Hullbreakers Goes Live!


Heya, it's the Sushmeister here,

So, we finally did it, we completed the 48 hour game jam that I hosted for my Affiliate party (which I now dub Sushi's Spring Game Jam)! If you missed it, be sure to take a peek at the whole development process from start to finish here: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/403477481!

What did we make?  

Hullbreakers is a 2d, top down, strategy RPG.  You and two of your friends have set out to break into derelict space craft and loot it for all it's worth, in the dreams of one day buying a bar.  Buuuut, there's one slight problem...they were abandoned for a reason.  Sneak your way through or fight hordes of man-hunting alien monsters!  I'm super stoked, and everyone's feedback has been really positive so far! But, let's talk about what went right and what went wrong.

What went right:

  • Super tight design

I was able to put together a very tight design document that got across the game play idea without sacrificing too much.  At first, I had ideas for a campaign with various different challenges and board layouts, but unfortunately, that had to be cut early. You can check out the initial design document here!

  • Unity is rather pain free when it comes to tile maps

The initial idea was a super simple tilemap-based design. At first, considering Unity is a 3d engine first, I was worried that it might not play well with the ideas of moving around a grid, but I found quite the opposite: it's well designed for such a task. Moving about a grid is very simple as long as you keep truncating any decimal places.  It might be remnants from the initial build where I offset the tiles to show a grid, but I had noticed a lot of floating point error when I inspected the tiles live.

  • Team Enthusiasm

I think this one is the most important. When I first pitched this to my friends, I thought they were going to say it was too crazy, but I found the opposite. They were very passionate about this idea, and really wanted to make it work. Organizing the whole thing, from Co-streaming the art and programming assets, to getting everything sorted out and delivered was done on somewhat of a short timeline, and everything came together great.  It certainly couldn't have been done without them! So once again, I want to give a big thanks to https://www.twitch.tv/ynrie (Art: tiles, ships), https://www.twitch.tv/matteo_prayer (Art: ships, profile pics), https://www.twitch.tv/azhares (All the sounds!),   https://www.twitch.tv/pinkmd (Art: profile pics) for all their hard work!

What went wrong:

  • I'm inexperienced Unity

I knew Unity was a great prototyping tool, and I've dabbled with it before, but I've never completed a project with it, in any form, so it was hard to really gauge how hard certain tasks were, and how long they would take me. I would argue a large majority of my time was looking things up and trying to figure out an quick and easy way to implement various features, such as UI and conveying different states of each part of the game as it progressed through the game loop.

  • I had to sheer a lot of rust off my C# skills

I've been working with Kotlin the past few months on a different project.  My initial idea was to find a game engine that I could use with Kotlin, but considering the tight setup schedule for this (we got this going in about 3 days), Unity3d seemed like the better option. Even with the rust, my C# skills far surpass my Javascript skills.  Considering I didn't really know that much about Unity3d, going with Javascript might have put me even further back in terms of completion. The first few hours of the jam were painful, to be quite honest.

  • The design was still too aggressive

I wanted to add more depth with the combat design, as well as provide the player more information aside from what's there in the Event Log.  Ultimately, I had to cut it due to time. Looking at it with fresh eyes, the things I wanted to do are relatively simple and should be standard fare in a game with a full release cycle, but coupled with the two problems above, the time I could have spent on making it a bit more polished ended up going towards getting spun up with the platform used to make the game. Likewise, I planned to have bigger levels and more enemies, but a lot of that had to be cut for the same reason.

I had a blast doing this, and I hope everyone there did too! If you're not in the loop, on Wednesday April 3, 2019 we'll be doing some work on a patch to fix some bugs and add more features, because some of the art and sounds weren't implemented, and I don't want that hard work to go to waste!  You can catch it live at 18:30 EST on https://www.twitch.tv/halfbakedsushi!

Thank you again, to everyone who watched, chatted, and most importantly helped with the project! 

 HalfBakedSushi

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