GameCamp 2021 – Transgressor

Game Idea

We swooped into our final GC21 project hungering for an FPS game, since none of the team members had worked on one before, but all of us had a special place in our hearts for the genre. For inspiration, we peered quite far into the past;  to the days of Quake and Unreal Tournament, where the polygons were few and the gameplay fast.

Dual wielding and gliding became a core part of the player’s arsenal, since we wanted to have a thing or two to differentiate our game from most games in the genre being published, even if neither of those things – on their own – were anything new or unique.

So that’s how Transgressor crawled out of its sarcophagus.

screenshot

With a lot of shooting comes a lot of tomato sauce, so what better theme to go with than vampires? Choosing to be a bit more Legacy of Kain than Twilight, our designs took influence from both the ancient and the gothic, feral and civilized. We wanted the player character to tower over most enemies as they rained carnage across the level, be it on foot or leather wings, and made you feel like a god playing 4D chess with mere mortals.

Also – perks of being a vampiric creature – bathing in the blood of your enemies heals you, and if you miss the showers, you can always pop their corpses like human-sized pimples with a melee attack. Neat.

Development

We hit the ground running on the first week, where our programmers created a strong framework on which the rest of the game was promptly built; at least on the technical side of things. Since we were about to move fast and shoot hard, a lot of testing and thought had to go into not just designing the level, but making sure it felt as good as possible to traverse.

For one of the programmers, it was the first time trying out Unity’s NavMesh system for the AI navigation, which proved to be a bit challenging, especially in a game where the platforms are large and far between and there’s a considerable amount of verticality to take into account. We also got to try out some of the shader graph basics and now understand what kind of things can be done with it and how it could be utilized in the future.

concept art

On the art side of things, plenty of firsts were also experienced; our character/weapons artist had minimal experience with Blender – or 3D modelling in overall – and a lot of things had to be studied up and learnt while working on the assets. Naturally, crafting a larger scale environment also had its own struggles and challenges to overcome.

A few weeks into the project, it became very clear to us that this was something we’d love to work just a bit longer on, and thus paced our work accordingly. This, however, meant that the game wouldn’t be “finished” during the summer, but rather, we set our sights on an itch.io release later in August.

Team:

Eetu Pohja: Programmer

Heikki Gauffin: Programmer

Katariina Paulaniemi: Artist

Lauri Kullas: Artist, Audio

 

Download the latest build on

Google Drive

Itch.io: TBA

Game Camp 2021 – Azimuth

Azimuth is an isometric hack ‘n’ slash game where the player is a brave treasure hunter who explores the dry air pockets in order to find the secrets of underwater ruins. The path to the secrets isn’t easy since countless enemies will try to stop the player from advancing. We were heavily inspired by a video game named “Hades” and brainstormed until we ended up making hack ‘n’ slash with an underwater/Atlantis theme.

Our original plan was to create a game where you go through levels in randomized order until you reach a boss fight room which would have been the last level but due to time restrictions we had to drop the idea. Instead the player can now go through as many randomized level loops as they can before they die. The task might sound simple but the enemies get tougher and more dangerous after each loop – how far can you get?

Our programmers faced a challenge with the isometric perspective regarding the movement and visibility in levels. How to make sure that the player hits correct targets upon clicking the screen and how to make sure that enemies don’t hide behind walls where the player can’t see them. These didn’t stop us and we found answers to all our troubles.

The game’s theme and looks caused problems among the artists. Initially the game’s theme was supposed to be a mix of Atlantis and Bioshock/steampunk but none of the artists had much experience with steampunk. After many discussions, we slided away from steampunk and more towards art nouveau which turned out well.

In the end we are pleased with how the game turned out and it was a great learning experience for the whole team.

 

Team

Eero Salmi: Programming, Audio

Laura Huovinen: Programming

Jirko Haapapuro: Graphic Design, Animation, Level Design, Character Design

Juho Mansikka: Graphic Design, Animation, Character Design, Particle VFX

Ada Ikonen: Graphic Design, Environmental Design

 

Download here

GameCamp 2021: Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead

Game Idea

Idea to make a bullet hell style, danmaku inspired shooter had been brewing inside the head of one team member and this was the perfect chance to try it out. Everyone thought that this type of game would offer a lot of interesting challenges and opportunities to learn, while being reasonable to complete in our time limit.
For the art style we took inspiration from NES style pixel art and cartoon series like Adventure time and Owlhouse. We wanted the color to be more nuanced and muted compared to the 16 bit era to give the game a modern look.
Gameplay wise we took inspiration from games like Touhou 7, Jamestown and MegaMan. From Touhou we studied boss design and took notes on how the game uses music to elevate the gameplay. Jamestown served as a good reference on how to keep more muted colors readable and clear. Megaman was there mostly for the vibe.

