A few months ago I made a game by myself over 6 weeks.
I’m neither an artist, nor a coder, so this was always going to be a challenge.
I wanted to make SURE it was a challenge, so I used Unreal Engine, which I had barely used before to get a better grasp of how to use it and better understanding of blueprints.
So I made a sidescrolling platformer. I used the platformer setting as a base, which helped me with the basics, but then had to modify it, adding new mechanics, AI, and the randomisation systems for the locations and numbers of objects in the world. It was much more challenging than I anticipated. Things that should have been simple, such as setting up an AI following a tutorial, or getting randomised objects to spawn did not go to plan. In the end, I ran out of time before I solved all the issues, resulting in a functional game, but lacking in elements that best utilised the mechanics I had designed.
I had set it up that the player can create temporary blocks that they can stand on, but the more blocks they created, the less time they all last. This was supposed to be used in conjunction with a set of AI enemies that would behave in different ways, allowing the player to block them and escape using the blocks they create. Since the AI was inexplicably not working, I had to use static obstacles instead.
The AI was a very confusing problem, because I could see in the behaviour tree that the AIs were following through on the tree, but they were not moving, despite the prototype one moving. I tried several variants and options to try to get them to move, but they wouldn’t. It’s a shame, because it also means I didn’t get to test out my mechanic to its full potential, as the supporting mechanics didn’t work. Perhaps in future I’ll be able to do this.
This project has hammered home to me the notion that if you only have a vague idea of how to do something, even if you can sort out the logic and roughly what the code would look like, unless you have a very clear idea and understanding, it is very easy for time to get away from you and even things that should be simple can take up far more time than expected.