Week 21 – Breakout VR

First of all – this game runs more than a week (it took 2 overall) and it is still not finished. I plan to release it to itch.io on sidequest or if possible on the oculus store.
However – currently it is not possible for me to take the “Game A Week” seriosly. I tried to make another game too but i had no idea. I joined Bored Pixel Jam and had no idea what to make.

So i decided to take Breakout VR as my last Game A Week Game (maybe i resume the challenge in some weeks). This is not that i am saying Game A Week was bad – it was a really great experience. And as i said at the end of 2019 i said “whoa i made really 23 games ?”. It was so fast that i even forgot which i made. The last 5 years before i made a way less games.

But back to Breakout VR – i came to this idea by a cover of the Gameboy Game “Alleyway” where mario is sitting in a capsule space ship controlling left and right. And my first idea was “wouldn’t it be cool to do this in VR ?”.

What went good:

I could take some scripts and game mechanic logic from the 2D Game which i made a week before. Also i used some premade assets which was really good and as i got a “good” version running it took out it is funny concept which i will continue in the near future to bring it fully to live.

What went bad:

I had problems to come in into this. But after i got a starfield and some blocks it become better. But there where some things that still was bad: Blender export in Unity works not how i expected.

I made a small ship very fast – but when i am inside of that ship i don’t see the ship. Backface culling is on but its still not working. Collision inside of a mesh is a mess too. I ended up to make Box Colliders around overall.

What i learned:
Some Blender and Colliders stuff. Also that porting arcade to VR is a good idea sometimes.

You can Play the Game here: https://www.nerdvision.net/GAW/Week21/breakoutvr.apk

Week19 – Brickout

First of all: Happy New Year! It is the week where 2020 started. After the end of the 2019 year (which was a great experience) i now started very slowly in this week. Again i had the idea making VR games (and i still have it) so i started on a previous idea for “Super Hero VR”. The problem with this idea or general for the VR Games is that i need much more time to explore. I was really busy try out this idea. Besides this i got my Xbox Devkit working so i played around to figure out how to port one of my games and how hard it is to make games for it (which is a little bit harder as i initial thought but overall it is not really hard at all to port existing pc game).

However – i was busy this week doing this things and thinking about in which direction i should go in the next time. As i didn’t feel to have a real game i thought i should make one really fast game. After looking a video on Youtube about a Breakout Clone made in 10 minutes for the brackeys challenge i thought “ok i will take a little bit longer but this could be great”.

So i made a breakout / alleyway / Arkanoid clone like game.

One thing to note: i am not sure if i quit Game A Week or just pause it or something but as i need some time to finish my two game ideas and to port a game to Xbox it could be that i pause this challenge. But i just decide this next week 🙂
The reason is: my last 2019 game was jam game for “mini jam 44” where i got some feedback and a result on how good i am. I am really missing this in Game A Week. I got no real feedback in most of the time (which is okay to test ideas but mostly no one really cares about this games).
I am thinking about to switch to a “often Jam participation” instead in not regular base.

What went good:

After i decided to make a breakout game everything works good and i felt good. It is a small game but it has some physics logic in it and it is still a funny concept.

What went bad:

Because i thought until saturday i make a VR Game, it worked bad until saturday as i didn’t knew what exactly i want to do. Making the breakout at the end was the best i could do.

What i learned:
It is totally okay to throw an idea away after 6 days and make a small one on day 7. I learned a lot other stuff this week which is game related too. Working with Xbox is really amazing – and making VR Worlds is a really cool experience. But this means i need more time to invest (one week is too less even if its a week after new years eve :D).

You can Play the Game here: https://www.nerdvision.net/GAW/Week19/

Week18 – Firework Master (MINIGAMEJAM44)

This week was cristmas week so i was (like everyone) busy with visiting my family and the family of my wife. Also my childs needed some time. And besides this i had to work between xmas and new years eve (on friday and tomorrow on monday too). When i had time i thought about a new idea for this week. I wanted to do something regarding to the topic. But i had no idea for christmas games currently (i made one some years ago). So i thought about if it would be great to join a game jam the last time for 2019.

And i thought “why not combinate ? the goal is to make a game – it doesnt matter if it is part of a jam or not”. I joined Mini Jam 44 and made a game.

I wanted on the end of the year make something that makes me fun – so like often this year it is a small platformer.

What went good:

I started late but as i know what i need to do this wasn’t bad at all. Also i was able to use premade assets for the background (i started to draw but noticed that i need too long to do it). I tested a simple new mechanic (saw in the ground lol) which was pretty good.

What went bad:

Not much – the jam background gave me motivation to reach my goal and to make more out of it. In the end its just 2 levels – but this is okay.

What i learned:
How to make ground saws lol. Just kidding – i learned that i must think about it Game A Week is the real thing.

