Intro to Game Programming is a comprehensive course designed to provide an overview of modern game programming practices and their hands-on implementations. Students study the basic building blocks of interactive computer games and learn how to implement them as cross platform applications using C# and the Unity game engine. This course was a core class in my minor, Game Engineering.
In Elemental Fury, you play as a mysterious wizard wielding elemental powers. You travel across the realm and deal with obstacles on you way. You do so by using 3 elements - swap the elements with M1. In fire mode you shoot fireballs with M2 that melt ice walls. In earth mode you select an earth block by targeting it with cursor and holding M2, upon release of M2 the block is pushed away from the player. In air mode you gain multiple air jumps. Using elemental abilities requires elemental charges that can be replenished by locating the elemental shrines. Play here.
The goal of this first project was to create a 2D platformer with a focus on level design and game feel. The player character must be rigged and animated with Idle, Run, and Jump states. Considering player space, mood, and obstacle placement, we had to experiment with interface and expectations, making a strong effort to retain players with a smooth difficulty curve. Includes at least 1 easy, 1 medium and 1 hard level. The game tutorializes through gameplay without explicit exposition, dialogue, or text.
We began the development with the idea of being able to use four elemental power:, air, water, fire, and earth, to pass the obstacle. Next, we thought of ways to implement these powers integrating tools and concepts we learned in our game engineering course (such as instantiating, raycasting, using colliders and triggers). As we were thinking about the powers, we came up with certain obstacles that the player had to interact with, such as enemies, ice walls, metal grids, earth platforms. We ended up implementing ice walls and earth platforms.
We started developing abilities with the fire power. The first idea that came to mind was shooting projectiles to melt ice walls. Some other concepts were damaging enemies, and interacting with water to create steam clouds to fly/glide. As for earth, we were inspired by Avatar Aang and implemented direct interaction with the level setup for the player - moving certain platforms. We also considered interacting with earth to create damaging lava puddles. For air, we wanted to provide mobility. We were thinking about flying or gliding, but ended up implementing a simpler version - air jumping. For water we were considering seeping through platforms, gaining stealth, or moving faster. However, we faced communication and collaboration issues that barred us from implementing many concepts, such as enemies or the water powers.
We wanted to give controller support and use as many mechanics as we had access to, so there is functionality for keyboard direction and space bar, as well as clicking forward or back to help you advance through the level. We initially wanted each power to have a distinct hotkey, but conceived some ambitious plans for many more powers and combining elements, so it seemed to make more sense to use one button to cycle through powers and another to trigger the ability.
At first we thought of this game as an fast-paced adventure platformer, where you run forward and through your powers left and right, but after some playtesting we decided that due to the pace and the feel of the movement in the game, it would more sense to lean towards a puzzle-game approach. To achieve this, we limited the power gain of the player by implementing charges for the elemental abilities, and shrines to replenish those charges.
Playtest Results Week 1
Playtest Results Week 2
Playtest Results Week 3
We were able to introduce multiple mechanics into our game instead of just one, which corresponds to each level. We also created our own sprites and game art ourselves which we had no experience with prior to the assignment. We also were able to get the game working and remove all the bugs we had encountered prior to finishing.
For our demo we did not have all the functioning mechanics for the playtesting during class, which didn’t allow us to get much feedback on the actual gameplay of our game, but we received positive responses on the visual style of our level and the concept of our game. During the development process we also ran into the trouble of some parts of the game working on some people’s machines and not on other’s, which made collaborating a bit more difficult.
Collaboration on the game was tougher than expected in the beginning, with trying to figure out how to divide the work, and also how to share it whether on Bitbucket or on Unity Organization Collaboration, and who would work on which levels. We also learned that for future projects it’s important to think about the smaller details for the game, such as sounds, music, and other small details.
If we were to do a final polish on this game, it would be good to add accessibility features such as subtitles or even a tutorial for the game, as well as game difficulties ranging from easy to difficult. Also, since our game concept revolves around the elements and a main character who uses all of them, a story mode or subplot would be interesting and could engage the player more into our game.
Great Escape is an adventure game where you play as a death-row inmate in a corrupt prison which is performing experiments on its prisoners. You are fed up with seeing your fellow inmates go mysteriously missing and are determined to escape but not without first gathering enough evidence to take this place down with you. Play here.
