The company I worked for, Learnosity, regularly held Hack@LRN as our take on a way for our product development team to take a break from everyday work, have fun, explore ideas our brilliant minds have pondered and experiment with new technologies.
We wanted to learn something new and have a bit of fun during the day. What would be a better idea, than building a game? So, we decided to put together a side-scroller, 2D shooter game, that relates to Learnosity.
We originally picked Unity as our game engine since it is a popular tool, and there are plenty of beginner tutorials. Due to licensing issues however, we weren’t allowed to use Unity Trial edition for our hackday. We ended up using our second choice, Godot, which is on an open source platform. We used our phones to take pictures then used Photoshop to create character faces, boss faces and background pictures. We used a free version of Spriter to create the character animations. For the rest of the assets (props, other monsters, musics, and sound effects), we relied on free versions we found on the internet.
We started our hackday by narrating a storyline, that went something like this. In the middle of our work day, while everyone was really busy developing apps, our office would come under an attack by aliens. Then one of us would come down along the streets of Wynyard, to fight monsters. Finally defeating the final boss at the Sydney Opera House.
Afterwards, we divided our tasks. Jack was the only one with any experience building a game before. So, he took on the task of wiring up the shooting mechanics, and the rest of us learned game development on that day by working on the level design, creating assets, and character animation. In the end, we all worked together. Using Godot to put our assets into the game and learned how to handle transition between scenes. Our biggest challenge was handling merge conflicts. We used git as our version control system, as we were all familiar with it, however it seemed that Godot didn’t play nice with it. Doing a git pull while Godot was still open, apparently, didn’t update the UI properly, so we ended up with everyone overriding each other’s work. We manage to get around this with good prompt communication to ensure everyone was working on the same version at all times.
Overall, it was fun and interesting. We learned a lot about game development in a short period of time.
Team: Jack, John, Michal, Stella
Tool: Godot, Photoshop, Spriter