Don’t get me wrong: if i look back to 2019 i am self suprised about how much games i made. I made more games this year as the other 4 years before. And besides this i launched my first steam game and got approved at Xbox Development.
Game A Week did a great job but it is hard to motivate sometimes. Also to get ideas for motivation is also hard (the last game was super garbage).

I don’t think about to stop but i want to make my next commercial game. And Game A Week eats some time – but it is experience which is necessary.
Also i love to see how much i made.

So my decision could be that i stay at Game A Week but try to replace it with a game jam (if there is any).
The reason is simple: no one cares about your games if you post them in a private blog but on part of a jam people are more likely to play and give you feedback.

You can Play the Game here: https://nerdvision.itch.io/firework-master

WEEK17- Color Blocks

My boss had this idea of a color game where you need fast reactions. I made a small prototype and thought “whoa this sucks ass”.

So i tried to modify the idea a little bit to make it a little bit more interesting.
Instead of touch the screen you need to touch the block (if the color is not red). And you need to miss none of them.

It is a little endless arcade game then.

What went good:

It was a little small game. So nothing special to take care or of knowledge which is needed. Just try to simplify the game with just zero arts and sounds from opengameart.

What went bad:

Not much this time – i had no big motivation for this short game. So it is more a time waster. But overall i made again a game. So this should be ok. It is nothing special.

What i learned:
Sometimes it is ok to make small crappy mobile games.

You can Play the Game here: https://www.nerdvision.net/GAW/Week17/colorblocks.apk

WEEK16 – AvatarChattingGame

This week i thought about to do something little (as i always do). But really fast it was clear: this will be a little bit bigger task.

I thought about making a AvatarChattingGame (like in WhoRU but this time with client and server).

To keep it really simple here was my plan

– Making a game where 2 network players can simple interact (just they can run around and the other can see it)
– Use premade assets (specialize for the 3D Character)
– Chatting is a optional feature

First i wanted to skip this idea and try again with something stupid – but then i thought “hell you try this since years – do it now!”

And i did – and it was an interesting journey.

What went good:

Much more as i expected: i wrote a small Server in C#. It handles some types of packets and dispatch them to the clients.
What this time really went good: i used a premade Avatar from the Unity Asset Store which had a fully functional animator. So instead of design things i could concentrate of prototype this idea.

Second as i first expected i didn’t overscoped this. And i made this in the time. Also it was my first multiplayergame.

What went bad:

Not much this time – but i had some weired bugs. Also i used a Socket Server and Client instead of premade Libraries. Next time is should try them. There are some Libraries like Mirror or UNet (which is deprecated i think). But i wanted to do it “raw” this time.

The world is simple – but maybe i got to change this too until today in the evening.

What i learned:
A lot of Stuff about SocketClient Communication. Before that i wrote only Servers. This is the first time i got a client working. I learned that i am on the write way to write something like this.
Also i like what i did and i think about to extend this to a fully working “WhoRU” Replacement.

I provided the Source Code this time – so you can download it here: https://github.com/neowhoru/AvatarChattingGame

You can Play the Game here: https://www.nerdvision.net/GAW/Week16/AvatingWindows.rar .

Just start the Exe in the Server directory and the client as often as you want.
Important: the Server has a little “disposed” Object issue which i was unable to solve. So the server could crash if clients leaving maybe.

WEEK15 – SuperDead

Lets talk about this weeks when you think you must make something and you think it could not be more crap. However this week i am still a little bit sick so i started making the game on thursday. Besides some other issues that demotivates me this week to work on something i had some good news too: i am now a registered XBox One Developer and my Devkit arrived. Microsoft is a really Indie friendly company – if you concept is good enough and if you fill out many forms (and you they help you as good as they can – the support is really great) you get Devkits and can make games for XBox. A childhood dreams become true. I plan to port Balloon Girl first and i plan to make Hyper Skater a title which comes first to the XBox (but maybe i will launch them directly on both who knows).
However i got a small platforming “broforce” like idea. And i wanted to test out “destroyable world” (which doesnt work as i thought).

What went good:

Not much this week – the game is a kind of part of a game. And it has lack of everything lol.

What went bad:

Motivation was bad, idea was ok but not a real idea. I felt more like grinding – doing the same again. I think i must try again more different but on the other side i want to become better at platforming games.

What i learned:
Not much i think – i did thinks that i did sometimes before again. I don’t trust fully in Unity Input System (and this is the reason that this game is ONLY playable with a joypad).

Important: Keyboard is currently not supported. Also it is this time a Windows Build as Unity had a problem with the Input System Preview System in Web.

You can Play the Game here: https://www.nerdvision.net/GAW/Week15/SuperDead.zip

WEEK14 – No real game this week :(

Sorry guys but this will be the first time i don’t release anything.
I made a second game the week before (a small ColorTapper game and i made it in 25 minutes) but as it wasn’t made this week and as it is just kind of “dumb” i wouldn’t release it yet.

