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Sturdy Engine – Unity #1GAM Helper

After the release of the Red Forest prototype, I realised I was spending FAR too long creating menus and UIs and not enough time on the games, so I decided to create a helper package to ease the process.

I began to strip Red Forest down. I removed the game,  I moved all required assets into a new “_SturdyEngine” folder and organised all default materials and files there.

After a few hours I was left with a Splash Screen, a screen fader, a menu, a pause menu, a confirmation dialog, and an AppManager scene that contains the backbone of any multi-level game.

AppManager is the core of any apps that use it, but it does not require that you write your game with it in mind; It is designed that when ready, you import this package, tell it the name of your gameplay scene and then apply one line of code when your game is finished. How does it work?

AppManager.FadeIn();      -Sades the screen in.

AppManager.FadeOut();     -Fades the screen out.

AppManager.OnPause(); – Sets timescale to almost absolute zero, resulting in an immediate pause. The screen fader and everything that needs to circumvent this uses a new Timer library that ignores time scale.

AppManager.OnQuit(); – Exits the game- if the user correctly navigates the confirmation dialogue.

AppManager.ReturnToMainMenu(); – Does what it says on the tin- Fades out, then returns to the menu, then fades back in.

AppManager.StartGame(); – Starts a new game. Loads the scene listed at the top of the source file labeled as “Start scene” – This could be your customisation screen, character select, level select, or just the game.

AppManager.GameOver(); – Fades out, Loads the scene labeled “Game Over”, Fades in. the Game Over scene needs to call AppManager.ReturnToMainMenu(); – Done this way for flexibility.

The rest is automatic! Obviously you need to change the text in the Main Menu scene to match the project you’re working on, but it’s already hooked up to AppManager and just works.

 

The result? Well, once done, I exported a Unity Package, imported it to Gravity Ed, set the start level and game over scene and boom- Gravity Ed was a fully featured prototype with menu, pause button and quit.

 

What’s next? Well, I’d like there to be a ControllerManager that wraps Unity Input, but can seamlessly get its inputs from on-screen d-pad/buttons. This will require effort to port games to, but if done right, a few search&replaces should do the trick.

 

 

 


Red Forest – Part 1 – #1GAM May

In May, the month before I got married, I became aware that I was running out of time. The wedding was fast approaching!

Red Forest Prototype Screenshot

Red Forest #1 Screenshot

Play Red Forest here:

 

Instead of writing an entire game from scratch, I pulled out an old robot-football prototype I wrote from around 2003 and began porting it to Unity.  FMC, or, Full Metal Conflict, as it was called, was always fun to work on. This was no exception in Unity either, and within a few hours I had wonderfully floaty hover vehicles shooting at each other, but it lacked something.

So, I turned it into a racer. I was never interested in Football, even when there were lasers involved!

 

May’s version of Red Forest involved a single, terrain based track and it was brilliant fun. I would say it stuck to my 16 hour dev rule but this one didn’t, I spent most of the month on it, getting the AI to respond and react realistically, and generally applying the adrenaline pumping speed I envisioned.

It worked.

Now, seeing as I want Sturdy Games to be about telling a good story as much as it is about games, I had to find a suitable story! Cue my cousin Brian’s input:

 

Once every couple of years, a great racing tournament is held in the Red Forest.

People from all over flock to enter, voluntarily, coerced, or as slaves.

The prize is enough money for the entrant’s community to escape poverty forever. Or enough for the racer and their family, or their master, to live like royalty for the rest of their days.

The poor represent their families, their friends. The slaves represent their wealthy owners.

Then there’s me. The reason this place is called the Red Forest.

I don’t race representing anybody. I don’t care too much for the money.

I just like to watch the world burn….

 

 

 


Spring Bonus- Screenshots and artwork

Appynation,  our buddies and publisher of our game,  Spring Bonus,  have posted loads of artwork from the game for everyone to take a look at.

You can see more on their Facebook page here.


Mash ‘Em Marbles

This weekend for my April One Game a Month entry, I recoded my old game Mash ’em Marbles!

