What is a SINGLETON?

By definition, a singleton, at least in terms of object oriented programing, is a class that can have only one instance. That one instance is stored and referenced statically.

Here is the code necessary to create a simple singleton.

public class GameData
{
    #region Singleton

    private static GameData s_Instance;

    public static GameData instance
    {
        get
        {
            if (GameData.s_Instance == null)
                GameData.s_Instance = new GameData();
            return GameData.s_Instance;
        }
    }

    private GameData()
    {

    }

    #endregion

    // Your code here...

    public int hitPoints;

}

The code above creates a simple singleton class. Of course, if you are using this in Unity, you may want to use some of the standard Unity functions, such as FindObjectOfType. In this case, you will need to inherit from one of the standard Unity classes, such as ScriptableObject. These classes don’t like to be instantiated with new. Instead, they rely on function calls to create instances, so the code needs to be modified to accommodate that.

public class Localization : ScriptableObject
{
    #region Singleton

    private static Localization s_Instance;

    public static Localization instance
    {
        get
        {
            if (Localization.s_Instance == null)
                Localization.s_Instance = ScriptableObject.CreateInstance<Localization>();
            return Localization.s_Instance;
        }
    }

    #endregion

    // Your code here...

    public string language;
}

The region/endregion statements are not necessary. They are there simply to allow the whole region to be collapsed in the IDE. Add whatever other code you want to be part of the class, and you are ready to go.

In this example, you can refer to the string language from anywhere in your code by accessing the static instance of the Localization class as in the following example:

Localization.instance.language = "en-us";

Debug.Log(Localization.instance.language);

This code can be called from anywhere in your program, without the need to instantiate an object. The first time access Localization.instance, it is instantiated.

I Suck at Drawing

I’ve never been good at drawing. Art has never been my forte.

This has been a problem for my game development. Having an amazing game can make up for not so great art. Having great art can make up for a not so great game. Unfortunately for me, my mediocre games don’t benefit at all from my lousy game art.

I’ve tried to do better. Since I really can’t draw, I’ve attempted to do more pixelated style game art. All of the games I’ve developed thus far, have had really bad art. Just take a look at the examples littered around this page.

Now, I’m not one for resolutions. I don’t see why there is one time of year for making changes. I just happen to be doing this at the beginning of the year. I’ve decided I want to improve my drawing skills. I’m watching videos, and following tutorials. What I’m really hoping will help the most is that I’m trying to practice for a bit EVERY day. Just drawing, and accumulating some experience.

I’m looking for resources that help with understanding elements that make up different art styles. I don’t expect to ever be drawing photo realistic portraits. I’ll never be van Gogh. I’m OK with that. I just want to make some artwork for my games that doesn’t make me cringe to look at. I mean, if I don’t want to look at it, why would anyone else?

My first goal is to learn some techniques for drawing simple art styles. I plan on doing some research about different art styles used in games. I’ll try to learn some techniques for drawing this art. I’ll attempt to practice daily.

Something else I plan to do is utilize my practice art to make simple game-like objects. Basically, I’ll drop some of this art into Unity and practice making animations, and interactions. This way, I’ll be exercising my art skills, and getting in some Unity coding practice as well.

Now, I’m a gearhead. No doubt about that. So I am using some fancy tools to try to help my progress. I got myself a Wacom smart stylus, and an inexpensive drawing app for my iPad. Now, the rest is up to me…

How to Ping from Python

Here’s a quick tip on how to Ping from Python!

Today, I had a need to do a quick ping test from a Python script. It took me a bit of searching to figure out how to do it properly. Most of the examples I saw in the wild ended up displaying results to the screen (or stdout), which is not at all what I was looking for.

Here is what I ended up with:

#!/usr/bin/python -tt
import platform
import subprocess
import sys  # This import is only needed to get command line arguments.

def ping_test(host, ping_count=1):
  
  #
  # Some systems use different parameters for ping count
  # Linux and MacOS use -n, Windows uses -c
  # Adjust this as necessary for other systems
  #
  count_param = '-n' if platform.system().lower() == 'windows' else '-c'
    
  #
  # subprocess.Popen takes a list of parameters, starting with the command to run
  #
  command = ['ping', count_param, str(ping_count), host]
  
  #
  # When calling subprocess.Popen, we are redirecting stdout and stderr to PIPE
  #
  # This will cause the proces to return a tuple of (stdout, stderr) when communicate
  #   is called
  #
  # We do this even if we don't want or need the results, so it doesn't display to
  #   screen while executing
  #
  process = subprocess.Popen(command, stdout=subprocess.PIPE, stderr=subprocess.PIPE)
  result = process.communicate()
  
  # Use the Popen variable (i.e. process) to get the return code.  The output from the
  #   command is held in result, as described above.
  #
  # In this example, we are only looking at stdout.  We could also get stderr as result[1]
  #   if that were interesting to us.
  #
  return (process.returncode, result[0])
  


#
# This function is just to get command line arguments, and demonstrate how to call
#   The ping_test function.
#
def main():
  args = sys.argv[1:]
  
  if len(args) < 1:
  	print 'Usage: %s host-or-ip [count]' % sys.argv[0]
  	return
  
  return_code, result = ping_test(*args[:2])
  
  print 'Ping Successful' if return_code == 0 else 'Ping Failure'
  print result

#
# Standard boilerplate to call the main() function.
#
if __name__ == '__main__':
  main()