A nice learning experience

Last week the Cleveland game devs had a Level Up workshop, focused on Unity and Playmaker – so I signed up, enthusiastic that I could unlock some more of the mysteries of Playmaker and game mechanics.

I was not disappointed. Our moderator, Bill, jumped in with a basic endless runner prototype using primatives and simple FSMs, and soon our cubes were colliding and jumping on command. It got me thinking about the platformer I want to make using my autistic son’s artwork.

I showed the kids my work the next morning, and they gleefully smacked the spacebar to make the little cube hop on command. I started up Audacity and recorded their delighted sounds and snuck them into the FSM. Their eyes grew wide when they heard their own voices yelling ‘jump’ when they hit the spacebar. I made a few more tweaks to reset the level if the player cube got knocked off screen.

I can see how this sort of game is so popular for beginner devs – its quick, easy and has an iterative cycle thats easy to add mechanics and playtest. It makes me question if I shouldn’t focus on one as a means to generate quick income. The HTC Vive is going on pre-order next week and I could really use the money.

Hello Sunshine!
Hello Sunshine!

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