GameDev Xmas Challenge – Summary
Finally done with the holiday fatigue (sort of) and ready to do the summary post of my December #OneHourGameDev project!
(TL; DR: Made a digital version of ultimate tic tac toe in 24 hours. A few cool features but not publically available due to problems. It was fun. Timelapse at the bottom.)
So what was this project about? I was alerted by a friend to a post of a link to a blog post on the nerd-time.com blog by Cala. It outlines a small personal challenge and encouraged people to participate just for fun! The challenge was simple; do game development for at least one hour a day until Christmas. The details were lax and it was an overall cozy ordeal and I adapted it to mean that I should try to develop a “full” game from start to playable in what would be a total of 24 hours of development time.
I did this to have an added incentive to actually get work done as I am otherwise a professional procrastinator, and often start but rarely finish projects. I recorded every hour I spent on developing this title and uploaded to my YouTube channel as timelapses (all available as a playlist here). I also made blog posts regularly (though not daily) where I wrote about what progress I had made for those specific hours.
I chose to make a digital version of ultimate tic-tac-toe. For those of you who don’t know, it’s basically tic-tac-toe but with 9 boards instead for a total of 3*3*9 (=81) tiles, and a few added move rules. I wanted to make just that because at the time I had just introduced my sister to it who enjoyed it a lot and I wanted to make a digital version to have on my tablet for various situations. It also had most of its design already made which meant that I could start working on it immediately. Finally it would also serve as a good project to get to use the Paper2D system in Unreal Engine 4 which I’ve wanted to learn for some time but never had an appropriate project for.
The game in its current state has a bunch of neat features. After a while I started marking everything down in a sort of backlog/todo-list (available publically here). You can choose between classic (regular) tic-tac-toe or the ultimate tic-tac-toe ruleset, set the players’ names, and draw your own tile markers or choose from a list of premade ones. There is also rudimentary visual effects and graphics as well as music and sound effects.
I won’t work on it too much anymore as I have other stuff to attend to at the moment, but a great base has been set for the game and save for a few heavier features it is almost releasable. Work that still has to be done has been outlined in the to-do document but the most critical ones are fixing the drawing on devices (the drawing to texture implementation doesn’t seem to work under OpenGL) and have a complete graphical overhaul.
It was a fun challenge (and it’s still ongoing if you check out for example GameDev Cala’s Twitter). I urge other readers to “participate” as well by just setting aside an hour or so regularly and spend it on developing fun and intriguing projects!
Also, as a final bang, here is a timelapse of all the 24 hours of work I did. Warning that it contains a lot of flashing images (as it’s significantly accelerated time-wise) and it might not even be comprehensible, but it’s here for completeness! Enjoy.