Development

The development process ran smoothly throughout the whole process and gave a lot of valuable opportunities to learn. With the game having a lot of moving parts the developers had to learn how to keep the code organized and clear. Building solid tools for content creation was crucial for reaching the finish line. We learned quite early that getting all the parts is only a minor part of the development process. Most of our time was spent tweaking things and trying to find a good balance for the game. The small details that make a game satisfying to play seemed to take as much time as we were willing to dedicate to them.

We had to learn how to keep the graphics compatible and consistent between two artists. The moodboard design document helped with this greatly. It allowed us to have a reference point and thus keep the style consistent and true to the vision we had.

The moodboard in question (the bird being the most important component):

First the looping of the background art was challenging but it was resolved easily and some graphics had to be removed and changed later to more suitable ones but as always the best result comes via testing and learning. The biggest challenge apart from consistency was keeping the art easy to read as the gameplay could be rather hectic and the ability to separate enemy bullets from the background was paramount.

In the end we’re very happy both with the end result and with what we learned along the way.

Play it here: TBA

Team Members:

Kaarlo Kangas: Project lead, Programmer, Audio
Ville Karilainen: Programmer
Joona Ljokkoi: Artist
Samu Hujanen: Artist

GameCamp 2021: Mecha Hell

Game idea

Our idea for the game was to create a 2D Wave Based Survival game set in an abandoned space station filled with aliens. You as the player take the role of a Mecha and your objective in the game is to survive as many waves as you can.

Development

The development of the game started off with creating a prototype where we tested out the movement and shooting mechanics. Placeholder art was used for the first couple of builds until the core mechanics were up and running.

A week after the first test version was created we managed to implement the level into the game in which the player could roam around the station and shoot some aliens.

During the middle part of the project many of the critical mechanics were added into the game, such as keycards for the doors and giving the player the ability to upgrade their abilities and weaponry.

 

 Final weeks of the project were mainly used to add more assets to bring extra atmosphere to the level. Feedback for the player was a huge focus during the final two weeks of development.

During the last week of the project the team did some final adjustments to the game. Bug fixing and game balancing were not the only things that the last week included. Online leaderboard where the players could see the longest surviving players was also implemented.

 

Each week felt like a great leap for the project in terms of the content and mechanics. The biggest goals of this project was to keep the scale of the project in control so there is no burnout and for everyone in the team to learn more about working as a team to create a game and figuring out the quirks and secrets of Unity.

Team EezyPeezy

Aleksi Asikainen, Coding
Aleksi Hietala, Coding
Karin Aimonen, Art
Ville Raunio, Art

Link to Itch.io page

GA Spring 2021 – Heroes Get No Dice

Heroes Get No Dice is a tower defense game, where the player assumes the role of a super villain who is forced to defend their base against the forces of good. The game was aimed to be for a wide audience, which is why the featured elemental damage system, models and user interface were designed to be as easily approachable as possible.

We initially planned for the game to encompass multiple levels with three distinct themes and a plethora of dastardly tools for the player to utilize while defending their base. Due to the challenges implementing all the various systems and required models, the scope of the game had to be reigned back a few notches; surprising absolutely no one.

Due to our artists having little to no experience with 3D, the amount of time and work needed in order to produce good-looking assets amounted to a lot more than our team had originally anticipated.

Art style differences, animation and importing or baking materials were a few of the troubles wreaking havoc on this tropical hideout.

Some of our solutions were most likely not  terribly optimal, but we were nevertheless happy whenever we overcame a stubborn problem or two.

All things – even the villainous types – must, however, come to an end. As it stands, the game ships with 15 waves of enemies, set in a single persistent level, with a handful of enemy types and a starter platter of deadly tools to use for enforcing your “no good guys”-policy.

Hopefully, they’ll serve you well… because a certain superhero is approaching, and he’s ready to rock.

Good luck, evildoer.

 

Team:

Aleksi Asikainen: Programming

Heikki Gauffin: Programming

Lauri Kullas: Audio, Programming

Sanni Kataja: 3D Artist, VFX

Emmi Pusa: Environment Artist

Sofia Sinivuori: 2D Artist, UI

Mari Weckman: Characters Artist

 

Download Here!

