Quad Patch Tessellation in Unity

Howdy there, Defectfans!

Edit: This shader does not work in Unity 5. Naturally, a lot has changed in the Unity shader codebase, and this code simply doesn’t compile anymore. It probably could be fixed easily, but it was a hack at the time, and I haven’t revisited it since its original posting. One more update of note: at some point around Unity 4.6/5.0, they re-introduced the “Keep Quads” import setting on mesh importers, which makes a large portion of what you read here obsolete!! I believe that you can get the best of both worlds in Unity 4.6, where the shader should compile, and you can also import meshes with quads natively, and you don’t need all of that OBJ importer nonsense.

By popular demand, I’m posting the source and explanation of the tessellation shader on display in my HIT YOUTUBE VIDEO!!! OK 1,754 views hardly constitutes a hit in YouTube terms, but some people have commented and asked for source, so here is! Wait, first a little explanation of WTF is going on and why I went through all the work to hack together quad-based tessellation when Unity already has some perfectly good tessellation shaders with source available. A very helpful discovery (pointed out by a wonderful chap on the IRC channel) is that by adding #pragma debug to any Unity shader will produce shader soucre when you click to Open Compiled Shader. This was truly helpful in figuring this all out, and really on every bit of shader work I’ve done on shaders since then. As a disclaimer/warning, everything that I’m talking about in this post requires Unity 4 and a DirectX 11 capable graphics card on Windows. I honestly haven’t tried any of this on OS X but I’m pretty sure that all of this stuff uses DirectX-specific shaders. The effect might be possible in OpenGL, but I don’t think it is possible in Unity using OpenGL. I’m sure Aras will have that taken-care-of soon enough though ūüôā
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Schoen on February 6, 2013

The Times, They Are A-Changin’ – DRASTICALLY

Okay, let’s take a deeeeep breath and get ready. There’s a lot to say!

Continue reading ‘The Times, They Are A-Changin’ – DRASTICALLY’

Khadeja on January 29, 2013
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Paying for all that ramen with some quick AR

Howdy Homeboysandgirls,

A quick update on Defectiveland: we’ve made a handful of improvements to the Gimbal Cop build we submitted to IGF on the 17th, have a few more improvements to make from that state, and will be sending out to our little super-alpha list pronto. ¬†“Before November” was my plan… mayhap.

Why the holdup? ¬†Well, a few days after the IGF deadline, a pretty ideal contract landed in our lap: the great creative agency we worked with on our Big Hush-Hush Contract Of 2011 came to us asking to finish off a mostly-done mobile Augmented Reality app for a maaaajor international brand, paying our monthly burn rate every 3 days, slated to last for 3 weeks. ¬†So, strapped for ramencash as we are, and always happy to keep good doors open (like, ours…. and good relations), we went for it, meaning that Schoen and I have our hands a little tied up last week and this week, and, if all goes according to plan, less and less so after this week.

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Jono on October 29, 2012
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IGF Submission Process: DONE – and other things to come!

You don’t know this, but the Runner fell right through the track a millisecond later.

After many nailbiting, hair-ripping, moments, we are proud to declare our success in submitting Gimbal Cop to the Independent Games Festival! The process was insane just as much as it was exciting, and all the stress, tears, and sweat were absolutely worth it

We can’t say what will end up happening, but hopefully the judges will be just as pleased as we are with our current build. Things have come a long,¬†long way since we first started. The graphics are shinier, the gameplay is smoother, and we’ve added details here and there that we know our players will absolutely love. We’ll be updating you soon about what those are, but what is a blog post without a little…suspense?!

Although we’ve gotten a build into IGF, we’re not planning on stopping work anytime soon. We have many, many other things to work on before getting the game out. Keep checking this site for more details, as well as our twitter account, our facebook page, and our brand new youtube page – the Defectube!

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Khadeja on October 19, 2012
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To the Boston Festival of Indie Games, and Happy Indie Game Dev Day!

Ahoy Mateys!