The objective of this project was to create a 3D topdown adventure game. The game incorporates a point and click interface with pathfinding and navmesh agents, and is about exploring rooms, and collecting items. The world includes keys and locked doors as well as obstacles and traps. We also used scenes and variables to store states.
We wanted the art style of the game to be dark and have a gloomy vibe, keeping in tone with the game’s story. Our initial idea for the game was to have the player escape from some place and give them a maze like layout to navigate through.
Our core idea we came up with in the beginning was to have multiple paths to the end, all of which including different rooms which the player must explore to progress. We wanted the player to be able to explore as much as they wanted and therefore linked all the paths together at the beginning and the end of each one.
In the beginning, we wanted to create a rogue-like game with randomly generated rooms and paths. We wanted the player to have a new experience during each play. However, this idea became increasingly difficult to implement with a fixed number of collectibles required to reach the end. For this reason, we decided not to make room generation random. We also decided not to give the player the ability to fight.
The story that the game tries to tell is that the player is a patient/prisoner in a prison full of death-row inmates, but the prison is corrupt. They are performing experiments on the prisoners and when some of them go awry, no one notices because they were all scheduled to die anyway. Your character has had enough, he decides to escape but not without first acquiring enough evidence to take this place down when he goes.
There are 13 different “rooms” in the game. The rooms are essentially different levels for the player to explore. The description for each room is located in the Room Description table below. Check the Level Layout below for the layout of the prison as well as the locations of each room.
There will be 11 notes for the player to collect, but only 3 are needed to unlock the last corridor. They are scattered throughout the different rooms. See the Notes section below for descriptions of each note. See the Room Description table below for the locations of each note.
Poison debuff - loses 10 hp every second
Nausea debuff - slows the player speed by half.
Note 1 - “Patient XE-89 seems to be showing signs of change. The growth is significantly higher than other patients. This seems promising. I will make a new report after a few more tests.”
Note 2 - “Queen Rene came through to check on us the other day. Her presence, her gaze was more intimidating than the warden himself. We had to muster the courage to keep things under control and show the results of our findings.”
Note 3 - “Drat! Another failed experiment. The rotting smell of this prison is growing day by day. Our scientists are slowly being driven mad by the smell. I even heard Maurice talking to himself in the middle of the day.”
Note 4 - “Ah shoot! Some of the patients have broken out of their cells. They are starting to attack each other, wrecking everything they see. The guards are trying to get the patients under control but I fear it may be too hard on them. I hope peace will return to this prison soon.”
Note 5 - “These highly developed energy drinks seem to trigger innate responses within the patients. We had to tone down the dosage after multiple patients died after an intake of a single energy drink.”
Note 6 - “The cans seem to emit an iridescent glow that only disappears once the liquid has been consumed. The red drink seems to increase the patient’s physical strength and the white drink seems to heighten the patient’s speed.”
Note 7 - “Not all drinks enhance the patients’ senses though. The orange drink seems to hinder the patient’s senses while the green drink seems to contain unknown toxins.”
Note 8 - “Patient XE-89: Male, Age 27, 180 cm, 72.5 kg. Athletically fit. Status: Alive. Patient XE-88: Male, Age 34...”
Note 9 - “We woke up this morning and headed to our respective workstations. Only to find a broken cabinet and cut up electrical wires. There seems to be a bunch of energy drinks missing. I wonder which cursed brat stole our supply and why. The energy drinks are a big concern but why the electrical wires, and how were they even cut?”
Note 10 - “Some of our patients seem to have developed immunity to some of our tests. This is great news. I can not wait to share these findings with the warden. I am sure he will be overjoyed at this result.”
Note 11 - “Oh no no no no… The last experiment went so horribly wrong. Patient XE-89, among other patients, has broken from their cells. The research staff are running away in horror. I too am hiding away and secretly writing under this tiny tiny flame. I hope the guards can get everything under control. I hear footsteps, I think someo...”
Playtests Results Week 1
Playtests Results Week 2
Playtests Results Week 3
One success we had creating this game is that we were able to build off of everyone’s ideas and could come up with an elaborate and complex concept for our game. We were constantly changing and brainstorming new ways and mechanics that would make our game more engaging.
A big success for us was implementing backwards navigation between rooms. One of our team members created a Game and Room Manager to control access and links between rooms. It took a lot of work to make sure that the transitions felt seamless and to ensure that camera and spawn positions were maintained throughout the routes.