GA Spring 2021: Corporate Fool

Corporate Fool is a colourful and cartoony, semi-isometric action / puzzle game, where you are trying to escape the shackles of employment by finding key cards within different parts of the office.

Features

  • Cartoony and colourful art style.
  • Three distinct areas.
  • Controller and Keyboard support
  • Simple puzzle / Action Elements

 

Development

Having spent the previous semester developing a game from our homes and knowing the coming project would be developed under similar circumstances, we began the project with vigorous planning sessions in order to lay a solid foundation. This foundation would prove to be vital towards the end of the project.

Despite the situation, our team did manage to develop everything we had set out to and we are happy with the end project.

Take aways the reader might find useful are as follows.

  1. Set guidelines for working in scenes in Unity.
  2. Spend time laying the groundwork for your project.
  3. Always remember to be empathetic and supportive towards your team mates.

Team

Henna Ahvenniemi – Art, VFX

Lenny Smith – Project management, coding

Inka Kaasinen – Art Direction, Artist, Environmental artist.

Juho Mansikka – Coding

Jirko Haapapuro – Animations, assets, characters

Jasa Paavolainen – 3D artist, assets

Aatu Seppänen – Level Design, Game Design

Olli Heino – Music, sound effects, sound design

Playable Version

Itch.io: https://lennysmithgames.itch.io/corporate-fool

GA Spring 2021: Fun Dinnertime

Team Moneymakers decided to make a scary game with low poly, indie game developer style. 

We took heavy inspiration from these small, indie developer horror games that are fast and “easy” to play through but still offer some challenge and are memorable. 

The player character (you) is a guest at a nice dinner party! The Fox, The Mouse and The Squirrel are already waiting for you to help set the table. But after starters, Fox gets missing. You should go to find him. Something feels off.

Development started with doing all the necessary assets to the game using Blender as a 3d software, as at same time programmers started to gather first mechanics to the game using Unity engine. 

 

Both artists and programmers work at their own pace and schedule, and from time to time we combine our creations and build the game up. Team used GitKraken to share the project and keep everything up to date.

Idea was to have multiple different endings that the player could explore after finishing one, and we got two of the choised to the last build. Unfortunately time was not our favor and some of the endings are not in the build yet.

Our biggest challenge was time and timing of the other courses that were rolling next to the project, but after all we are happy with the outcome, compared to our challenges through the game project. 

Team: 

Artists:

Veera Sauerland

Hy Bui

Emilia Mikkola

Programmers:

Jaakko Leskelä

Lassi Ojainväli

Latest build

GA Spring 2021 – Curse Of The Amulet

The Project

 

The project is part of the spring season in Games Academy and its goal is to introduce the students to 3D-game development and deepen already gotten skills in Unity and in game development in general.

Our team started the spring season with a clear idea on what we wanted to do. That idea came to be Curse Of The Amulet.

The game

Curse Of The Amulet is a atmospheric, action-packed adventure game, with challenging gameplay. The game has multiple enemy types that offer a variety of challenge.

Skeletons vary from regular, mace and helmet equipped and bigger chief skeletons. The forest is also filled with giant mushrooms and possessed trees that offer a the player a unique challenge.

Giant Mushroom
Skeleton

 

The player has two ways of fighting the enemies, sword and a spellbook. The  sword is a reliable way to deal damage up close even to multiple enemies at once. The spellbook has four unlockable spells for the player to use against the enemies. These spells are hidden throughout the forest, only the fireball already unlocked from the start.

Beam
Fireball
Shockwave
Iceray

 

 

 

 

Levels

The Game consist of two levels, The Forest and The Castle. At first our idea was to make three levels, one of them being a dungeon level, but we decided to scrap it. Throughout the project we wanted to keep the scale adjustable so we wouldn’t have to make too many compromises on the game. We also wanted to make sure to use every asset and mechanic we created, so nothing was wasted.

First level: The Forest

Intro

Level starts in a decaying forest where the player quickly is introduced to the combat and the enemies. Player moves through three arenas where they will collect their weapons and keys from the enemies to advance deeper in to the forest.

Arena, with fireball and skeletons
Deeper forest

In the deeper forest the player will try and collect the remaining spells, find a way to the castle garden and open the gate. There the Old Castle Guard awaits them.

