Its been a very loooong time since I’ve posted some news on the blog.
So… what’s up since last time? well I learned to use Unity3D, I really felt in love with it, I started to play with it to see how easy it was to materialize (well…in the virtual way =) ) game ideas I had.
While learning to use Unity3D, I’ve started to become more and more interested into “Game Jams”. These are gatherings of pro & amateurs game developers who try to make a game during a given time.
The time can be, 1 hour, 24 hours, 48 hours, a week, a month,… Some work in teams, some work on their own. There is always a theme so that everyone works around the same subject. I found the concept quite interesting, it’s a big challenge (and I love challenges! =D ) and I could learn a lot by forcing myself to create a whole game in a short amount of time.
Of course there is the Ludum Dare, which is quite popular, but that one just finished when I heard about it, so after some weeks toying with Unity3D, I heard about the “My Little Game Jam”. The Game Jam was quite obviously themed to the tv show “My Little Pony” (MLP). The thing is, I absolutely never have seen that show, so I didn’t know what to expect. Since I had some time during the weekend the game jam took place, I decided to participate so I could see what level I reached with Unity3D. The Rules were simple, It must be a game in the world of My Little Pony and implying the theme “Chaos”.
I first thought those two were quite to opposite of each other, but I found an idea. Having spend some time talking with other game devs taking part in the game jam, I discovered they were genuine “FANS” of MLP… I have to admit that was a bit weird to me. My idea was to make an “anti-pony” game, just for the fun of it. I tought the idea was funny because of all those fans.
The game would be very simple, I had heard about the dangers of game jams, a lot of developers lack of time to finish their game, So I decided to make a simple Space invader-like, but with Ponys.
I started working on Saturday, the game mechanics were put very easily together so after some hours, I already had my working prototype. At that moment there were some white cubes falling from the sky and the player could destroy them by shooting with a green laser. I was very pleased with the work I had done, so started working on the 3D models.
It was one of the first time I used Blender for the 3D modeling (having only used Cinema4D before), so my first Pony didn’t quite looked like a pony to be honest, but it was better than a cube.
After the horrible pony, I created a Unicorn
The second and also last day of the Jam, I spend most of my time making a simple environment and a point system. In the “story”, the player would need to protect Unicorn-land from the evil invaders, the “pony’s”. So shooting a blue pony get’s the player 100 points, killing a red one, gives the player 300 points. But if the players killed a sacred unicorn, he would lose 500 points.
As simple as that point system was, It was a good thing for me to learn implement it in my game. The whole game was timed, so the player had to score the most points in the given time. To kill the invaders, the player could use four dreadful weapons, a missile, a banana, a mustache and a fork. (as the MLP-world looked quite ridiculous to me, I thought it would be fitting to kill the beasts in funny ways.
I spend in total around ten hours making this little game, It was quite a learning and fun experience. I don’t know if it was because of the animosity towards the pony’s I brought with my game, but I didn’t finish first in the competition =P. I finished 29 out of 38, I like to think it’s not “that bad” for a first game.
Apparently the pony-fan-community is bigger than I ever expected, because there is actually a website talking about a lot of pony-themed games. as a result of the game jam, they reviewed my game.
Since then, I did new pony models a month or two ago to see how far I’ve got with my 3D skills, It’s still no great art, but there’s definitely improvement! I will put together a new version of the game with the new pony’s and maybe some new features in the coming months.
You can play the game here: Ponyvasion
I recently found 2 persons who made a review of my game on youtube, keep in mind that when I decided to make such a ridiculous game, it was my first one I made alone, after “Keep The Ball Rolling”. It was also a statement, “an anti-pony game in a pro-pony community”.
I’m realizing something… I love making things in a different way, Creating new experiences, imagining other ways to enjoy games.
I’m Currently working on two games, A multiplayer First Person shooter in space with bows and arrows (again a group project)
and another one, a BIG one… more info soon