I have been working with Unity3D for quite some time now. I've done some work that I'm very proud of, but I have yet to get anything into an app store. The problem was my knack for over-complicating things, and projects I started would become monstrous. I do all my work solo, and I came to the realization that if I was going to do this on my own, I had to start small and keep it simple. Farmageddon is the result of the 3 weeks since making the decision to complete a game in 30 days.
You are a farmer, and your farm is being destroyed by a tornado. Your farm animals are caught in the vortex, and you must save them before the timer runs out. Players must match species (ie. cow, pig, chicken or sheep) in chains by dragging their finger on the screen, and points are awarded based on the chains length and the players speed. Every few seconds the player rotates around the vortex, leaving behind any animals remaining on the left side of the screen, and revealing a new column of animals on the right. An online high scores leaderboard is in place, and the Arcade version of the game will be completely free to play. Zen and other1 game modes will be available to anyone who purchases the app. Players will create an account when they make their purchase, and WILL NOT need to purchase the app again for other devices. For instance, if you purchase the Droid version of our game, you will be able to download and login to the Windows Store version of the game with the same credentials, and all high scores data, stats, etc. will be imported automatically.2
Proving the concept:
My first steps with any game I work on is to use basic objects to test the overall concept. The faster I can get a playable (albeit unattractive) version ready in Unity3D, the sooner I'll know whether the game has the potential to be fun. I created some very basic spheres in Blender, imported them into Unity3D, and went to work. My original concept for the game was to take the popular 2D matching games, but change it up so that the player is interacting in a 3D world rather than with 2-dimensional sprites. The following is my final proof-of-gameplay-concept video for Farmageddon, and after creating it, I quickly realized its potential to be a fun and challenging game with replay value.
The replay value of the game lies heavily in the online leaderboard, so my next goal was to setup database connections so I could store user login data as well as their stats. The game uses basic WWW calls in Unity3D to request data from the server, and the server spits out a response. Pretty simple, nowhere near as fancy as work I've done with SmartFox Server in the past, but it's a lot less complicated too. The scoring system uses encryption for both posting and receiving it's data, and the login uses three steps of encryption to store user passwords. May be a bit excessive for a game's login system, but if it has potential to be reused for other games, I want it to be secure from the get-go.
Adding Some Flare:
The next logical step in Farmageddon's progression was art assets. I started as I usually do, with the font. I find that the right font can bring a ton of character to just about anything, and it's always served well as a starting point for my graphics work in web design. After finding an appropriate font, I started laying out the GUI. I use nGUI, a powerful, albeit tedious, plugin for Untiy3D that helps wrap up your entire GUI into a single draw call. After playing around for an hour or so, I had the following login screen setup and working:
With a basic 2D design well in the works, it was time to move on to Blender3D for some in-game asset creation. I started with the barn, and considering this was my the first model I created myself from start to finish with the software, I am pretty pleased with the results. It took me four versions to get it right, but the cartoony feel fits right into Farmageddon's wheelhouse:
Keeping with the cartoony theme of the barn, I moved onto the stars of the show: the farm animals. I began with the pig, then using the pig as a starting point, the cow came together pretty quickly afterwards:
After creating a fence for a bit character, I brought everything into Unity3D and started putting together some concept scenes to get try and get a good look for the game in place. The result is my first promotional screen for Farmageddon, which I am quite happy with:
I've still got quite a bit of work to do. I need to take these new game assets and make them work with the code from my proof of concept scenes. I need to create the remaining farm animals, as well as some more props to fill space in the background. Lastly, I need to add some detail to my 3D textures, since at the moment they are all simply flat colors with some AO baked in for shading.
Everything is working, but in separate peices right now. Over the next week it is my goal to bring all these elemnts together into a single, playable, and hopefully fun, touch screen game for Android and the Windows Store.
1 Other game modes may not be available upon release of the game. All updates and new features will be updated for paid players at no extra cost.2 Cross-platform login system is still in proof-of-concept fazes.