I've finally published my first finished game... Bugbury! It's an action game developed on Unity for Android. You can download and play it here on the google play store!
The game allows the player to shoot bugs with a slingshot. Your slingshot is stationed at the bottom of the screen and the bugs come in from the top. The goal is to shoot them before they get past your slingshot defense line! Players are rewarded for shooting bugs from afar and for not missing their shots. The more bugs the player manages to hit without missing, the better the score bonus will be for each bug. You are placed in shooting arenas with walls obstructing the line of sight between your slingshot and the caterpillars, meaning you need to bounce your projectiles off the walls to actually shoot them!
During the game’s development I changed the core gameplay style many times, meaning the game took much longer to complete than expected! (2 months instead of 1…) At first I envisioned it to be heavy on action with the player needing to shoot a huge amount of bugs per second to avoid death. This was appealing, but when put into practice it turned into a game of mindless shooting. There was no “game” per se, all you had to do was shoot as much as possible, and you would kill the bugs eventually. I realized if played conservatively the game was much more fun; the best moments were when I took time to plan my shot and seeing that planning pay off. I decided to cut down the number of bugs to allow players time to actually plan. But there was still the issue of spamming shots, and with even fewer bugs it actually became easier to win like this. I figured the players had to be rewarded for not missing their shots. At that point I decided to add bonus points for getting hit streaks: the higher streak, the higher the bonus! This made the game heavier on planning and precision, which gives it a nice unexpected twist.
Although I’m pleased with the gameplay, I really think what makes the game shine is its art. The caterpillars have a very fun design with a really cute walking animation. If given more time I would have liked to add different bug sprites! In my opinion, the visuals help the game immensely, and they could have been decked out even further.
Besides the struggles with gameplay, I would say the most challenging part of the development was the sound. I have no experience with composing or sound design, so my go to is to look for free sound effects online: freesound.org, soundbible.com, etc. But it’s tough to find the perfect sound among resources like this. Much of the time I had a crystal clear picture in my head of what kind of sound I wanted, but simply couldn’t find anything like it! I took to editing sounds in ocenaudio, a free sound editor which helped me a lot. I still have not tried composing (the game’s theme song was written by Erik Matyas, “Good Morning Dr Weird”) so for my next game I will make that the next challenge!
Overall I’m happy with the game and very happy with all the things I learned whilst making it (my next Unity project will be so much more efficient!) What comes next? I plan on making another mobile game, but this time a different genre. I would love to make a platformer or adventure game.