like are all part of the process. Ultimately, all these things have made Mello a much better game, and they’ve made me a much better developer.

Mello may still be rough around the edges in many places. It may not ever be the perfect game I want it to be, but I intend to keep working, keep developing it and working on it until I get it as close to perfect as I can.

Check out our game on Steam:

Some of the marshmallows it’s up to you to save

Virtual Production: Using Unity HDRP to Create a Cinematic Short

Have you ever wanted to make an animated or mixed reality video?
You’ve come to the right place!

Dr. Burton’s classes have been making virtual production and cinematics using Unity and Unreal for the past several years. Recently he was asked by the great people at Unity to make a tutorial on how to make a simple animated short using the latest version of Unity (2021) and the High Def Rendering Pipeline (HDRP). Here it is for your learning enjoyment!

Marvelous Designer: Research Into The Art of Modeling 3D Clothes

During the Fall of 2021, Dr. Burton hired Colleen Gostomski, a sophomore DET student, to research how to make 3D clothing. If you didn’t know, this field of 3D modeling is currently on the rise, with digital outfits selling for as much or more than the real thing. Dr. Burton saw an opportunity for students to start small businesses in clothing modeling to help support them up to and after graduation.

Their first test was a plugin for Blender (a popular open-source modeling program) called Cloth Weaver. Cloth Weaver had its benefits, like its familiar layout and hotkeys (assuming the user was already familiar with Blender). However, since it was a plugin, Cloth Weaver had to use Blender’s physics engine do to all it’s calculations. This caused the reputably stable platform to crash frequently. This led to such monstrosities as these:

Honestly, what is this
This one was incredibly horrifying… Don’t apply cloth physics to skin

After a month of struggling with Cloth Weaver, Dr. Burton and Colleen decided to try something else. This was when Dr. Burton suggested Marvelous Designer, which wasn’t a plugin for anything, but an entirely new software. With an engine designed specifically to handle cloth physics, the process of modeling clothes became straightforward. Within a few weeks of use, Colleen had managed to make these:

Which, as you can see, are much better than what she made with Cloth Weaver. She plans to publish what she makes to the Unreal and Unity asset stores. This is an important part of her research: Dr. Burton doesn’t just want to be able to teach students how to make clothes, but also how to profit off of them. Being self-sufficient is an important creed of the DET department.

Colleen will continue to improve her skills with Marvelous Designer and similar programs, and then pass her knowledge on to other students. With any luck, DET students will soon be able to create asset packs for use in projects throughout the department, so keep your eye on the asset stores! You could find some of their work.

Game Engines

Game Engines

After a semester with a great amount of covid restrictions and challenges the DET 260: Game engines course overcame many challenges and produced amazing projects.

Throughout the weeks of this semester, they learned the principles and skills to develop an incredible game in Unity and Unreal.

During the course of the weeks the Game Engines class also studied and developed their skills to acquire The Unity Associate Game Developer certification and the Unreal Online Learning Badge.

Below you will see a compilation of some of the work that the Game engines class developed over the course of the weeks.

More certifications, more opportunities

More certifications, more opportunities

With full access to Adobe Creative Cloud, the opportunity did not go to waste this semester. Freshmen and sophomores had the opportunity and requirements to get certified in different Adobe products here at ACU and were able to apply the skills in other projects that went on throughout the semester in classes like ITC 110, DET 210, and many more. Additionally, with all the opportunities present, it added value to our resumes.

Furthermore, Juniors and Seniors were not left behind on this quest to chase skills. They took Unity game developer certification designed to hone and evaluate one’s skills in game development using the Unity platform and be able to showcase their product as desired, and also Unity certification which is composed of multiple certification choices to choose from and one acquires one of those depending on the years of experience with the use of unity and mastery.

With help of the Gmetrix tutorial courses, day-to-day practice, and application of skills in different areas of studies, 99% of the student are now certified as Adobe Associates.

Furthermore, the spirit of competition was not put to rest. Students participated in the game developer contest where one has to complete five tasks to provide and express his or her creativity and take their career to the next level. The contest is still on until December 13, if you miss out, there is still an opportunity to learn, take your chance by referring to this link: which has all the information needed for one to begin.

DET Awards 2020: Pandemic Edition

DET Awards 2020: Pandemic Edition

The DET Awards is an annual event hosted by the DET club here at ACU. The ceremony consists of recognizing the talented students that are obtaining a degree in Digital Entertainment Technology primarily but the competition is open to all the creative majors that we have on campus. The DET Awards are usually hosted by the end of the semester in the Spring. This year’s ceremony was a little different.

In the midst of the Pandemic, the DET Club officers still wanted to make the DET awards possible, and after going online this became a task of its own. After much preparation, the DET Awards submission went live and the DET club made a call to all artists on our campus to submit their artwork to the different Categories they had set in place.

Design by: Jael Morel

As you can see The DET Awards we’re not only focused on one area but had various categories for all kinds of artists. The Winners of the categories were decided by a Panel of Judges integrated by Doctor Brian Burton and Professor Rich Tanner.

In the midst of everything, As an organization and program we still wanted to recognize the students that won this categories. This is why we decided to host the event virtually through Discord! All the categories were announced and celebrated by the members of our community!

These are our DET Awards 2020 Winners per category:

As a community we are extremely proud of all the accomplishments and hard work of our students. After a series of challenges and the craziest semester ever we are all still artist and it’s important to recognize and celebrate each others accomplishments.

Each student received a sticker with the category they won:

Design by Jael Morel

Listed below check out some of the winner submissions:

Enjoy the amazing art By amazing student artist !

2D Art: Camila Rodrigues

3D Model: Will Stanley

Animation: Jael Morel & Camila Rodrigues

Vignette: Camila Rodrigues

Texture: Jael Morel

Film: Katie Pantoja

VR Game:

Ethics Court 

Jael Morel, Alison Meador, Troy Adams, Andrew Thomas, Cameron Wallace, Will Gibbs, Brady Cox, Diego Sanchez, Lucas Newton, Isaiah Barrera