Games Academy Spring 2020 – Shaft


Game

Our game is inspired by Unrailed that is an online and co-op multiplayer railroad construction game where you work together with your friends as a team to build a train track across endless procedurally generated worlds.
Shaft is set up in procedurally generated cave system full of rocks, crystals and weird cave plants as obtacles but they are also resources you need to produce more train tracks and fuel the train. Gameplay consists of collecting resources, crafting tracks, choosing the best routes for train tracks and working with your friend to make it deeper in to the mines as long as you possibly can before the ground crumbles down and takes you in to the abyss!

Development

Our team had the idea of making it like “Unrailed” from early on and we got started in good time. Development started with defining the theme of the game and what kind of visual style we where going for. Low poly was our plan from the start and we chose to use simple colors that go well together to create a colourful but moody athmosphere. We decided to make it a max. 2 player co-op focused on the basic mechanics.
Our team had some rough times on the way and progress was a bit slow but steadily we got most of the things we wanted done. Gameplay feels pretty good but without a friend it lacks enjoyment and fun but music and athmosphere still makes it pretty immersive. Visually the game works nicely even though it could have used more work. Overall the project could have gone a bit smoother but we are still pretty happy with what we got as a result.

 

Download Shaft from itch.io!

Team Bitter Dream Games

Kalle Saarinen: Programming
Timo Sissala: Programming
Eero Salmela: Programming
Saku Pajari: Art
Matias Hilpinen: Art
Ville Haavisto: Music

Games Academy Spring 2020 – Fat Bear Week

In Fat Bear Week you play as a bear, whose one goal is to become the
biggest, fattest bear before winter comes. Eat your way through 3 beautiful levels and see if you can empty the forest of berries, mushrooms, and animals before time runs out.

You start the game as a small bear, who’s just awoken from hibernation. Over the course of the game, you eat so much that you become a ball who just rolls around, eating everything you can and breaking your way through any obstacles that would stop you from doing so.

Features

3 levels

5 different bears to play as

the squishiest physics

the roundest bears

Gameplay video

Development

In the beginning, we had a ton of ideas for different types of games, but after some ideation, we finally settled on this one. We first started working on the bear, because as it is the main focus, it was key that the movement felt as good as possible and that the visuals convey the mood we were going for.

We had some plans to add a multiplayer, but those never really carried out.  Some other smaller things had to be dropped as well, but that’s just part of the process, isn’t it?

Our team worked quite well together and were happy with the final result. That is in large part because we stayed pretty well on schedule, so we didn’t have to rush to scramble together a finished product.

We’re proud of the final result, and would love to hear what you think!

Give it a try yourself!

Download Fat Bear Week from itch.io

Team

Laura Halsinaho – Coder

Oona Liukkonen  – Coder

Jami Salonen – Coder

Emilia Aaltonen – 3D artist

Niko Sarkkomaa – Art director

Mikko Tanskanen – Level design and UI

Juha Solanterä – Music ans sfx

Games Academy Spring 2020 – Pinnoid VR

Game

 

Pinnoid VR is a VR game where player tries to destroy evil egg with hitting a bomb towards the egg with a racket. Destroying enemy minions gives player power-ups to help fighting the evil.

Development

 

The game is inspired by game called Arkanoid and pinball machines. We went for VR because we wanted to know what it takes to make a VR game and also gain experience from making 3D.  We had many different ideas but we thought there were simple and will fit well for VR and we could not find almost none of this kind of game. Start was slow due to lack of knowledge about making a VR game and some members of the team never even had tested virtual reality. The project progressed good but the corona virus made some impact. Two out out of five of the team had access to VR headsets after lockdown so it was harder to make changes to the game while working. In some cases game worked fine in unity but crashed with headset etc. But overall this project turned to be fun and everyone had good time with it.

 

 

Features

1 playable level

Different enemies

Beautiful environment

Team Travel Tickets

 

  • Juuso Hakala                   Programming
  • Miko Hatara                     Art and UI
  • Onni Heinonen               Programming
  • José Pesu-Inácio          Art
  • Waltteri Junnila             Programming

Games Academy Spring 2020 – Ragnarough

Ragnarough invites you to battle your friends for the glory of Valhalla!

In this fast paced local multiplayer game you will throw various objects and punches at other players to be the last Viking standing. Drink from the golden pint to gain power ups! Best your opponents and be crowned the Champion!

Features

  • Players: 2-4
  • Controller and keyboard support
  • Various throwables: barrels, bottles and stools
  • Golden pint power-ups: Health, Speed, Power, Shield Up
  • Graphics: Very Nice
  • Fun: Yes

Download the game from itch.io!

