This past weekend, my kids and I created a new game called "Robot Frost Eagle and Worm Big Rescue Adventure". It's a pretty simple game, and you can play it here. If you are interested in watching a Timelapse video, you can do that here. The source code is here.
It's a take on the classic Worm game with a bit of a twist. Instead of eating mushrooms, you eat Humans. And instead of trying to get to a certain length to open a door to the next level, you are trying to assist the Frost Eagle to it's nest, which has been infiltrated by the Evil Humans.
I love building games for Ludum Dare, and I especially love building them with my Kids. Even if it is difficult to keep their attention focused for more than an hour of "work" at a time.
Things That Worked
As usual, we had no shortage of ideas. We had ideas for growing plants, ideas with one button, two buttons. Finally we hit on the idea of a worm in space travelling around eating things.
At the start, the Worm was supposed to kill all the humans, and was being chased by the Frost Eagle (for some reason). During work on the first day I was testing the game with the Eagle flying in a predetermined pattern, it dawned on me that all the other obstacles we worked into the game was making it difficult for the bird to fly thru. Then it dawned on us, it would be more fun to HELP the Eagle, instead of run away from it. And that's when the game turned in a "Big Rescue Adventure".
We used a tile editor from the Unity Asset Store called SpriteTile. I was a little shy about using it, even though I have used it on my #1GAM jam game last month <plug>Depths of Alberich</plug>. The Plugin worked perfectly. We were able to build level, and we could use the multiple layers to figure place objects on the levels that would later turn into GameObject or other useful things like Player Starting position.
I have to put Artwork here because I think my two youngest did a great job again. My eleven year old is really enjoying spriting, he did everything except for the Robot Frost Eagle.
Programming seems to be pretty easy for me in these Compo's now as I am able to pace myself, and I have a pretty standard pattern for code needed when building these games. I would still like to build a template that I can use to do these Jams, it would my need to do so much boilerplate coding.
We had plenty of time to finish the game, which means we put just the right amount of items, and we even had time for some polish.
Last, I cannot finish this category without saying how pleased I was with how well WebGL performed with Unity. In
Things That Did Not Work
The theme was a big let down for me personally, although my kids liked the fact that there was a tie. Once I "got over it" and we started to brainstorm, it was better.
Level design was pretty weak because there were so many things to do to make a level. It also took a VERY long time to test the levels because we were ALWAYS waiting for that BLOODY bird to follow us. That tells me that we should have added some other things to keep the player busy waiting for the Bird.
Although we did many of the sounds ourselves, we did not have time to do any Music. Which is too bad because I have been getting much better with FL Studio. Maybe next time.
In summary, this was another great experience. It has been great to play many of the games already, there have been so many creative ideas coming forward, which I think the themes helped with.
Till Next Time