We joyously proclaim that Gimbal Cop and the Case of the Objectionable Hypercorrection shall be at the world’s first and finest Boston Festival of Indie Games (FIG) this Saturday, the 22nd of September! We are honored to be selected as part of the Digital Games Showcase at FIG.

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Defective on September 21, 2012
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Infinite Tentacle Inbound!

Behold! Indulge your senses in these — our little bun making its first kicks in the digital womb, swimming in gamedevvy indie-love placenta — the first-ever screenshots of the most anticipated creative mobile multiplayer game in the galaxy: Gimbal Cop (And The Case of Objectionable Hypercorrection)!

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Defective on June 15, 2012
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New Mobile Game Ahoy (New Art!)

Here you have it folks, the first concept art of the yet-untitled upcoming Defective multiplayer mobile game:

The first mind-humping concept art from our upcoming brain-sploding multiplayer mobile game

Crazy, eh? We’re busting ass right now getting this game to a presentable and fun state by GDC (and PAX East after that). Continue reading ‘New Mobile Game Ahoy (New Art!)’

Defective on February 26, 2012
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Why SOPA will fail: Undermining authority at the speed of the net

To bypass the 24-hour Wikipedia blackout, go to a wikipedia article and paste the text below into your URL bar. ¬†Chrome users might have to re-type the “javascript” at the beginning since it’s truncated. ¬†Thanks to mkdynamic for getting to this one literally minutes before I had the idea myself. ¬†In case the irony here isn’t as immediately clear to my readers as it is to me, this is exactly how easy it would be to get around the SOPA blacklists. ¬†Wiki put up a very weak block, and not only was I immediately able to figure out how to circumvent it, I happened upon a person who posted the same thing to Github 5 minutes earlier.


I recently found myself playing devil’s advocate in a conversation about SOPA, arguing that while I don’t think it’s morally just, I also don’t think that it will “destroy the open web” as most critics predict. ¬† Tonight (well, today) as I ran up against Wikipedia’s blackout-in-protest, I was shown exactly why my point is valid. ¬†The point was this: SOPA, as I understand it, is an extremely superficial prophylactic between users and “blacklisted” sites. ¬†My understanding could be way off, but from what I’ve read SOPA specifically targets DNS, which is responsible for translating a unique name like like “wikipedia.org” to the server’s unique IP address (currently ¬†If SOPA were to pass, the US government would be allowed to force all DNS servers to enforce a blacklist, denying users access to certain names like, say “thepiratebay.org” (currently for… a whole bunch of reasons.

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Schoen on January 18, 2012
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The Beliefs of Others

Yesterday, I built my first Windows machine after nearly a decade of Macs, and Steve Jobs died.¬† I can’t seem to keep the idea out that I somehow, on a supersticious mystical-fortune-cookie level, caused this.¬† I feel this certain shame, feeling that I, with my Android phone and Windows computer, have abandoned Jobs — and then, I realize he has succeeded in his ultimate endeavor: creating the Belief of Steve.¬† Jobs built himself a religion, and now we will see the extent of its faith.


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Jono on October 6, 2011

Schoen Desktop MK IV: What to do with this SSD?

Howdy folks,

It’s a momentous occasion: my fourth system build. ¬†This post is more personal than my others, so if you’re looking for some hard facts, check out TomsHardware or the plethora of Youtube vids about DIY systems, overclocking, and the like. ¬†Hindsight being 20/20 it would have been nice to take som photos, but I’m writing this post-build and I’m not about to pull this sucker apart. ¬†If anything begs a photo, it’s the monster heatsink I got: a Thermaltake Frio. ¬†Lots has changed since I first took the plunge and built my own rig, and I must say the experience so far has been superb. ¬†I do have some words of warning, so read on. ¬†TL;DR? ¬†If you’re going to try to be stingy about space on an SSD drive, and you’re tempted to fuck with the registry and change the default location for Program Files… Don’t!

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Schoen on August 26, 2011
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