 

Development

Crash Bash’s Crate Crush served as the main inspiration for this project. We wanted to make something fun to play with friends, and the stylized and colorful visual style was selected to reflect this. Using Crate Crush as a reference we were able to keep the core mechanics simple and the scope was easy to manage; we were able to implement pretty much everything we wanted, while also having time to add some polish.

The development ran quite smoothly thanks to a dedicated project manager, assigned tasks for the team members, weekly meetings, and through active team communication. Overall the entire team put in great dedication for this project, and we’re pretty proud of the result.

We hope you will like it!

Team

  • Tommi Mäkeläinen: coding, UI, project management
  • Pasi Mäkitalo: coding
  • Pauliina Lahti: coding
  • Beya Staaf: Concept art, texturing
  • Mikko Laitinen: 3D modeling, sound effects
  • Antton Lehtinen: music

Games Academy Spring 2020 – Egg Peak

Game

Evil Guys™ have invaded the mountains, and are trying to steal all the Eggs! It’s up to you to save them.

Jump, glide and punch your way through various enemies and obstacles above the clouds in this colorful 3D-platformer.

 

Development

We decided on making a 3D-platformer fairly quickly, and in a couple of weeks we had a basic idea for the game – and some concept art! The core function was first going to be built around throwable/usable minions, but around halfway through development, after feedback and comments from teachers and peers, we decided to scrap the minions and focus on building more diverse levels that you could complete with the same set of abilities. This way we could build a wider array of obstacles and enemies for the player, and focus more on polishing those as best we could.

Despite the development time landing on the crux of the coronavirus-epidemic, progress was made steadily. Our biggest hurdle was a lack of focus on bringing one feature into completion at a time. We started modeling some enemies that got their code way later down the line, and other assets waited for graphics for some time. We created most of the hazards and obstacles in the last month of development.

Even though we got our final focus at the latter half of the project and the current state of the world is what it is, the development went smoothly. We stayed in contact throughout the project and helped each other when it was needed. There was less crunch time than the autumn 2D-project. The end result is a fully functional and fun platformer with a bright and colorful visual style.

Features

  • 1 Player 3D-platforming action
  • Multiple Enemies & Obstacles
  • 8 Exciting and Beautiful levels
  • NOTE: Controller is required to play the game

Try our game!

https://cavernaware.itch.io/egg-peak

Team CavernaWare

Programming:

Juuso Toivanen & Petri Virtanen

Art & Design:

Esa Kotiranta, Aleksi Jalonen & Naksu Kihlakaski

Games Academy Spring 2020 – Gore Kart

Game

Gore Kart is a local 4-player party game where you and your friends take control of local maniacs and attempt to blast each other into bits with cars and guns. The most murderous participant wins. So grab your machine guns and bazookas, it’s time to rave!

Development

Our initial idea was to make Mario Kart’s balloon battle with blood and gore. While our core idea was simple and clear, we did a lot of back and forth on how we wanted to visually represent the game. First we were planning to make our characters cartoony and bright. However, during the development we struck a line for the characters that while still holding on to the cartoony aesthetic also fit the gore themes.

At first we planned to do a 2-player game with an arena that various interesting areas like ramps and a second level. This proved out to be difficult with the movement we had, and ultimately the only part that made it into the final game are the acid pits that open near the end of a round. We decided to make the arena smaller for the game to become more intense and after receiving some helpful feedback we increased the player amount to 4.

Our team faced a lot of challenges during the development. While we had clear plans and goals at the beginning, the problems we faced both within and outside the project slowed the process down. While many features had to be cut down, the end result is a chaotic game that should ensure amusement  every time you play it.

 

Note: Due to current circumstances and the game being local co-op only, our team was unable to record a video with all four players present.

Give it a try:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/112cjWqeEXSufqObhY5V_UFgjzULcE7ra/view?usp=sharing

Team

  • Minna Ylimäki: Programming
  • Eetu Tirkkonen: Programming & music
  • Laura Julkunen: Programming
  • Roni Kähäri: Art & programming
  • Lotta Ignatius: Art & level design
  • Olli Heikkinen: Art & character design

Games Academy Spring 2020 – Steel Castle

Hi everyone! We’re from team Left & Right and our game is called Steel Castle.

Steel Castle is a puzzle-platformer adventure game that’s heavily inspired by Playdead’s titles LIMBO and INSIDE. As a player you control a vulnerable human protagonist, solve some puzzles and avoid death. We can’t emphasize the word avoid enough – if you seek conflict, you will die.

