It is time to start a new blog series! This blog series will be all about taking a Game Jam entry and transforming it into an actual product and publishing it out to Windows Phone and Windows Store 8. Our case study will be the game I built in 48 hours for Ludum Dare. A screen shot can be found below.
Here are the parts of the series.
- The initial entry.
- Re-Architecting the game.
- Refining the code.
- Giving some Graphics Love.
- Adding Levels.
So lets dive right into the initial entry. What did it look like, what are the features?
1. Slow time: During slow time, you can rotate pipes and move ladders and cannons around in the level. You have a time limit of this.
2. Ladders: Walking over a ladder and touching it teleports you to the top or bottom.
3. Cannons: Walking on one, click it, you can rotate around as soon as you let go, you fire off.
4. Bouncy Clouds: Slight bounciness to them.
5. Character: IK animations, running, jumping, bouncing, slowing time.
Cool, so this looks like a good entry so far. Why can’t we just publish this? Well, I built it in 48 hours, this is not something that is a real product yet. This needs to make it to a certain quality bar before we can actually push this out and make some money on it.
What is the first thing I did? I created a project in www.visualstudio.com and checked in my code. You can follow THESE instructions for how to do that specifically for Unity projects. I then went through and added a bunch of bugs and features I needed to look at.
I started by just fixing some basic bugs.
1. FEATURE: Get rid of the hand rolled IK animation system, it is buggy. Build a new character, and learn smooth moves.
2. FEATURE: Ditch the double light requirement, this means the rotating my sprites around an axis should be replaced by flipping the sprite scale on the x and is blocked by the IK system rework.
3. FEATURE: Centralize inputs and input management. I need a strategy that is manageable. I just slung code around and the input states are not manageable and is buggy due to objects being close to each other.
4. FEATURE: Create a smoother input experience. Right now the controls are buggy and not very good. I should have thumb sticks that plop down, I should be able to do more things in slow motion because right now my character cant even change direction in this mode.
5. BUG: Create a smoother experience with the clouds. There are tons of places where my character is not detected to be on the ground. How do we deal with this?
6. BUG: The time bar doesn’t scale properly, it gets bigger and smaller in the y as well as the x.
So this is the initial state of the game. The next article will be a high level on how I re-architected the game. What are some of the key points that should be mentioned how did I make sure I built it for extensibility, manage ability and is built such that others can work on it simultaneously.