Game jam: River Bank Maze

I spent the weekend at my friend Steve’s house, making a game for Ludum Dare 30: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-30/?action=preview&uid=31762.

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It was fairly relaxed compared to others I’ve done – we spent a generous amount of time sleeping and eating. We spent an hour or so thinking of a game after getting the theme, Connected Worlds, and came up with the gameplay: a multiplayer game where you’d manipulate a maze-like world (one person on “walls” and one on “the ground”) to win.

After getting a bit of basic programming for the maze visuals and player movement down we came up with a theme, and started on the art. There were a few minutes where I started doing pixel art and Steve took over on Unity, but that was never going to work for long! Steve did two fully rigged, animated characters (5 animations each: walk, jump, turn left, turn right, idle) and all the background art, and I combined everything in Unity and did the programming.

I tried to implement a recursive backtracker algorithm to generate a maze, but after a couple of hours got fairly exasperated so we just chucked in a random value to change between basically straight lines and a weird flood fill, which seemed to work pretty well for what we wanted (a normal maze would have been way too easy).

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Unfortunately there are visual glitches with some of the powers, but I think most of them are quite cool! My favourite part was when I had spent a while programming animations and movement for the fox, and after setting up the mecanim states for the fish, it worked instantly and really nicely! Overall I’m really quite pleased with the result – it was about the perfect scope for the amount of time we had, and for the first time I’ve worked with someone else in a game jam I’m super happy about how it went.

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Here’s the dropbox link if the ludumdare one becomes obsolete: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/32538545/RiverBankMaze/WebBuild.html

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Collect power ups to change the world around you and help your animal friend to the fountain. A randomly-generated puzzle platformer game. Press R to restart (sometimes the game is unsolvable). Play with another person or by yourself.

Fox’s controls: WASD to move and space to use power
Fish’s controls: Arrow keys to move and enter to use power.

The powers are:
– Jump over the next tile (if a power up is in the next tile you collect it)
– Swap the current tile with the next tile
– Shift the current row down by two
– Make a tile marsh (so both of you can use it)

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Made in 48 hours by Steve Tucker and Patrick Reece. Music is Jump For Joy by Christopher Brooke from audionetwork.com

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