Apoca Force - Gameplay

Drawing radar charts for stat UIs in Unity

As part of a school assignment in the past year, my team and I created Apoca Force, a tower defense game where WAIFUs (World Apocalypse Intercepting Frontline Units) are deployed onto a battlefield to combat an undead horde. To provide some variation (and eye candy) in gameplay, the game provides a variety of different WAIFUs for players to deploy.

To display the different stats WAIFUs have, we decided to include a radar graph on our build interface to illustrate the stats of each type of WAIFU. In this article, I will talk about the technicalities involved in making that happen.

I have previously written an article about how we rendered Unity’s NavMesh to show our WAIFUs’ walkable areas. Check it out!

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Security for your Ubuntu Droplet

Setting up basic security for your Ubuntu Droplet

Have you recently spun up a new Ubuntu Droplet on DigitalOcean? The other day, when I checked my authentication logs in /var/log/auth.log, I came across several login attempts with random usernames.

Malicious login attempts in Ubuntu
Login attempts by malicious users.

We often take security for granted, but it becomes something of great concern once you start to manage servers of your own. If you were to leave your Droplet as it is, it is only a matter of time before hackers guess your login credentials and gain access to your system. Hence, here are some basic security measures you should set up to prevent others from breaking in:

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Intellisense Featured Image

Fixing Visual Studio’s IntelliSense (auto-complete) in Unity

19 April 2020: We’ve updated this article with a contributed solution from one of our readers in the comments section.

One of the biggest perks of using Microsoft’s Visual Studio to write your Unity scripts is IntelliSense — a code completion aid in Visual Studio that offers suggestions as you write your code, and contextually presents you with information about classes, properties and methods that you are working with.

Given Unity’s enormous scripting API, IntelliSense is a tremendously helpful feature, especially for coders who are beginning their foray into developing games and software with Unity; and while we’d love to say that IntelliSense is automatically set up and linked to Unity’s API when you install it with the Unity Editor, sometimes that’s just not the case. So, if you’ve got both Unity and Visual Studio set up, but find that IntelliSense is still not offering Unity API suggestions, then this guide is for you.

Visual Studio's IntelliSense for Unity
If IntelliSense doesn’t automatically offer Unity API suggestions like these, then it isn’t working.
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Troubleshooting PHP gettext

Debugging PHP gettext

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been tinkering with PHP’s gettext to set up internationalisation for one of my web apps (i.e. getting it ready for translation into different languages). Even though there were many step-by-step guides and Stack Overflow topics on the web, all detailing a similar set of instructions, following them did not work things out for me.

After some frustration and a lot of time tinkering, it turns out that these guides were missing some pieces of information. If you are tearing your hair out troubleshooting PHP gettext, this article might be just what you’re looking for.

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Apoca Force WAIFUs

Showing Unity’s NavMesh in-game

As part of a school assignment in the past year, my team and I created Apoca Force, a tower defense game where WAIFUs (World Apocalypse Intercepting Frontline Units) are deployed onto a battlefield to combat an undead horde. In this game, WAIFUs serve as the eponymous towers of the genre, but with a twist — by spending some resource, they can be moved after they are deployed.

To denote the areas that WAIFUs can walk on, we created an interface that highlighted walkable areas on the map when players decide to move their WAIFUs. This is what we ended up with:

Enjoyed this article? Then check out this other article about how we drew stat graphs for our WAIFUs on our UI interface.

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Dust to Dust

Organising your Unity Inspector fields with a dropdown filter

Over the past 4 months, my team and I have been working on a rogue-like hack-and-slash game for our school’s final year project called Dust to Dust. We have very high ambitions for the game, and we had never worked on projects as large of a scale as this. Of course, by doing that, the challenges we encountered got bigger as well. We had to keep track of many parameters in developing a role-playing video game, and quickly realised that the time taken to find Inspector properties in the project was getting longer and longer. Furthermore, the project was on a 15-week timeline, so every minute was valuable.

Hence, we needed an effective solution that would ease navigation in the project, and — like before — it became clear that we had to once again extend the Unity Editor to suit our needs.

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reCAPTCHA Meerkats
Image by Mike Birdy, from https://stocksnap.io/photo/animals-mammals-VJ91Z8LULN

Verifying Google reCAPTCHA v2 checkbox on PHP

17 July 2020: Updated the class provided in this article to make it easier to use.

For those of you using Google reCAPTCHA to weed out spam on your websites, here’s a code snippet for verifying the reCAPTCHA v2 tickbox response on the server-side using PHP.

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Ex-Terminator

Creating Reorderable Lists in the Unity Inspector

Update: Like this article? Then check out this other article on creating a dropdown filter for the Unity Inspector.

Over the last 5 months or so, me and my team have been involved in the development of a hybrid tower defense and RTS game called Ex-Terminator (click on the link to try it out, it’s free!) as part of a school project. During the course of developing the game, we quickly realised that, in order to allow us to have the flexibility to experiment with our level design, we had to experiment with a class in Unity called the ReorderableList.

If you’ve read some of the other articles here, you’d have noticed that we normally link Unity classes to its page on the Unity Scripting Reference. We didn’t do so here because there is no official documentation for it at the time this article was written. The ReorderableList class is filed under the namespace of UnityEditorInternal, which also doesn’t have official documentation. We’ve decided to write an article about it, however, because of how useful it is, and because of how little information there is currently about it online.

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Debugging with Beverage

Fixing an Apache cron log rotation error

If you manage a Unix-like server, every now and then, you might get an email from the server notifying you of important errors that occur in your server. Here’s one that I got earlier today from an Ubuntu 18.04 server of mine:

Cron <root@terresquall> test -x /usr/sbin/anacron || ( cd / && run-parts –report /etc/cron.daily )

/etc/cron.daily/logrotate:
error: error running shared postrotate script for ‘/var/log/apache2/*.log ‘
run-parts: /etc/cron.daily/logrotate exited with return code 1

Mail sent at 06:39

It’s never fun to receive server admin emails like this, because it means that your server has issues, but the message tends to be really ambiguous, so it’s really hard to figure out what the issue is. Obviously, I didn’t know what the issues were, so I had to do some research.

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