ColorJump

simple screenshot for ColorJumpPlay the In-Browser Version

Download the Standalone Version

ColorJump is a project I worked on for my game development class at MSU at the end of the Spring 09 semester.  We were given 7 weeks to design and create a prototype of a game of our choosing.  At this point, we were very inexperienced, but I feel the game is very polished and fun regardless.

What I worked on for this project:

  • Authored the movement script from scratch
  • Implemented the platform and player color interactions
  • Created prefabs for all of the pillars and platforms and the scripts governing them
  • Implemented the animation scripts for the player
  • Collaborated on the overall design
  • With the exception of some GUI work, all of the rest of the programming

The game is a simple platformer created with the Unity game development suite.  You play as a character who’s color changes depending on what the color of the platform they landed on.  With the exception of a white platform, which will wipe the current color, landing on a platform of another color can be fatal.

I learned a lot about game development and team dynamics from this project.  Our team consisted of a modeler, a designer/manager, a 2d texture artist, a level designer, and myself as the only programmer.  Unfortunately, I was also the one on my team who was most familiar with Unity as well, so I spent a lot of time helping my teammates become familiar with the suite, which meant I had to put a lot of time into the project.  This ended up being a good thing though, because the team quickly pulled itself up and fleshed out our original design into the game that we have.

I learned how much planning really goes into games. We ended up working together in the lab as a group, which meant that I could easily ask the designer questions about how things should work, or that the 2d artist could ask me for help on some GUI scripting, or that the modeler could ask other artists in the class about skinned animations… It was a very healthy and productive environment.

I basically wrote the code for the character movement from scratch, which meant that the script was hella convoluted by the end, but that it was exactly what we wanted.  Things like specifically tweaked air control, blended character animations, character heading based on model direction, logical character rotation (lousy slerp algorithm), platform falling forgiveness timer, “just missed” landing forgiveness, and accurate platform hit detection are some of the things none of us realized that we needed until we were deep in the project.  I also ended up providing a bunch of pillar timing tools and many preset pilliar configurations, which helped our level designer focus on the level dynamics.

I’m very happy with the way things turned out.  The game is fun to play and fairly forgiving and bug-free.  If we were to continue development on it, I think we could rework the UI to make manual color changing more intuitive and make more complex levels.  There was also a lot of talk about adding some powerups sprinkled about the levels, or making the levels dynamically created, but for the original scope of the project there wasn’t enough time to work out any details, so that would be something else I think would be interesting to explore.

If you want to play the game, please click one of the links above for the in-browser or standalone application.  Please comment on the game by sending an email to Paul.Dziadzio@Gmail.com

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