Game a Week #3

Top Tweet (play here)

This week’s reusable game chunk was a twitter API that I would be able to use in my other unity games. I have ideas for using the tweets as random NPC convos, or to generate stuff int he game world programmatically. Having this in my toolbox will be fun.

The idea

I had an idea for a game where you had to choose a popular twitter tweet. The original Idea involved a mechanic where you gained followers by choosing the top tweet and lost followers by choosing the wrong tweet. The game would end once you ran out of followers, or after 10 rounds. In the end the idea morphed into picking a tweet that you think had the most retweets. If you were right, you gained a point. If you were wrong, you lost a point. After 3 lives, you are left with your top score.

What went right

The twitter api worked very well. I was able to collect tweets easily and parse the information quickly. I also made sure to buffer the tweets so that I wasn’t making too many requests. All in all, this took waaaay less time than I anticipated which resulted in a lot more polish than my other games. This week I was able to make a custom UI, add sound effects, background music, a bit of beta testing and I was even able to refactor my code. I almost got it to work on mobile until I wasn’t able to resize the game and ran out of time. I would like to think the process went quickly because I scoped it well, but I had budgeted a lot of time for the twitter module so I think it was mostly luck this time around.

What went wrong

No web version! This game wasn’t letting me make a post request to twitter in the way I usually do and I never got around to figuring out why. Because of this, top tweet had to be compiled as an executable. I think the answer may be to have my server make twitter requests and then poll my server for cached twitter data. Haven’t developed the structure to do that, maybe I’ll try to do that one of these weeks.

What I learned

Enums are freaking awesome as game states. In this game I had a main UI controller that rendered everything on the screen. I defined some enums to represent game states and made my functions switch the current state after they made their computations. The result was a really manageable UI controller so I definitely think I’ll be using this method in the future.

Other games this week

Anastasia’s game never fails to make a statement. Her game a week sub, Balance, hits quite close to home. I won’t lie, I felt anxious while playing Balance. I love the statement it makes. Play It here, and read about the process here.

Melissa’s game, Muintir, has a really cool mechanic where you attempt to repair your shield before a barrage of attacks. How do you repair it? By weaving. Check it out, and read about the progress here.

Mark continues his quest to flesh out his co-op space game. Read about his progress here.