Old Castle Guard

Second Level: The Castle

The Castle is a smaller and more linear area. This way we could ensure that  the experience is as fluent and engaging as possible for the player.

Castle dining room

The castle is home to more tougher skeletons and a skeleton chief who guards the key to the great hall. There the player will meet the Cursed One

Library

The Story

Game starts with a flashback of the player encountering an ominous figure that strikes the player down. Once the player wakes up in an decaying forest he will start the journey to meet his destiny.

The Encounter

After a few encounters with skeletons, giant mushrooms and not forgetting the tree trunks that seem to come alive. The player finds himself at the gates of the castle garden.

There the player will find The Old Castle Guard who guards the key to the castle. Once the Guard is defeated, the player can enter the castle where the ominous figure awaits. Once the skeleton guards are defeated and the door to the great hall opened the player will find The Cursed One.

After the One is defeated the player must choose, will he destroy the amulet that corrupts its owner, or will he embrace it and harness its power?

Decision

Download from Itch.io

Team:

Eetu Pohja: Programming

Ville Raunio: Character Artist

Eszter Puzsik: Environment Artist

Mira Opukhovskaia: Character Artist

Jaakko Joenperä: Team management / Level design

Aleksandra Pere: Story

Eini Kuha: Art

Special Thanks to Lauri Kullas for creating original music for our project.

GA Spring 2021 – 8 ft.

8ft.  is in its simplicity a spider simulator, where you can live your spider dream of exploring the human habitat and catching bugs. The game consists of two rooms that you can explore; kitchen and bathroom, both including tasty bugs for you to hunt.

During the spring we started the work on 8ft. slightly late as our first idea which revolved around a garden gnome was pushed aside to explore a game idea with the possibility of using the ninja rope. For this we took some time to brainstorm ideas and decide on a concept we found most exciting.

Most of our troubles came from having not enough time between course and homework for school, but we still strived to create a game that works and serves a purpose. Our coders also battled to tame and understand the code of the IK spider that we hoped to use as a base for our own custom spider. Unfortunately due to time and the intense code of the IK spider we had to result into abandoning the custom spider, and borrowing the IK spider. We also hoped to create more rooms and consistency throughout the game but again due to time constraints we had to cut back somewhere.

Nevertheless 8ft came to a finishing a point and was a big learning experience to the whole team, sure to bring us food for the future so to speak.

Team:

Eppu Syyrakki: Programming

Laura Huovinen: Programming

Hannu Timonen: Art, music, sound fx

Niilo Kajala: VFX, animation

Janika Keskitalo: Art, Animation

Procedural IK Spider by Philipp Schofield – https://github.com/PhilS94/Unity-Procedural-IK-Wall-Walking-Spider

Go live your spider dream!

Build on Drive

Web version

GA Autumn 2020 – The Observers’ Ruin

The Observers’ Ruin started its development journey as a horror inspired spin on the arcade classic, Pacman, but as time went on, ended up inheriting more and more features and elements from the adventure game genre – namely the likes of The Legend of Zelda.

With a core concept of a lone survivor, striving to make it out of a nightmarish situation, it’s up to the player to lead the protagonist on a journey through the corrupted ruins of their once beloved temple, using both stealth and three unique abilities to make it out in one piece.

The game consists of seven unique levels that progressively introduce the abilities available to the player, as well as different types of enemies and other hazards, on their journey to the heart of corruption. Abilities grant the player some freedom on how to approach different challenges, but their use is also required at several points during the levels.

Most troubles that arose during development were centered around trying to establish the game’s identity, or direction, as our plans and ideas veered further and further from our original source of inspiration. We’d had some trouble with the AI, and since it’s an integral part of Pacman, decided to shift focus and build the game more so around exploration, abilities and light puzzle solving with both AI driven and scripted enemies to beware of.

Also, our movement system had to be rebuilt several times in an attempt to make turning corners smoother, both mechanically and visually, which was only made more difficult when wrestling with Unity’s old (and later, new) input system in order to implement controller support.

Yet, somehow, we managed to rise to the occasion, and The Observers’ Ruin is in much better shape than the eerie halls and stone pathways it houses.

For the most part.

Team:

Lauri Kullas: Programming, Audio, Level Design

Heikki Gauffin: Programming, Level Design

Inka Kaasinen: Graphic Design, Animation, Environmental Design

Eszter Puzsik: Graphic Design, Animation

Janika Keskitalo: Character Design, Animation

 

Link to the game