For our project, we decided to do a 2D side-scrolling video game in the style of Mercenary Kings, Commando and other classic games such as Contra. The concept was to make a game you can play on your portable smartphone and your computer. The whole team enjoys playing video games and with today’s accessible technology, we thought it would be fun to make our own game. We were able to experience the process of making a basic video game. In fact, we went through the conception of ideas, the design of sprites, the programming of the mechanics and the music production. The path to making a video game made us respect professional video game producers so much more because it was not an easy task to produce a basic video game with only 3 people.
The idea for the story of the game was to make a cowboy game set in the wild wild west, thus the Wild Wild Man was born. In the game, you play as a cowboy who needs to survive waves of incoming enemies that spawn randomly around the map. Originally, the game was supposed to have a story mode where there would be various levels with a specific purpose and story for each but since the deadline was short, the idea of a story mode was thrown aside to focus on the survival aspect. Shooting elements will be implemented in the game with the survival game mode. The player will be able to shoot at the enemies and take damage from them. The game tries to capture the spirit of the wild west with the setting and the music.
The game is easy to play. You just open up the menu and select the PLAY button to start. Instructions are also available at the menu. The game involves basic controls of side-to-side movement, jumping and shooting to survive. You must eliminate the waves of enemies with your pistol and avoid their gun shots. Moreover, you can pick up liquor that spawns randomly to restore your health. This game is designed as a fast-paced game that is fluid and fun to play.
The purpose of this game is entertainment. It is there to keep you occupied when you need to pass the time or when you are on the subway going back home. The game is easy to play and it is accessible for any age group. It was a lot of fun to make and we hope you enjoy it as much as we did making it.
For this project, we were a team of 3 people: Yael Demers, Kevin Téo-Fortin and Cédric Barré. During the project, Yael designed some of the sprites, took care of the sound recording for the music and helped with the MMF2 software to build the game. Kevin did nearly all of the programing on the Unity software, helped Yael with the MMF2 software when we decided to make the switch of softwares and wrote parts of the Instructable. Cédric design a part of the sprites, played the instruments for the music, helped Kevin with the programing of the Unity software and wrote parts of the Instructable.
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Step 1: Tools and Materials
-Music instruments (guitar, piano, harmonica, etc.)
-External audio device (sound card, mixer, etc.)
- Audio editing software (Garage band : http://www.apple.com/mac/garageband/)
- Game designing software (Unity or MMF2 : https://unity3d.com/ or http://www.clickteam.com/multimedia-fusion-2
- Graphic Editing software (Gimp : https://www.gimp.org/)
-Standard assets for unity : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLxsqI3uUoA
Useful link :
Garage Band :
Step 2: Game Concept
First of all, you must establish the route you want your game to take. You must establish what type of game do you want, the software you are going to use, the characters, the settings, the theme, and the music. You must have a strong idea in your head so that every step that comes afterward is done smoothly because you know where you are heading. This is also where the tasks are divided between the team members. Make sure that the division of work is equitable and that it respects each persons strenghts and weakness.
Step 3: Music Production
This step is optional if you decide to take somebody else’s music. If you decide to make your own music, you will need to download a music mixing software. The instruments of choice will need to be connected to your computer to record a music part or you will need to record the music part from an external recorder and then import the music part into the software. With the music part in the software, you can mix your music and export the file. You will want to play with the settings of the software to obtain the sound you desire before exporting the file.
Step 4: Sprite Design
Before starting to construct the game, it is necessary that you design the sprites. The sprites are the drawings of the characters, the objects, and the backgrounds that you will find in the game. When designing the characters, their animations must be drawn out as well. The animations consist of many drawings put one after the other to represent a movement. The style of your game and the atmosphere will mostly be set by the aesthetics of the sprites. Therefore, you want to be consistant in your drawings to make sure that the style of game you chose is represented throughout the game.
Step 5: Software Work
In this step, you will need your game development software installed and ready. In our case we used unity at first but we were not able to succeed into making basic tasks due to programming problems. Therefore, we decided to use MMF2. So first, you have to setup the software. Then create an “active” and assign movement active’s to it. The background and the main character will each receive their sprites and the game will start to take shape. Next, depending on the type of game you are developing, you will start to program the mechanics needed for your character to do what you want him to do. You can add a health bar and also enemy A.I. to challenge your character. There are an infinity of possibilities. Collectibles and score boards are also interesting additions you can put into your game. You will also need to program a menu screen and import the music.
Step 6: Finish It!
With all of your mechanics programed and your sprites imported, the game is ready to be played!
Step 7: Conclusion
For this project, we encountered a few problems. These problems were all related to programing. In fact, we were very new to programing which made things very hard when we needed to set the mechanics of the game. Even with tutorials, we were struggling to set any of the mechanics in the software Unity. Sometimes, the programing function given by the tutorials were obsolete because our version of Unity was newer than the one used in the tutorials.
First, we were not able to attach our sprites of the main character to the Unity prefab. The sprite would disappear when we moved the character from left to right. There was no link between the animation and the functions of the program. Therefore, we tried to rewrite all of the program for the character according to the sprite we designed. Needless to say, it didn’t work either.
Second, the program for the collection of the coins and the liquor didn’t really work. The coins would not disappear when our character collided with them. Moreover, the score counter related to the gathering of the coins did not work since we were not able to collect any coins or liquor. The collider between the character and the coins did not react properly.
As a last-minute resort, we decided to change our software since we were not able to make anything potent with the Unity software. We opted for the MMF2 software since it was much easier to work with. With this software, we were able to do more than what we had accomplished with Unity in a shorter amount of time.
Finally, there are many ways we could improve our game. For example, we could add an in-game store where you can buy different weapons and a coins system as currency. The coins collected could permit you to buy different weapons each stronger than the previous. It would allow for a gameplay that is more fun and rewarding. It would push the player to keep playing to experience each weapon and perfect their offensive play. Moreover, we could add multiple objects in the survival map so that the player can jump around and on top of buildings or boxes. It would give a deeper sense of immersion into the game and it would enhance the setting. We could even add a boss fight after a certain amount of time in the survival part or just develop the full story mode that we initially wanted to make. It would require more animations, cutscenes and characters but it could really push this game to its maximum potential.