Sabine M. Heyne

What's cooking?

Starting a personal blog to share my progress

Poland & Germany, 11. August 2023

Weekly game challenge

recap on week 2

Week 2 didn't work as planned. Unfortunately.
Now you might be asking: which game challenge?
As I'm trying to gain more coding skills, don't want to get rusty using Unity and learn overall new things I started a little challenge for myself. The name is quite self-explanatory. Each week – one game idea. Very basic, but always something new.
But my goals and ideas for week 2 were a bit too ambitious. I had the idea of building some gameplay in which the player flees from a thread behind, making a path for all the trapped animals and themselves. It would be a side-scroller and the perspective orthographic, 3rd person. I had the idea of fire spreading with a particle effect. I was not as crazy to think I would really visually destroy the environment. Just, when the player touches it they should loose - no HP in that early state.

I wanted two kinds of objects in the way: trees and rocks. The player needs the right tool to use on the objects. Axe for trees and watering can for... the rocks?! Eeeh, yeah, good question. I got distracted and built a blocky watering can. I was stupidly attached to it, kind of proud. I didn't model for some years ( I really liked 3D modelling in university, but hated weight painting too much) and I had fun stacking the blocks, I guess.

So I made a reason to use the watering can: for the the fire! You could try to save some time. But I had neither fire nor even the basic ability to pick up a tool yet. After that I focused getting the tools to use, on showing the right tool on the player, being able to switch and get rid of them. I wanted a nice script into which I could later on add more tools easily. So my script has a dictionary! It was a challenge to make it work, I learned a lot, but it was not worth the time. I could have just scraped the watering can and only use the axe ‚ just making it work. I was just reading in the book of lenses that you never built a proto with the goal of using it later. It’s just to state your idea and prove your concept.

Instead I next wanted nice UX and added a tiny animation on the watering can. It adds feedback for the player, when they pressed the button to use the tool. I think feedback is one of the most important things in good design - how else should the player learn and understand what is happening and why. But for my tough time schedule this was too much effort. I should just have added some ugly UI for now.

And then I had the problem, that things didn’t work consistently when playing. Sometimes I could change the tool just fine and sometimes I couldn't.
At this point I was already in my proto-3-week – you might see the problem here. In the proto-2-week I needed some time to finalise and publish my week 1 proto, but this time I was still working on basic features.
And then multiple personal things hit, one of them was that I got sick. I still wanted to make the proto work afterwards. I wasn’t ready to give up yet.

But now I'm on vacation and I realised: I still learned a lot! I will use these learnings for the next idea, reconsider the time frame and proto depending on that weeks schedule and just go on learning.
But for now I'm good. I failed, but it's okay.

You will see my next Game Challenge Proto folder in GitHub when I'm back.
See you around!


Helsinki, 03. August 2023

Website update & upgrade

Enhancing the user experience

Welcome to my first actual blog entry. I guess the announcement doesn't really count.
If you have seen my website before you might have realised that it looks different now!

Why did I do the changes?

My website grew organically. I had only few projects first, a short Hello at the top and then a big second page all about me. Worked somehow.
My main idea was to be able to filter my projects by tags and then only show, for example, all Unity projects. Therefore I used flexbox to programm this page. But definitely not the best flexbox and I mis-used some features.
Then I added more text at the entry of my page and a picture of mine at the side. I did this because of feedback, to add a picture to make the page look a bit friendlier. So, my website suddenly got text and then projects.

But next I added even more text. I wanted the visitor to "meet" me, read more about me right away. – But which recruiter wants to read that much right away? That thought made me add a "TLDR" button to jump to the projects. I fixed the result, not the issue. Bad mistake.
Lately I then realised, that I never really thought about my target group. Actually an embarrassing thing to say as I focus a lot in my games on the players needs and use cases. But I must admit, my website before was more made for me. I wanted my projects online and wanted to assure, that a person visiting my website could read all about me, getting to know me and be really excited. Oops.
But why would a visitor already be so invested in my profile? At that point they didn't know about my skills yet and pictures are easier to grasp then a lot of text.

What it looked like

Here you can see the first thing a visitor saw on a desktop PC:

Old Website version: Frontpage with text

And only here, after some scrolling, you could finally see my work.

Old Website version: Frontpage scrolled down to see projects

Another bad thing: Before, you could only go to my sub-pages from the main-page in the correct section. Now I added a menu and splitted the about page into "About me" and "Resume".
So, what do you think? Is it better or worse now? Do you find my sub-pages now easier then before?
If you have some feedback on my changes, send me an email or write me on LinkedIn. I would highly appreciate it. Thanks for your time and see you next blog entry.


Helsinki, 18. July 2023


Why I start a blog and hope, you like it

I just realised how much happened during these last 9.5 months sinced I moved to Finland.
I got to know great people at Wondershop, which I can today call my friends. I attended multiple events and discussions. I learned a lot about my field, took many hours to read Rules of Play and the book of lenses and started to improve my very basic coding skills. And I would like to share some of it here on my website. I was thinking about posting on LinkedIn multiple times. But I must admit, I'm to shy to post under my own name. Give me the responsibility to post for an institution and I'm all on it. But for myself? - I'm working on it and this is my first baby step!
Maybe you come back in a week or so and there might already be something new here - let's see!
Meanwhile you could follow my Weekly Game Challenge on github if you like:
See you around!

You made it this far? Thanks for your interest!