Minotaur in a Pottery Shop

I recently decided to enter myself and Jarcas Studios into a game development competition. Edge Magazine was running a contest called the Edge Get Into Games Challenge 2013. This was their second year running the challenge. The goal was to develop a game centered around a chosen theme within a month’s time using the Unity Game Engine. If you don’t know, I’m an unashamed Unity fanboy. I absolutely love it for game development purposes. When I heard that the prizes were Pro licenses for Unity and a possible trip to the Unity developer conference, I was in.

The theme for this year was “Do No Harm”. I was actually glad for this because most games have some element of doing harm as part of the goal of the game. I felt like this would help level the playing field and prevent people from just submitting whatever they happened to be already working on at the time. It was going to be tricky, though, to come up with a strong thematic tie-in as well as making a fun game. I could think of plenty of non-violent games, like puzzle games, where you would do no harm while playing… but, to me, when I explained the goal of the game I wanted  “Do No Harm” to truly be part of the goal for the player. I wanted there to be the potential for great harm to be done and for the player to have to work to prevent harm and/or avoid doing harm. That would take a little more effort.

And thus, Minotaur in a Pottery Shop was born.

I decided to go with something based off of the saying “like a bull in a china shop”. A bull can cause a great deal of damage in a china shop and it would be difficult to stop them. Even more so if you needed to stop the bull without harming the bull either. That sounded like a good, solid thematic fit, but could I find the art and could I make it fun.

I’m not an artist. I know just enough Photoshop to be dangerous and tweak existing art, but I’m definitely not skilled enough to make my own art from scratch. And since I didn’t want to call anyone else in to help with the art, I was going to be limited to what free art I could find on the web.  I ended up finding some nicely rendered isometric sprites of a Minotaur on OpenGameArt.org. They were part of a project to make an open source Diablo clone. Minotaurs are related to bulls in fantasy, so I felt like that was the direction I would go. I ended up also getting quite a few other sprites from OpenGameArt – jars, a portal, floor tiles, some UI elements, etc.

I didn’t get to work on the game much during the first few weeks of the challenge, so I had to pull a few all-nighters near the end to get everything done in time, but it was worth it. I finally get to point at a game and say that I did that pretty much all by myself.

I’d love to hear what everyone thinks of the game. If enough people think it is a neat idea I might expand it and eventually release it on Android, iOS, and maybe other platforms. Feel free to leave feedback on this post or by emailing me at info at jarcas dot com.

In the meantime, you can play Minotaur in a Pottery Shop right in your browser by clicking the link below. You may need to install the Unity plugin first, though.

Minotaur in a Pottery Shop