The reason this week as i got sick this week and had no time or power to make a new game this week. I hope i get better next week and i can come up with an another idea.

So hopefully next week i can make more. I am currently thinking about the next idea – i have somethin that i really wanted to do but i cannot describe the whole idea currently.

WEEK13-Zak Bounty

This week is wanted to make something small and something that is simple. I didn’t came up with an idea but my colleague Anna came up with a funny idea. Making a game where you control a smartphone and needs to collect bugs and features. My boss had also a simple idea which i will make besides the normal things.
This time i really wanted to first implement the gameplay but as usual – i need some graphics first 🙂 I love to see visuals.

What went good:
As i needed not much assets this works good. Also i had not much issue during the process.
I also thought about to implement Unity Ads but then i thought “uh then you need a privacy policy in store and within the app and so on – nah make them complete free”.

What went bad:

Even if this is a small game and it’s a mobile game it was a little kind of boring to make. It is funny yeah but i think it is not really fun to play.

Also i am not a good “normal” artist – i think the game would be much funnier with fancy graphics instead of pixel art.
Currently i am little bit sick of making mobile games – even if my first released PC game was no hit, i had more fun creating it and publish it.
The difference is simple: If you start making indie PC games there are let’s players and youtubers and streamers who cares about your game.

If you want to ask some of them “hey i have a brandnew shitty mobile game” – even if it s not shitty – they wouldn’t care. And i can understand this. Most of the mobile games sucks. I started in 2014 my game dev journey on a mobile market to learn that this is really the worst market to launch something even if you don’t want to spend money.
The problem is the huge amount of apps that got released everyday.
Now i missed the topic – but this is funny.

What i learned:
I don’t like to make mobile games but to make small shitty games it could be ok to “break out” the pattern. Besides this i didn’t learned much about things technically this week.

You can Play the Game on Google Play here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nerdvisiongames.week13zakbounty

WEEK12 – Vollauf

This time i wanted to make a small game for our company event “Night of the Nerd” at my company ATINO GmbH.

I thought about something arcade like which can be played by 2 players.
And it should match the theme of the event “Volllauf” (which is a german word for “get drunken”).

As usually i wanted to draw most of the things by myself and the game should be fun in gameplay. I wanted to have a small prototype ready in the first days.

What went good:

If you don’t use Input Actions on Unitys new Input System and instead directly access the GamePad it works pretty well. It works much better than the old input system. Assets drawing was good too as usually.

Also i got directly feedback from my colleagues (it was the first time i really got feedback for a Game A Week game). They loved the art but was anoyed about the weired controll sheme (as the buttons doesnt really match as it should). Even my boss played the game :).

What went bad:

I overscoped as everytime – and i priorize wrong. Instead of having the gameplay logic ready setup first i made first the fancy “shit”. 3 hours before the event start i needed to implement the gameplay logic (winning, loosing, restart rounds, winner etc.).
So i finished my normal worked, logged off and start coding this within around 3 hours. Where the others are drinking beers i build the game 🙂
…but i had beer too :).
And i had some major bugs which i needed to sovle too. And as i thought “okay now we can go” and build it i had the issue that it runs very slow.
However i solved it shortly and so it could be played.

Also i had a small bug with a rotation of the bullet which i didn’t solved. Maybe next time.

What i learned:
Some things about Unitys New Input System. Also i SHOULD learn to priorize and to REALLY put gameplay first. But i too much love to style the game.
Also the controls are still floaty and i have to figure out next time what i am doing wrong.

Important: You need 2 Players and 2 Controllers to play this game. Keyboard is currently not supported. Also it is this time a Windows Build as Unity had a problem with the Input System Preview System in Web.

You can Play the Game here: https://www.nerdvision.net/GAW/Week12/Volllauf_win.zip


Like the last week i felt again a little bit burned out. But i wanted to make something. I had the same idea like the previosly week about the WhoRU 3D Chat thing. But i discarded it and then i thought about a broforce clone but had not a good idea for it. Then i came up with a Bowling VR Game. I thought it could be simple and i could learn again some 3d Modeling.

What went good:

I had some motivation and i felt that making a 3D Game could be good.
And i had some fun creating a new Quest Game.

What went bad:

A lot of stuff – i thought i didn’t overscoped and thought “hey this will be easy – just throwing some objects” but then i realised that implementing real bowling physics is harder as i thought. So thats why there are feeling crappy. Also the level model scale is too big.

What i learned:
I learned much of 3D Modeling – some more basics at all. But things that are necessary. Also i learned it is not so easy to implement real Bowling Physics.

You can Play the Game here: https://www.nerdvision.net/GAW/Week11/ BowlingStars.apk

Music by Matthew Pablo