It’s as close to the original as I could get it. Plenty of fun, and incredibly simple. Sadly because I used some old media and the theme became a little bit more than Minimalistic, I could not enter this for Ludum Dare.

What did I do?

 

I pulled out all of the logic. I tore it to pieces, then I put it back together again using saner methods of coding. There are no crazy scripts attached to my GUI elements, there are very few GUI elements at all now (everything is a mesh) and the whole thing runs far better.

I also improved the textures where possible. I’m no artist, so you can guess this won’t make a huge difference!

The main menu is nicer too- and it now allows you to select the level you wish to play. This goes against what the original version of the game was about- survival- how long did you play Marble Madness before you finally saw level 5? However, I realised that in the end it only increased the fun and allowed players to see more of the game without getting fed up at that one irritating spot.

I am working with someone to bring some far, far more interesting levels to Mashem. More on that later in the year!

OK the juicy bits:

Play it here.

Screenies? Why not!

 

Mash 'em Marbles

 

SS3 SS4 SS7 SS8


Spring Bonus! available on iOS and Android

I’m happy to announce that Sturdy Games and Grey Alien Games have teamed up with AppyNation to bring you Spring Bonus for iOS and Android!!!


Spring Bonus link image

 

You’ve been chosen by the Easter Bunny to help him light up the Magic Rainbow by melting away the cold grip of Winter! Embark on a magical journey through the Spring countryside with the cutest animal friends this side of Dr Fluffikin’s Petting Zoo!

 

A hundred levels full of the most adorable fun – just tap and slide your way through the countryside, unfreezing Easter eggs, thawing yummy chocolate, rescuing hapless frogs and adorable ducks from their icy ponds – bring sunshine back to the land!

 

Spring Bonus gives players a much needed boost of sugar, chocolate and cute animals featuring fluffy chicks, frolicking lambs and bouncy rabbits. This adorable match-3 game is bursting with bonuses and fun for all the family!

Read More…


Shooter! – New 1GAM game.

Shooter (One Green Alien Mutherfunker) is a classic vertical shooter. It was released as our second entry to One Game a Month (http://www.onegameamonth.com/)

You’re in space and find yourself under an endless alien assault. You know you are doomed- but you decide to take out as many of those ugly green motherfunkers as you can before you go!

 

BOOM!

Click to play (Requires Unity Web Player)

SHOOTER began life as a prototype. After reaching the 28th Feburary without having our original Feb OGAM entry ready, we decided to code it into a full but simple game. The whole process took 12 hours.

 

 


How I proposed – You Play

As many of you know, I proposed to Nicky by hiding a ring in a game I was developing at the time. Typical of a workaholic, I asked her to test a level when we were out on a date…

Here’s the playable version of Spring Bonus that I built to propose to Nicky. Originally this played the Nickelback song “Holding on to Heaven” but I have had to replace it with a riff of my own.

Play the below to see what it was like. (Don’t worry, Unity player is no problem to install and it is worth installing it!)

Oh, She said “YES!” – Or, actually, more of a “YAP!”…

 

<Click here to play>

 

Spring Bonus is a wonderful Match-3 game designed by Jake Birkett of Grey Alien Games (http://www.greyaliengames.com/). We worked with Jake to port this bright, colourful, fun game to iOS and Android.

Fancy a game? Get it for your device here: http://www.greyaliengames.com/springbonus/index.php

 

 


Latvian Lances- Joust the Board Game!

A good friend of mine, Martin Corns, turned Joust into a Board Game. It looks to be pretty awesome!

It’s a print and play game. To download the image files, grab the game images and print them out. They can be found here

You an download the manual here.


One Game A Month #1 Coding Complete – Joust!

I’ve done it! My first #1GAM game is complete. Joust! can be played here. Total coding time: 14 hours 47 minutes, with 1 hour 13 minutes left.

Joust title

I should be honest here. CODING is complete. The artwork is not quite complete with two/three icons missing- These are being done by someone else and are still being updated. Be that as it may, the game is complete and playable right now with only a couple of object graphics missing.

Did it go to plan? The answer is yes and no. It has taught me to be more disciplined with my time for sure, meaning a short but efficient design document, simple gameplay rules and most of all a project that could actually be finished.

