Game a Week: Week 30



E3 was busy. So much so that I didn’t really have a chance to seriously think about this week’s game until Sunday. I had a few ideas at the beginning of the week, including putting thought into a pervasive game that I could play during E3 (thanks Lisa for the suggestion), but none of the early ideas came to fruition.

So, once Sunday rolled around, my brainstorming session for this week’s game basically went as follows:

Me: “I need a game idea for this week – something simple that I can get done in 4 hours.”
Rami:“How about Pong?”
Me: “Okay, something Pong”
Rami: “Something Pong sounds good, what will you do with it?”
Me: “I don’t know, I’ll just make Pong and see what happens”

. . .and that was it.

So, finally, a little past midnight (four hours before I needed to leave to go to the airport) I sat down and made Pong. I decided that since the idea wasn’t particularly original, I would spend some time adding effects and whatnot to make Pong ‘feel’ good and play around with some of Unity’s features that I generally neglect.

What went right

Well, I made a game and it was Pong. Pong is a nice easy base to start from and it provided me with a blank slate to start playing with. Even though I didn’t have an original idea, after last week, it felt nice just to make something that was playable. I created an interaction and added my own little twist to it, which was a satisfying and motivational achievement.

Specifically, the mechanic that I added where you can actively reduce your opponent’s paddle size worked well.  It added just enough to make Pong feel a little bit more exciting, and doesn’t seem to make the game that much more chaotic to play.  It’s nice to see what a tiny adjustment to the core mechanics can do to a game.

What went wrong

I didn’t have a lot of time to make this interesting. I made Pong and Pong is, quite frankly, a little boring.  I wanted to use the base of Pong as a canvas to try out a bunch of Unity’s features that I never played with before – but due to lack of time, I was only able to touch a fraction of the ones I wanted to try.

What I learned

I want to branch out to the features in Unity that I don’t often use. I’m going to attempt to make it a point to try out something new every week that I use Unity from here on out.  Even something as simple as tacking on a trail renderer and playing around with the settings until it made something pretty was super rewarding.

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