So, I decided to enter the 26th Ludum Dare competition this past weekend. It’s an accelerated game development competition that takes place over 48 hours. Developers must work solo. Also, unlike the previous EDGE game development competition that I entered, external art is not allowed at all. If you want art in your game, you have to make it yourself.
I worked right up until 10 minutes before the deadline Sunday night to finish up my little entry that I have dubbed Tiny Runner.
It’s only 20 pixels wide (scaled up to 40 to be a little more visible/readable on modern displays) and it fits squarely in the “endless runner” genre of games.
I used the Unity game engine and two free add-ons from the Unity Asset Store: Orthello Free and RagePixel. I actually drew the art in Unity using RagePixel, so I didn’t have to resort to any external art tools. I thought I was going to be able to use RagePixel for everything, but it doesn’t support any kind of font rendering and I wanted to display a minimal bit of tiny text. So, I had to break out Orthello (a nice free 2D toolkit for Unity) to handle the font rendering.
Code-wise the game is made up of only 4 C# classes (not counting Unity and the add-ons I mentioned above) – Runner, Wall, Zapper, and EndlessRunnerManager. I wrote about 350 lines of code for the final submitted version.
This was my first attempt at ever making art for my own games. I know my way around Photoshop, but I am by no means an artist. I ended up drawing the little guy and giving him 4 animations (run, jump, duck, die) in each of 3 colors. It was actually pretty neat limiting myself to such a small number of pixels. In the end, it ended up balancing out my utter lack of art skill I think.
I had a busy weekend so I wasn’t able to do everything I wanted to do. I especially wanted to add sound and tweak the difficulty curve. All in all I spent maybe 7-8 hours in development time. I’m overall very pleased with the result since this was my first ever Ludum Dare entry.