For our final arcade cabinet, I’m working with Jesse, Paula, and Ian.
We aren’t entirely sure what our game will be, but we’ve agreed upon a few things:
- Probably prom themed
- Lighthearted and positive in tone
- Possibly exploring feelings of awkwardness
- Maybe dancing related?
- The cabinet will uniquely reflect the game in some way
We are inspired by the Realistic Kissing Simulator game. Hopefully we’ll narrow it down soon!
I went to Barcade on St. Marks and played a few games. I was actually pretty surprised at how many games they had, but I guess these things are coming back in full force (in bar settings).
One game I really liked that I had never played before was Out Run. It’s a driving game with a steering wheel, pedels and stick shift. Immediately, it felt different from other racing games I’ve played in arcades: for one, there are two people in the convertible, which makes it feel more like a leisurely drive and and less like NASCAR. The camera angles are also interesting, because it’s low to the ground, which doesn’t allow for a far view of the road, especially when you’re going up a hill.
The tactile feedback was also a draw – the steering wheel shakes when you run into obstacles or crash, but in a way that feels very different from controller vibrations I’m used to with modern consoles. You can also pick your music, and go down a number of different paths when driving.
All these little details add up to a game that looks predictable from the outside, but feels very different from the kind of frenetic, competitive car racing games that I’m used to. It makes you feel like driving can be a fun and enjoyable activity in itself, not just because you’re trying to win some big race.
I made this three-sided illustration of my controller above, which doesn’t include the components I will mount (like the joystick or the soft button), mostly because I couldn’t figure out how to draw them in Vectorworks in a way that wasn’t confusing with the actual holes I need to lasercut out of my wood. On the left will be the joystick, and on the right will be my button made of fabric and covered with fur. (Hence the two holes – one for power and one for ground).
I’ve also been working on my game in Unity. There’s still a ways to go but at least I’ve gotten my sprites working so far.
For my midterm, I want to make a game about petting cats. Specifically, I want to make a game about how hard it is to pet a cat. In real life, it’s already a bit of a game – you never know exactly where the cat wants you to pet it, or for how long. One wrong move and you get scratched. Hopefully, this little game I make will capture a bit of that feeling.
I’m very much not good at drawing, or visual art in general, but I had a good time using Piskel to make these sprites. (For this post I’ve exported them as gifs.)
For my controller, I’ll be making something that has a joystick to allow you to move the petting hand around the screen, and then a piece of furry fabric that you actually have to pet in order to trigger the action. The fur will be on top of a fabric button made with Velostat that connects to the Arduino.
We were to play three games from this list these week, and I went with three that I’d never heard of: BurgerTime, Elevator Action, and Track & Field.
BurgerTime was my favorite of the three. It’s sort of Pac Man-esque, in that you run around the screen avoiding enemies. But instead of collecting stuff, you’re stepping over the burger parts to make full burgers that cascade down the screen. The silly theme of the game appealed to me, and the objective was pretty straightforward once you began. I found it to be rather soothing to play for some reason – it just felt satisfying to complete a burger.
The next one I tried was Elevator Time. I like the look of this game and was intrigued by the idea of an entire game where you ride an elevator, but found it sort of confusing to play. I wasn’t sure what my goal was, or how to interact with the different elements of the game. I bet that playing it on a real cabinet vs. a poorly-explained emulator online would probably help, but I didn’t get into it enough to be hooked to try again and again once I died.
The last one I played was Track & Field – the hurdles, specifically. This is the only game that reflects a real game in the world (sports), so it was interesting for that reason. There’s something different about doing a simulation of something that exists in “real life,” because you come in with preconceived notions about how it’s supposed to work in the game.
I figured the hurdles game would be relatively easy, because all I had to do was jump at the right moment. But of course, like all arcade games, it wasn’t.
While I also enjoyed the aesthetics of this game, it didn’t hook me, but for the opposite reason Elevator Action didn’t hook me. I felt like I understood how the game works, but it was almost boring for that reason. It simulated something I understand in real life, but didn’t surprise me with anything new. (In contrast with something like QWOP, of course).
Now I think I’m going to play more BurgerTime.
Click here to try Two Buds (only works in Safari or Firefox).
This week I started learning about Unity in 2D, as well as using scripting. I made a game called Two Buds, where you have to control two characters at the same time. The penguin catches the fish and the monkey catches the bananas, and if any object hits the floor, the game ends. The scoring is just by how long you last in the game.
I had problems upon exporting, mostly with the way I had set up the text because the resolution size changed the positioning once it was exported. Also, it seems to kind of slow down and freeze when I play it? Not sure if that’s just me…
Anyway, glad I made a working game – looking forward to making my own sprites soon.
(Try walking around in the forest here.)
The assignment this week was to try to jump into Unity by recreating a scene from a movie in 3D. I decided to go with the forest from Princess Mononoke, which looks something like this:
This was a challenging assignment for me, probably because “recreating” something meant that no matter what I made it would be far from perfect. This is especially frustrating for a scene as beautiful as the one that I picked.
There were a lot of things I didn’t know how to do, like change the size of the entire area, create lightbeams, and adjust the terrain on a micro level.
Another difficult part was in trying to make these guys:
I ended up making a bunch of white glowing spheres, but I didn’t know how to mass place them semi-randomly around the terrain. I’m sure this could be easily done with code, but I didn’t get into that this week.
Anyway, you can try it here. Only works in Safari and Firefox.