Meet Nick L.! He works with instructor Clint as part of Game-U’s New Jersey Accelerate program. Like Drew, another Accelerate student, Nick decided to revive an 80s arcade game to learn more about the professional gaming engine, Unity. Check out the return of Kangaroo!
The original 2D Kangaroo game follows a mother kangaroo who boxes and climbs her way up various levels to rescue her joey from enemy monkeys. Using Unity 2D, and keeping the original game in mind, Nick created a few levels of his own by adding prefabricated platform objects to the game screen. He tweaked the properties of these objects (also known as prefabs) to customize their sizes, positions, physics, and interactions. Depending on their locations, some prefabs enforce gravity or provide a walking surface, while others serve to limit the gameplay area. Together, the prefabs comprise playable level challenges for the player to beat!
But what about the player? Nick modified another prefab and its associated scripts to create a mama kangaroo avatar that can climb, move, and collide. Each of the avatar’s capabilities add functionality to the game. The collide event, for instance, gives the avatar the power to banish her enemies upon contact with them, while key press events allow her to move in different directions as she climbs and jumps her way up the level. The W key, in particular, combines with a ladder collision to trigger climbing code. Mama may not have a unique sprite (character artwork) yet, but she’s ready to take on the game!
To make it a little harder for the mama kangaroo to make it through all his levels, Nick also created enemies that patrol some of the platforms. With Clint’s help, he coded a custom enemy script where contact with a “reverse trigger” object (in Nick’s case, a small block) causes the moving enemy to switch directions. To give the enemy a little more flair, Nick worked in Gimp, the open-source photo editor, to replace the default sprite with his own design. Check out the video to see his Kangaroo game in action!
Great work, Nick! We know this kangaroo clone isn’t finished yet, but it’s exciting to see the headway you’ve already made and how much you’ve learned about Unity 2D. Stay in touch! As you and Clint continue to develop your game, we look forward to learning along with you.