100 Rooms is a hack'n'slash adventure game. While on a quest you've got stuck in a large mansion and triggered the security system. There are monsters on the loose, and you need to find all the keys to shut down the security core and escape.
Play this 2D action game right here in your browser. Can you beat it in under 20 minutes?
Standalone versions to download for PC and Mac available soon...
Anyone who's worked on long projects knows what it's like - sometimes you just want to do something short, fun and silly before you completely lose your marbles (although it's probably too late for me on that count).
That's why I decided to take a break from more serious projects and try and do a really quick, 48hr-gamejam-style 2D room-based adventure game. If nothing else it would give me a chance to try out and assess features of Unity that I hadn't got around to investigating, which I hoped would boost my confidence in choosing it as a development environment.
I also wanted some more immediate content for my website than just promises and work-in-progress images of projects that weren't going to be available for a while yet. This is an entertainment site, this is a game site, it needed games, and it needed them now!
Technically, it was mostly all working within 48hrs of starting it, but then I kept fiddling with it, adding the occasional daft and derranged thing, and more terrible sprite artwork that looks like it was drawn by a 10 year old. (I never got any better at art after the age of 10, I'm 34 now, it may be too late on that count as well).
|This was game development gonzo-style, though perhaps not in the twee, journalistic sense. The usual design process, planning, notions of rapid-prototyping, were blatantly ignored. I kept adding things for the sake of it. The odd puzzle, or trap. Another monster type. More graphics. Long cats. If you could stuff the peg in the hole for the sake of it, meh, go right ahead.|
It dragged on for several months (I should have called it 10 Rooms, not 100 Rooms!) - and although I was still working on other things as well - I felt I couldn't really move on properly until I'd at least finished this game enough to put it online where other people could laugh at it, or possibly even briefly enjoy it.
Music was created for the title screen, rudimentary sound effects were created and linked in, an end screen (of sorts) was created to congratulate you if you complete it (don't hold your breath, there isn't some Square Enix level CGI cinematic masterpiece awaiting you if you do - though I will shamelessly beg you for money).
There's even a preview trailer on Youtube, although that serves several other purposes such as forcing me to get round to creating a channel, learning to edit videos, figuring out how to get around the limitations of the free version of Fraps (that's the reason there's a dodgy logo top-centre throughout), and start learning about the ins and outs of self-promotion and marketing.
|Tools used to create 100 Rooms include:||
Unity - the free version
Sony Acid Music Studio 7
sfxr - for creating bleepy sound effects
Audacity - for editing sound
Paint.net - for drawing all the artwork
Fraps - free version for video capture
Vegas Movie Studio - free demo version
All this still runs comfortably on my 8 year-old Dell Dimension 8300, bless its socks, although I did upgrade its memory by a couple of gig last year, as otherwise it starts to pant and wheeze after half an hour's web browsing. The only software expense so far is Acid Music Studio which I've had for several years and only costs about £35 anyway.
Sometime soon I'm sure I'll fork out for Fraps, it's cheap and effective and seems to be the favoured video capture software, and I'm pretty sure I'll invest in Vegas as well. I like nice, simple tools that do the job.
If I'm brutally honest, it's not completely finished, (what is?!) - but you could go on polishing even the simplest of games forever. Some of the graphics are iffy at best, some of them are scaled funny, or the textures stretched too much. The player's head appears under the north walls where it should appear above - similar with some of the other graphics like toilet doors.
Sometimes I cheated on the low-bit sprite-style and put things in at rotations, some of the rooms are still empty and desperately need something in them. Sometimes I made in-game jokes about it. Originally the player was smaller (see the preview video), and some of the other graphics looked too big because I'd drawn them at other times without thinking, so I scaled him up. He's now the lowest-res graphic in the game! It would certainly need more work to make it worthwhile porting to iPhone, but maybe in the future.
So that's where we are now. It's basically done. I've got more important projects to get back to, and I feel like I can concentrate on them again with renewed vigour and enthusiasm, now that I've got this little thing out of my system. As it was mostly just a learning-process and something to give away free, I'm going to leave it as it is for a while (once I've created standalone versions to download as well).
Still, I think in the end, and despite its shortcomings, it is a rather fun little distraction, even if it will only keep you entertained for half an hour or so. I hope you enjoy it.
Overwind (November 2011).
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