Lee Morris
Lee Morris

Lee Morris

Starting a game project

Lee Morris's photo
Lee Morris
·Nov 14, 2021·

3 min read

I'm starting my first game project. Being suitably inspired by the game Hades (and the accompanying documentary), I thought "what better way to take a break from writing code during the working week, than writing a slightly different type of code in my free time?"

The concept

I really want to build a game that my 7 year old son will find fun, and we settled on the following: a 2d side-scroller in which you control a dog piloting a paraglider. The aim of the game is to poo on as many people walking below as you can. The game will feature:

  • Each level is a distinct location (London, Paris, etc)
  • Each level will feature a boss, relevant to that location - anyone fancy pooing on Boris Johnson outside of number 10?
  • in order to poo, you need to eat food. A variety of floating treats will present themselves throughout the game to supercharge your pooing abilities. Watch out for chocolate though, it's poisonous for dogs...
  • Built for iOS and Android
  • FREE - no cost in the app store, and no in-app purchases, just a simple, free, game.

The risks

I'm sure I'll figure out the programming tasks, the problems are pretty much everything else - art, music, game design in general etc. I'm not 100% sure I won't run afoul (pun intended) of some decency rules buried in Apple/Google T&C's, I'll need to research that.

I'm also having to learn Unity as I go - I spent 5 minutes playing with Unreal & Unity, and Unity was just immediately nicer to use, so thought I'd give that a go for now.

First stab

Before starting game work properly, I wanted to knock up a quick and dirty sandbox project which would give me an initial indication of how difficult this was going to be. The result is this glorious piece of engineering and art:

This was achieved through lots of googling and youtube videos, the demo contains:

  • Side-scrolling - really shonky code but I've since found a nicer way to do it
  • Some pixel art (downloaded assets, and some of my own)
  • Physics & collision detection
  • Rudimentary controls
  • Some animation

Unity was surprisingly (and refreshingly) simple to figure out for these elements, which I think will form the basis of the actual game.

An attempt at some art

I was curious how hard it would be to produce game art, so took the plunge and bought Pixaki for the iPad pro. It's very simple to use, and I was able to produce a few samples in short order. They won't win any awards (well, maybe the Turner prize, they give that out to anyone) but here they are.

pixelart.gif

Hopefully self explanatory. Along with the level theme, I'm hoping to stereotype the hell out of each country the naughty dog visits for the food they eat.

What's next?

At this point, I want to dive in and start the game. I'll try and post regular updates!

 
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