The game was developed in Unity about 4 months. Nobody of us was an expert in this game engine nor has huge experience in game development at all. That alone was quite challenging.
When starting to plan the game, we decided to do this in three iterations (so called sprints). After each of this we evaluated it and tried to adapt the feedback to make it a better game. That leads to a tight schedule: Starting in November 2018 with the planing what game we are going to do, meaning genre, story or not, style… After we finished that, we planed how we are going to implement it. Then in the first week of December we started the implementation, creating the graphics writing a story and so on.
On December 21 after countless days without sleep (did I mentioned that we were about 3-4 people which are “good” in coding. No offense, we also had great artists) we have finished the first iteration of the game, with a great story about dimension traveling… well we had it but it was not shown in the game at this time. Very diverse game-play, at least on paper, implemented was only the most basic one (dragging tiles in the portal). But the dinosaur age will only be the first of all levels 🙂
Did I mention the evaluation? As expected it went well: They did not get the story (because there was none), the game-play was to easy (no challenge at all), Bugs.
So Sprint 2 was about making the game more challenging and enjoyable. Because of that we shorten the story to one level and also kick out the side stories within an encounter to have less text. The evaluation afterwards was better but still not perfect. So in Sprint 3 we completely kicked out the story and replaced it with explanations, added hints, a better rewarding system and so on. Finally the Tangible was working with the game too and we could focus on the scientific part.
Anecdotes and side notes
- We put every phase of a level in its own scene because the version of the game we started from was not able to change the equation on the fly – in the end we never used any of the “old” code but the setup is still the same
- At one point we had some serious bugs which we couldn’t wipe out. After ours of looking in each line of code with two persons we found that we basically had two board on the left and two on the right side in the scenes in Unity – always look for bugs in the right place 😀
- In the end adding something to the UI caused the whole UI to dispread. To fix this problem we had to change any scene which we decided not to do because the time was short. So we did some dirty workarounds and added the UI to other elements of the scene *shame on us*
- there is an Easter-egg in the game 😉
- Don’t try out Beta versions of Unity plugins, we tried the 2D Animation to animate some sprites