After taking this course, I’d have to say there’s much more to games than meets the eye. On the surface unknowingly, people play games as an escape. But there’s much more to it than that. The text we read helped us bridge the gaps between play and games. Learning the MDA framework (Mechanics/Dynamics/Aesthetics) was really interesting and helped us really put into perspective how games are designed. The Extra Credits videos helped us bridge together what really makes a game. They also went over a lot of what makes games tick. All the material we went over eventually made connections and complimented each other. Learning how to play games as a designer helped us really figure out how to make games overall. From our first tutorial through Game Maker Studio we were able to get a first taste in game development. The games we ended up creating for our first project were far from polished and had much to be desired. However we learned a large amount between then and our final project. For the final project, our team worked with Unity and was able to incorporate a lot of what we learned into a semi-polished final and presentable game. However at the forefront, team communication is key. Without communication between the producers, designers, programmers, and the artists, nothing would ever get done. There needs to be a collaborative effort from all ends in order to get things done.
As the semester winds down in Art 108 and after everything we’ve learned, our group decided to tackle our final project with Unity. Unity is a powerful cross-platform game engine written in C#. A couple of our group members have prior experience with Unity, which helped all of us get up to speed with its internals and how it works.
For our game, we wanted to combine a run-and-gun side-scrolling shooter with changing gravity implemented in. In order to change gravity,we had to implement our own gravity (as defined in our Utilities script) using vectors and alter the built-in gravity. We also wanted to implement a variety of different weapons. In our first build, we had a machine gun, shotgun, and rail gun available. There was also a variety of different enemies, including the hover bot, a turret, TNT bat, poison wheel, and devil crow. For our first level, we had a surprise boss at the end that requires a mastery of gravity changing. There is also a horde mode included that still needs to be fleshed out to look presentable.
As with learning anything new, playing around with Unity was a steep challenge. Luckily, I worked with C# before so it wasn’t too hard to understand the code. Unity has decent documentation to get started and its included libraries are pretty robust for most anything you would want to create. However, it is vastly different compared to Game Maker Studio and requires a lot more experience with coding environments. However, this allows for deeper changes and more tweaking throughout the entire game.