Another success was the animations and sound effects. This is an area that our team had the least experience with and yet we wanted to make sure that the player received adequate and appropriate feedback when an event had occurred. It took some work and lots of research but we are proud of the effect that was accomplished.
A final success, albeit a small one, was the implementation of an Easter Egg in our game. We were excited about this feature and its capability to auto-win for the player. I won't give anything away but it might be worth it to go back the way you came...
In the same vein, many challenges we faces were achieving the successes mentioned, such as finding assets and animations for all of the functionality.
One challenge we had was getting all the smaller details of the game ironed out to finish on time. We knew what we wanted our core game to be about and what to include but we still had many smaller things to implement before the game was due, and were scrambling to finish some of the tasks.
Another challenge is that finding assets and animations for all of the functionality were difficult given the complexity of what we were trying to accomplish within the game. A lot of the free assets that were downloaded did not match with one another. Furthermore, when creating the boss scene outside, there were not a lot of matching assets to help decorate the scene.
Additionally, coming up with a truly compelling story took us some time as we wanted our ideas to be consistent with the aesthetic and feel of the game.
We learned about keeping continuity in our game, for example we had to work on making sure the health progress persisted through all the rooms, and making sure transitions for the background music and sound effects were smooth when the player went from room to room. These features were important for polishing our game.
We also learned about using AI & NavMesh with unity to make player and bots move and follow the player.
We initially wanted to make room generation and room order random, so if given more time, we would like to go back and implement that feature.
We also would like to add a way to force the player to drink debuffs when they enter a room with one, since right now they can just leave without interacting if they know its a bad one. We thought about making the door lock behind the player until they collected the item. We also would like the buffs/debuffs to last longer to make them more significant. In addition, we would include a visual indication on the player to show whether or not they are still being affected by the buffs/debuffs. We would also include a health bar.
Additionally, we considered having more distinguished enemy variants, but the animations included with our character did not include other fighting styles and since we did not have experience with creating our own 3D animations, this became low on the priority list.
Finally, we would have liked to add a cut scene at the beginning of the game to give some exposition for the story.
This maze platformer rush mobile game included multiple levels that has platforms, barriers, obstacles and increasing difficulty as the player navigates further into different levels. The player is able to move in any direction and has to reach as many enemies as they can to earn points for a medal score on each level. The game automatically moves into the next level after a medal score is given for the amount of enemies destroyed by the player within the time limit. The levels include many different enemies, many different maze style platforms and uses a point reward scoring system for when the player eliminates more enemies as they move across the platforms. Play here.
This Final Project is a fully flushed out large scale mobile game project. Seeing how far we can explore the input options of mobile devices, such as touch, swipes, rotation, geolocation, and haptic feedback. It is also presented with a trailer.
The easy level was developed so that the player having to navigate through many maze style platforms while having to kill enemies that can be on different platforms and between different barriers. This level includes a time limit, fewer enemies and fewer platforms so that the player is able to understand and adjust to the game’s setting while being able more easily navigate through the setting. Players will earn points each time they destroy an enemy. These points will determine their score and the player will get a medal based on their amount of points. Different enemies were made to have different points given to the player when the player destroys different enemies. This point scoring is the same for all levels.
As part of the development process, a player can destroy an enemy by reaching the enemy and making contact with the enemy. The emphasis was placed on creating a maze style narrative where the player has to focus on using effective maze and platform navigation skills so that they are able to reach enemies under a time limit. Also, there are different amounts of points that need to be earned to get a gold medal, silver medal, or bronze medal. Throughout the levels, there are different maze structures and platforms placed so that the player has to jump at accurate angles and maneuver around smaller spaces. The player can move in any direction and can also have motion towards the ground.
The medium level was developed so that the player having to navigate through many maze style platforms while having to kill enemies that are on many different maze style platforms and between barriers placed on the platforms. This level includes a time limit, more enemies, barriers, and more maze style platforms than the easy level so that the player has to use better navigation and so that the player finds it more difficult to eliminate different types of enemies and gain points towards their medal score for the level. The platforms had less spacing and there more enemies where the maze platforms were harder to navigate so that the player was encouraged to move quickly around the maze style platforms and reach the enemies. Players will still have their enemy kills determine their score and will get a medal based on the amount of enemies they destroy.
