Unity – Scaling instantiated child elements in uGUI

November 5, 2015
Posted by Jonathan

It’s been a while since my last post, but I randomly discovered that someone RT’d my tip about safe renaming in Unity. I just ran across something else that isn’t really complex, but I’ve had run-ins with it a number of times. I’ll continue to post common issues that I encounter if it ends up being useful to someone out there.

Unity’s native GUI system is powerful and covers most use cases. But one thing I’ve consistently needed to do is create a number of child elements that are parented to a RectTransform that has a width that scales with screen width. While your RectTransform may look fine when hand-parented in the hierarchy, Unity performs a number of hidden transformations when an object is instantiated from a script and then parented.

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 12.20.32 PM

What you see in the editor.

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 12.20.07 PM

What you see during runtime.

I needed to parent a number of characters to a ScrollRect menu, but their offsets were incorrect when parented. This probably occurs because my content panel width scales with the screen width, causing a bit of chaos when parenting and scaling the offsets according to my content width.

Basically, I need to re-assign the x-values of my offset (the y-values are a fixed size of 64 and do not scale with screen height).

for (int i = 0; i < GetInventoryCharacterCount (); i++) {
	// Create new button for char in inventory.
	GameObject gobj = GameObject.Instantiate (this.loadoutCharacterButtonPrefab, Vector3.zero, Quaternion.identity) as GameObject;
	gobj.transform.SetParent (this.contentParent);

	// Reset position and offsets of button.
	RectTransform rt = gobj.GetComponent<RectTransform> ();
	rt.offsetMin = new Vector2 (0.0f, rt.offsetMin.y);
	rt.offsetMax = new Vector2 (0.0f, rt.offsetMax.y);
	rt.anchoredPosition = new Vector2 (0.0f, i * -64.0f);
	rt.localScale = Vector3.one;

	// Populate character button with info from inventory.

The key is to reset the x-offsets to 0, or whatever you want the offsets to be. I’m keep the same y-offset, but you may have a different usage depending on what elements you want or don’t want to keep fixed.

rt.offsetMin = new Vector2 (0.0f, rt.offsetMin.y);
rt.offsetMax = new Vector2 (0.0f, rt.offsetMax.y);

Also, the prefab that I’m instantiating is set to scale with the parent content.

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 12.16.12 PM

I have a scaling width, fixed height, and anchor and pivot set to top.

After that, you should have no problems with the child element being rescaled.

Hope this helps!


Unity – Class renaming solution

October 17, 2014
Posted by Jonathan

This is just a quick note-to-self, though hopefully it might help someone out with some headaches in the future.

I’ve had a number of issues with renaming scripts/classes between MonoDevelop/Xamarin and the Unity engine itself. Refactor -> Rename of the class itself in the IDE will very likely cause a number of scripts to become unlinked within the script component attached to a GameObject. This will happen whether the GameObject is in the scene hierarchy or in the project, forcing you to re-link the script to the GameObject.

Turns out the way to do this without breaking links is:
1. Rename the script file in the engine to the desired name.
2. Refactor -> Rename the class name in MonoDevelop/Xamarin.

Then everyone is happy!


Regressing Regrets

November 4, 2013
Posted by Jonathan

Recently, I looked back at some art pieces I did about 2-3 years ago or so. After going through the usual “oh god this looks awful” reactions that comes with improvement over time, I noticed something that was missing in my more recent work.

There was a sense of adventurousness and creativity that I had not seen in a long time.

In 2010, I played around with a project making playing cards that used C2 symmetry. I wanted the end-product to combine hand-drawn and techno-punk aspects, and playing card styles seemed like an ideal platform to try out the idea.


The Machine Court

At first glance, I immediately identified issues with proportions, line-work, layout, and a host of other embarrassing problems, but the ideas were there. The imagination was there.

The core part of creating interesting gameplay derives from established norms of fun and imbues them with differentiable aspects that make the game unique. In an art sense, this can mean adding mechanical elements to contrast medieval themes, creating steampunk-like properties. In designing gameplay, surprising the player by applying a twist to what’s expected is crucial to making a good game.

For the most part I’ve transitioned away from art and almost exclusively code gameplay for games. Reflecting back, the goal now is to channel that naive, explorative mindset and add it to the work that I’m doing now.