Features

  • Controller & Keyboard/Mouse support
  • An atmospheric experience with simple controls
  • A single-player game in a hostile environment

Download Steel Castle from itch.io!

Development

We had kind of a rough start and it felt that the development was running on quicksand and going nowhere. One of the biggest issues was losing two programmers early on and having to make do with 3 artists and 1 programmer.

Our issues became even more evident in mid-March when our progress (or lack thereof) was pointed out in a meeting with one of our teachers. Not to mention the state of the world right now that started to take effect in Finland as well during that time.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom, however. One of our big advantages was that we managed to keep our scope small from the very beginning and we were able to add more and more things, building on top of what had already been built instead of leaving a bunch of stuff in the cutting room floor. Granted, some ropes and more threats to the player would have been awesome but hey, you can’t have everything, right?

The biggest reason for our Steel Castle’s success is definitely the fact that one of our artists took the reins in scripting more and more functionality and things to interact with in the game. Importing DOTween was a genius move too that really gave us more time to think and implement new environments to the game instead of rubbing mechanics over and over again. Furthermore they’re responsible for our main character and most of the audio as well a whole host of other stuff that would drag this blog on forever, so talk about a multitasker!

In the end, Steel Castle was a huge learning experience for the whole team and we’re quite happy how the game turned out despite some growing pains.

Team

  • Tero Salmela: Art, Audio & programming
  • Kasimir Haapala: Art & SFX
  • Aino Kauranen: Art
  • Rudi Rutanen: Programming & PM

Games Academy Autumn 2019 – Problemouse

The game

Problemouse is a single-player 2D puzzle game inspired by the classic Bomberman games. In the game you control a mouse and try to escape the mazes with limited amount of bombs.

 

Development

We wanted to take a different spin to the Bomberman games’ idea and make something new, and so we settled on integrating puzzle game elements into it.

Managing a game project was pretty new to the team, but we were able to keep the scope reasonable. Therefore we finished well in time with a decent amount of content in the game. During the development we received a lot of helpful feedback, which was used to improve the game.

 

Features

  • 20 different levels to get your brains in a twist
  • Different bomb types
  • Power-ups
  • Time challenges

Team SandSquare

  • Tommi Mäkeläinen: coding
  • Pasi Mäkitalo: coding
  • Pauliina Lahti: coding, level design
  • Marjaana “Beya” Staaf: art
  • Mikko Laitinen: art, level design

Download the game here!

Dog Flight

Dog Flight is an action-packed dogfighting game, inspired by retro and retro-style shoot ‘em ups like Luftrausers and Time Pilot. You play as the captain of a prototype fighter, shooting down hostile planes and deftly dodging their shots, facing overwhelming odds alone with only your skills to help you.

Fight your way through five levels and waves of enemies, and come out as the top dog!

Features

  • Fast-paced dogfighting action with flashy visuals
  • Challenging gameplay with nuanced combat
  • 5 action-packed levels with unique enemies and graphics
  • Both controller and keyboard + mouse support

 

 

Development

When coming up with ideas for our game project, we had a decent amount of freedom. We were given a list of retro games, and told to use one of them as an inspiration and base for our own game. However, while researching the list, one of the team members drew a connection between one of the games, Time Pilot, and a much newer game Luftrausers, by the Dutch indie studio Vlambeer.

Broadly similar games, both based on flying a plane and fighting enemies with full 360-degree movement, Luftrausers’ big gimmick is that movement is physics-based; the player needs to concentrate both on fighting enemies and keeping themselves flying. Pitching it to the team, we all thought the concept was interesting, and agreed to try and make something similar.

The development process of the game went fairly smoothly. As movement is a huge part of Luftrausers, that is also the part that took the most time to develop. Around the first month of programming was spent almost exclusively on getting the movement and camera to feel right – everything else came afterwards.

The biggest hurdle during the project was designing player feedback. As the game started to take shape, it became clear that a lot of features the dev team thought obvious were actually very difficult for players to figure out – things like health regeneration, player ammo count and the fact that enemies spawn in distinct waves. As it turns out, even a relatively simple game like Luftrausers has to do a lot of barely noticeable things to make the player understand what’s going on. Luckily, both by analyzing how other games do it and by playtesting the hell out of Dog Flight we were able to fix most, though not all, of our feedback issues.

Overall, we’re very happy with how the game turned out, and the things we learned while making it. We hope our players like it too!