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About the Game

Forever Falling is a simple survival game where the player attempts to keep the earth balanced on a platform for as long as possible while falling asteroids disrupt their efforts.

This game was made in one weekend by a team of 2 in Unity as part of the Game Craft September 2021 Game Jam.

Game Design

The theme and constraint for this game jam was that the game had to be related to the word “fall”. Teams were allowed to interpret “fall” however they pleased, and my team chose to go with “falling down” as the main concept for our game.

My teammate and I both wanted to use this experience to become more familiar with Unity and its tools, as neither of us had used the engine very much before this. With this in mind, we determined that our game should be simple to implement and play, relying on randomness and a score system to add depth to the gameplay rather than more complicated, fleshed-out features.

We workshopped a couple different ideas before making anything in-engine. Our ideas included balancing a ball on a tall tower or navigating a ball through a field covered in holes without letting it fall into one. We settled on the idea of other objects falling down and disrupting the balance of the playing field after brainstorming ways that randomness could come into play in our design. Randomly falling obstacles seemed like something within our capacity to learn and implement in a weekend, so we stuck with that idea.

Because our idea was so simple, the issues that we ran into during the development weekend didn’t have anything to do with our game’s design. Rather, our issues came from our inexperience with the tools we were using. 

For example, we wanted to make the game more challenging as time progressed. To do this we increased the number of obstacles that would fall and the time increments between spawning them. We increased these values on an exponential curve. Unfortunately, we forgot to cap these values at a limit. We had an exciting half hour trying to figure out why hundreds and then thousands of obstacles would spawn after about 20 seconds of playing. Fortunately, this particular bug was not too difficult to track down, and provided us with some laughs before we fixed it.

Learning Outcomes

This game jam project was one of my first explorations into the Unity game engine. As the timeline for this project was so short, I had to quickly learn various features of the engine and incorporate them into our game:

  • Unity Canvas, including displaying/updating text and timers based on in-game events

  • The basics of 3D physics in Unity

  • Constraining movement of 3D objects (locking the yaw of the main platform so that it would not rotate and obstruct the camera)

  • Handling in-game events with triggers and hit boxes

  • Handling player input

I also learned better how to work together with a partner on a gaming project. We used Git version control to divide up tasks and merge our work together.

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