24-hour Game Jam – Pillbug 3D

I never post here, at the same time I don’t think anyone really reads here much either. So I don’t really care to apologize for such things to pretty much no one.

Last night I was talking to my buddy Adny. We had nothing better to do so we decided to do a 24-hour game jam. For those of you who don’t know what a 24 hour game jam is, well you have 24 hours to put together an idea, implement it, and release it. It forces you to scale a project down into an achievable and manageable set of goals and then try and complete them as quickly as possible. It’s a perfect opportunity to learn new ideas, concepts, or even tools.

For our project I employed the use of Unity3D, a tool I’ve known about but never had a chance to really dig into. This was a chance for me to learn about Unity3D! We had a basic game idea we’ve had swinging around for a long time, which is basically just a pikmin clone with bugs instead of pikmin. We scaled down the actual gameplay to meet our 24 hour deadline (note we failed hitting our scaled down gameplay as well… but there is still a playable demo here).

For this project we set the goals of:

  • Create a collection of reusable art assets for a randomly generated world
  • Create camera controller for following player with rotation
  • Create a random map generator that is infinitely large in all directions, and infinitely changing if you back track on yourself
  • Create basic user input for a playable character
  • Create basic AI for spawned ‘follower’ characters
We had more on the list that ended up not making it in by the end of the day. But we plan to do yet another game jam that adds more to the game and introduce real gameplay such as:
  • Enemy MOBs to defend against, with attack AI
  • Attack AI for ‘follower’ characters to defend self against enemy MOBs
  • Scoring system that tracks how far you’ve traveled, longer you survive, the more points you get
  • Poison like attribute modifier to kill off ‘follower’ characters to increase survival suspense
This was a wonderful learning experience for Unity3D and introduced me to most of the basics about how to make a game with Unity3D. This project allowed me to get introduced to all the workings of Unity3D with out getting squashed under the tedium that would have been part of making a much larger full fledged game. Scaling back our requirements to key features to get introduced to just the basics kept the experience more controlled and easier to manager.

One other thing I learned about Unity3D is that it has a web player. So I excitedly loaded this thing up here so I we could share it! It also helped for sharing it with Adny who only worked on the art and didn’t have any of the code base to play what he had a role in creating.

Anyways, here to share with you. A small prototype game that took 24 hours to build. We call it ‘Pillbug 3D’, note it will require the installation of the Unity3D web-player plug-in. See the Unity3D web-site for more details.

Controls: WASD to move, Left click to spawn ‘baby’, Right click and position cursor around main character to rotate camera

Pillbug 3D – made playable by Unity3D web player

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