Tiny Runner

Tiny Runner

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.

Play Tiny Runner right in your browser here!

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.

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