Story based infinite runner and Doodle Jump with tap/slide controls.

Concept character art for story based infinite runner.

Over that last few months I have been busy alternating  working on two mobile games. One is a game with a simple system, but quite a lot of artwork required to make it interesting. The other uses public domain art only, so that I can concentrate on creating fun gameplay mechanics. Alternating between technical work and creating art and story has kept me motivated and sane.

The first game idea came about over coffee with my sister, where we discussed to make a small game together. The idea was to make a story based game using existing mechanics, but introduce our own unique storyline which can be unlocked as in-game missions are completed. The game mechanics we decided on was an infinite runner, because of the manageable scope of creating the system,  which meant we can focus more on creating an interesting setting and story. In a steampunk universe you play as young girl looking for her eccentric father who has gone on Quixotic adventure.  As you trace your fathers whereabouts, you are told stories about him, and meet interesting characters along the way.  We thought this game might be interesting to people as it could be played in small chunks, and the player rewarded with a developing story and interesting characters.  For the storyline elements we have been prototyping a basic motion comic style in the vein of The Thrill Electric and the Axe Cop series.

The infinite runner portion of the game is similar to jetpack joyride, with a scrolling background setting that changes as the player progresses.  For the first time we opted to use an existing infinite runner system from the Unity Asset store and modify it to suit our needs.  This method is working quite well,  the time spent modifying the system is much less than it would have been to create one from scratch. Also learning code created by a much more skilled programmer than me has taught things I wouldn’t have found out otherwise.

The biggest challenge of this game so far has been the amount of artwork required to create all the obstacles, scrolling background layers and also the character development and storyline. We are getting though the list of items to be created, and learning a lot about making good consistent characters with professional looking outlining and shading. Check out the one of the created so far at the top of the page to see the style we have adopted.

The other game is one I have been working on is based on Doodle Jump (DJ). The difference being that the character jumps and moves via a tap and swipe system because I am not a fan of the tilt control system used in DJ . After a few failed prototypes I have found a system that most people can learn within a few plays, that gives fine control over the characters jump.

Because all of the art used for this game so far has been from the public domain, I have been able to focus on creating prototypes of the level generation. character control and the main game loop. It is at a stage where I can begin fine tuning the level design and creating player incentive.

So that has been my last few months in games development, look out for the release of the above games in the coming months!

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