Uni Games Post-mortem (Part 1/3 - First Year)
Updated: Jul 5, 2019
A couple of weeks ago, I started backing up all the games I've made during my time at university for safekeeping. As I was organising files and transferring folders, I became aware of a sense of transition - from the last three years of tertiary education into whatever lies in the unknowable void beyond. It's made me thoughtful, pensive even.
In light of that, here is a 3-part series reflecting on the games I made during my studies, starting with my first year.
In-Between tells the brief story a dead girl stuck in a stripped down purgatory, where she has to walk through the circumstances of her death and face some ugly truths in order to move on. It's very reminiscent of The Lovely Bones, which means a horrific death and lots of tragedy.
Looking back, it's too understandable to me that I would put my all into my very first assignment, which also happened to be my first ever game. I spent an entire day making one room, because it was full of complex wood/metalworking equipment.
Was it worth it? I'm not too sure. But in a way I appreciate its raw honesty, which my later games would polish and smooth over as my game development literacy grew.
The Forest of Wolves
Now this was a game I really enjoyed making. I also made the game in three days. It was made in RPGBoss, a free but also incomplete engine that was just similar enough to RPGMaker that I was able to make a finished game. And also I had to finish the game in three days. I'm confident that I manage my time a little better now.
Like In-Between, I'm fond of the earnestness and heart I put into making this game, though The Forest of Wolves went the complete opposite direction, focusing on friendship, trust, and gooey heart-melting warmth.
Up and Down
Not much to say about this one. This was my first assignment in Unity, and I played it quite safe by making a platformer. I didn't even bother to swap out the textures from the ones provided in the workshops; I was too focused on how many trick platforms I could sneak into the level.
This game was my first real foray into creating gameplay mechanics. With an assignment focused on experimentation and paper prototyping, I'd quickly settled on an idea I'd had for a while now: creating a set of puzzles based around the principles of colour theory.
This was also my first time really getting into C# scripting to make something new, and I'm very grateful to my lecturer K for helping me out, lest I would've been stuck for hours. Paper prototyping the puzzles was great fun too - I think I'll add scans of them here, if I can find my old sketches.
My final game project for the year. Instead of using Unity, I'd decided to return to clunky, yet beloved RPGBoss. I doubt I would've made the same decision now, but at the time I was more interested in characters and story than anything. It's interesting to look back and see how my focus has slowly shifted from that to gameplay and player experience over the past three years.