Alex B. and instructor Justin have been working on this zombie game for months! Alex is a huge fan of the Walking Dead TV series, and thus launched into this project – a 2D top-down shooter, made primarily in Unity with forays into Audacity, Photoshop, and Visual Studio – with evident gusto.
Beginning as a novice in coding and level design, Alex started out his project with a Unity asset called Playground that simplified the UI and offered several scripts as starting points. The first task to check off the list was designing the world, so Justin asked Alex to create a pencil-and-paper diagram of what he thought the “map” of the world should look like. When he finished, they scanned the paper and imported it into Unity as an image to reference in later stages.
At this point in construction, Justin introduced Alex to Unity’s Tilemap system, which allows the developer to paint 2D tiles. As Alex grew more familiar with code as well as Unity’s interface, they began working on some scripting – developing the player’s movement and the zombies’ behavior, shooting, picking up items, spawning, and more. They also edited a good deal of the scripts Playground had included, customizing them to Alex’s liking, and then made a dozen more original scripts. This work prompted Alex to tell Justin that “working on this project has given me a new appreciation for developers […] I had no idea all the work that needed to be put into making a game”! Justin mentioned several new features of Unity that allowed users to work with a 2D light system, as long as they were using the rendering template Light Weight Render Pipeline (LWRP). Both Alex and Justin were eager to figure it out – and with a little tinkering, they did! Finally, after yet more months of polishing, Alex had a complete playable beta version that allowed them to move from start to finish. Alex posted this beta version on Itch.io – play it below, and be sure to leave a comment with constructive feedback.
But that’s not all. Alex’s work is amazing all by itself – but it’s even more exemplary when one factors in the challenges he’s overcome along the way. Alex has severe epilepsy. With five previous brain surgeries and two more upcoming, he has had and will continue to have to face a great deal in his life, with the same courage, determination, and perseverance that he harnessed in the making of his game. You should be very proud of yourself, Alex – Game-U certainly is! We’ll be rooting for you.