The hard level was developed so that the player having to navigate through many maze style platforms while having to kill enemies to earn points and try for a medal score. This hard level includes a time limit, even more enemies, barriers, and more difficult maze style design platforms than the medium level so that the player has to use even better navigation throughout the platforms and so that the player finds it even more difficult to destroy different types of enemies. The platforms will be harder to reach because of the time limit and how the player has to navigate around smaller spaces. There will also be more barriers placed on or around the platforms. Players will still have points that determine their score and will get a medal based on the amount of enemies they destroy.
During playtesting, there were recommendations made to change the UI of the game that shows the current score of the player based on how many enemies they have destroyed and how many points are needed to get a gold, silver, or bronze medal for each level. The UI was not showing up clearly initially, but after changing the aspect ratio, scaling settings, and reference resolution, it was much more efficient to change the UI so that it shows well on the phone screen. The font size and position was changed to better show the score and medals score UI. Also, during playtesting, the player navigated well throughout the levels and the the point scoring system of the player gaining points by destroying enemies had accurate behavior. The sound feedback after destroying enemies and background music was also working well. Also, when the player earned a medal score, the game behavior for moving to the next level automatically was working well.
The successes we had for developing this maze platformer mobile game were that the different levels had effective narrative, good creativity in maze style platforms design, many platforms, and barriers, and creating a time limit and medal score goals that would keep the player motivated. Each of the levels were successfully made so that the player is able to make the maneuvers, have a display of the amount of time left to complete the level, move across platforms, and understand the maze style game setting, narrative and the game’s objectives of getting the most amount of points from destroying enemies and getting a medal score from user experience and real time UI feedback. There was also success in developing the logic behind the game where there was a time limit and the player can earn points and gain medals from destroying more enemies while navigating the maze style platformers. The barriers and maze structures were also well designed and developed so that each of the levels had more excitement, and created more interesting gameplay for the users.
The challenges for this maze platformer mobile game was the placement of barriers, and platforms so that each of the maze platformer levels would create enough difficulty for the player. When some of the traps and barriers were placed initially as part of the level design, it occasionally interfered with the player’s navigation by creating too much difficulty or making it too easy for the player to destroy enemies while moving across platforms. Also, another challenge was controlling player navigation in response to the player’s enemy kills because some maze style structures did not always align with the difficulty of the level and some of the enemies were not placed correctly on the maze initially, so the player would not have been able to reach enemies. Also, having barriers too close or too far from platforms changed how the player would be able to destroy enemies to earn points. So, then this became a challenge of finding a way to have the player’s skills in navigation be the ultimate decider of the player’s score from earning points. In some platforms and barriers for the levels, there was the challenge of maintaining clarity about what the game’s purpose and setting was. Also, the placement and quantity of platforms was also challenging because we had to maintain a certain difficulty on each level and even small changes to platform sizes and positions of where enemies were would vary how the difficulty of gameplay would be. Having too many barriers or platforms also crowded the screen so there had to be enough space between barriers and platforms so that the players could navigate around enemies.
We learned that the game’s difficulty on each of the levels would easily vary based on where the platforms, barriers, and enemies were placed. Even though the harder level would have less platforms and more barriers. There was a need for continuous testing of gameplay because of how the player would still be able to find easier angles that would decrease the difficulty of a harder level even though the level had been designed as a medium or hard level. The position and size of barriers and the variation in the maze style platforms would change the entire level’s player dynamics. Also, understanding how the enemies would be moved towards the player also changed the level difficulty and the player’s gameplay. We also learned that keeping platforms spaced too far apart would really change player experience because the screen did not always fit in the next platforms that the player could jump to, so understanding how the game works on different screen sizes was good to learn so that the platforms, barriers, and a player’s would be easily visible to the player. Then, the player would have more understanding and more clarity of how to proceed and move throughout the levels.
Possible future revisions for this maze platformer mobile game include adding more animations to platforms like disappearing barriers and traps. Other future revisions could be adding enemies that would automatically create new barriers for the player while they are also trying to eliminate the player.. Also, other revisions could be adding more barriers around platforms so that the player would have to navigate better during landing onto the platforms. Also, adding a map for the player so that they can be better prepared with finding enemies, barriers, and finding nearby platforms is easier. Additionally, other revisions could be that the enemies can jump off walls. Also, the enemies could disrupt the player’s kills more by being able to place traps, in real time during the player’s gameplay, near the platforms. Also, other future revisions could be adding more barriers on the walls so that the player’s jumping maneuver has increased difficulty and having movable platforms that have the animation of sliding in towards the middle and slide out towards the side walls.