However, part of the 16 hour rule was that this game was supposed to take the whole month, with bits of coding here and there. It meant that I still had time for other projects and my fiancee. The reality was I spent about 4 days of spare time charging through the logic whilst it was all still fresh in my head and getting it done. Fiancee? Who is that again!? Luckily she was supportive and enjoyed my little side project. My other projects did suffer however and now I am a little behind on my targets.

I think the key to succeeding here doesn’t just lie in completing the games, but also doing it without taking up all of your time. I will not begin #1GAM2 until Feburary the 4th. I already know what it is, so the new challenge is to not work on it!

What are my thoughts on Joust? Well, You get out what you put in. It’s not a bad game at all, but there’s only so much you can do in 16 hours. The game needs balancing, and it needs to be more obvious how you have won. I still technically have 1 hour 13 minutes left and I may yet use that to get rid of the rapid clicking required, and turn it into a pure card based game, which may actually be far more fun! Player a scores , Player b scores , based off the attributes of their weapon cards. Perhaps roll a dice to multiply against that score to see who comes out on top? Who knows. Presently the game is at exactly the state described in the design doc, with some small balancing done to the guesswork within. I am happy and hopefully players will be too!

So, What’s next?

Well, those of you who read my old blog know I wrote Mash ‘Em Marbles in 4 weeks, start to finish. #1GAM 2 will be Mash ‘EM Marbles 2, which was touched on last year somewhat, but we are going to have it ready in Feburary. This is an update, not an entire game, hence it’ll be less work and seem a more polished product than Joust. More on Mash ‘Em 2 later, though!

#1GAM has been extremely inspirational to a lot of people and I am very grateful that Christer put this together.

Joust itself has inspired a board game called Latvian Lances, which sounds to be a pretty cool print-and-play board game. I’m waiting for images to show it off, but it’s being developed by a guy named Martin Corns as we speak.

 

Thank you very much, #1GAMers!

 

 


1GAM #1 – Joust!

So my first game will be a Joust “Simulator” – It’s no really a simulator as such, as it is somewhat of a strategy/rapid-click action game. my 1x A4 design doc is here:

— ONE GAME A MONTH — ONE GAME A PAGE!!!!

All HTML5, Android, iOS.

 

 

1) “Knights Tale” (can’t call it that though…)

The player is not a true knight. (is this also too much?) You have been given 100 gold.

 

12 weapons. Can select two weapons for the joust stage and two for sword stage. 6 “jousts” (joust, sword, axe etc) 6 Shields (wooden, metal, small, large etc)
There are 3 armour types. Light, Medium and Heavy. Weapons each have an attack, defence, health and weight values.

JOUST!

It costs 100 gold to enter each round. Select your weapons then tap quickly to charge by charge rate per tap, and the charge is reduced by 50% each second, adjusted by combined weight.

At the start you get 5 seconds to charge from initial tap to horse release. Continue tapping until contact with opponent for extra charge!
Effective attack rating = attack*(health/100), Effective defence rating = defence*(health/100) , Final value = (your attack-cpu defence), Charge rate = 100+final value.
At contact the winner is player with more charge.

Contact speed = combined charges/2 –keeps it sensible.

 

DAMAGE

Damage is taken to items in use:
Armour: ((opponent attack – defence)*contact speed)/100
Weapons: ((attack rating + opponents defence rating)*contact speed)/100
Defence:(opponents attack rating *contact speed)/100.

 

ROUND END

Gold is awarded for winning at a rate of  contact speed/20 (contact speed of 2000 = 100 gold) – Followed by 10 seconds of tapping on weapons to repair at rate of 1 gold for 1 unit repair.Chance of winning new weapons from previous opponent.

GAME OVER

The game “ends” when you cannot afford to enter. You can either restart or sell weapons (click a weapon)- In order to allow for continued play, each player defeat weakens the CPU to match difficulty,  if the player runs out of money and waits 24 hours he is awarded 100 gold and the CPU is weakened to improve chances of progress.

 

WINNING

The player can be declared a knight by defeating a king, however the game will continue after this point as gameplay is never ending!