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Block Ads at a Network Level with Pi-Hole and an Ubiquiti EdgeRouter

Advertisements are incredibly annoying, and I’m saying this as someone who relies on them for income on The Polyglot Developer. Even with ad providers such as Google saying that they’re working to provide a better experience, things seem to be getting worse. You could use tools like Adblock Plus in the browser, but what about mobile devices? Better yet, what about all the websites out there that detect when an ad blocker is being used and make the browsing experience even worse by denying access?

To get beyond these advertisement related problems, you’re going to need to handle things from a network level, not a per device level.

In this tutorial we’re going to see how to configure Pi-Hole, a popular network level ad blocking solution. For this example we’re going to use it with a Raspberry Pi and an Ubiquiti EdgeRouter, even though other networking hardware can be substituted.

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Animate Spritesheets in a Unity 2D Game

When it comes to developing a game, at some point in time you’re going to want to animate some component within the game. These animations could be character sprites or even elements that exist as part of the background.

A few months back, I wrote a tutorial titled, Animate Spritesheets in a Phaser Game, around creating a spritesheet and then animating it within a Phaser game. Phaser is an awesome framework, but it doesn’t compare to Unity on a professional level. So what if we wanted to animate a spritesheet in Unity?

In this tutorial we’re going to see how to animate a spritesheet, the same example from the previous tutorial, but this time with Unity, animation clips, animator states, and some basic C#.

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Getting Started with Unity for Creating a 2D Game

If you’ve been keeping up with the content on the MongoDB Developer Portal, you’ll know that a few of us at MongoDB (Nic Raboy, Adrienne Tacke, Karen Huaulme) have been working on a game titled Plummeting People, a Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout tribute game. Up until now we’ve focused on game planning and part of our backend infrastructure with a user profile store.

As part of the natural progression in our development of the game and part of this tutorial series, it makes sense to get started with the actual gaming aspect, and that means diving into Unity, our game development framework.

In this tutorial, we’re going to get familiar with some of the basics behind Unity and get a sprite moving on the screen as well as handing collision. If you’re looking for how we plan to integrate the game into MongoDB, that’s going to be saved for another tutorial.

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Creating a User Profile Store for a Game With Node.js and MongoDB

When it comes to game development, or at least game development that has an online component to it, you’re going to stumble into the territory of user profile stores. These are essentially records for each of your players and these records contain everything from account information to what they’ve accomplished in the game.

Take the game Plummeting People that some of us at MongoDB (Karen Huaulme, Adrienne Tacke, and Nic Raboy) are building, streaming, and writing about. The idea behind this game, as described in a previous article, is to create a Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout tribute game with our own spin on it.

Since this game will be an online multiplayer game, each player needs to retain game-play information such as how many times they’ve won, what costumes they’ve unlocked, etc. This information would exist inside a user profile document.

In this tutorial, we’re going to see how to design a user profile store and then build a backend component using Node.js and MongoDB Realm for interacting with it.

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Designing a Strategy to Develop a Game with Unity and MongoDB

When it comes to game development, you should probably have some ideas written down before you start writing code or generating assets. The same could probably be said about any kind of development, unless of course you’re just messing around and learning something new.

So what should be planned before developing your next game?

Depending on the type of game, you’re probably going to want a playable frontend, otherwise known as the game itself, some kind of backend if you want an online component such as multiplayer, leaderboards, or similar, and then possibly a web-based dashboard to get information at a glance if you’re on the operational side of the game and not a player.

Adrienne Tacke, Karen Huaulme, and myself (Nic Raboy) are in the process of building a game. We think Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is a very well-made game and thought it’d be interesting to create a tribute game that is a little more on the retro side, but with a lot of the same features. The game will be titled, Plummeting People. This article explores the planning, design, and development process!

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Maintaining a Geolocation Specific Game Leaderboard with Phaser and MongoDB

When it comes to game development, an often forgotten component comes in the form of a database for storing gameplay information. The database can contribute to numerous roles, such as storing user profile information, game state, and so much more.

In fact, I created a previous tutorial titled Creating a Multiplayer Drawing Game with Phaser and MongoDB. In this drawing example, every brushstroke made was stored in MongoDB.

In this tutorial, we’re going to look at a different data component for a game. We’re going to explore leaderboards and some of the neat things you can do with them. Like my other tutorial, we’ll be using Phaser and JavaScript.

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Add Music, Sounds, and Other Audio to a Phaser Game

If you’re building a game, you’re probably going to need audio such as sound effects and background music at some point in time. Without audio, the gameplay experience can feel quite boring, which no one wants their game to be labeled as.

I’ve recently written quite a few tutorials on the topic of game development with Phaser. We’ve seen everything from adding and animating sprites, to handling collisions between game objects.

In this tutorial, we’re going to see how to add audio to our Phaser 3.x game in the form of sound effects triggered by collisions.

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