Last week Patriotic Games team took part in The Game hackathon organized by Nravo and sponsored by Unity Technologies. And we couldn’t even imagine what was waiting for us there…
The format of the event:
- Teams up to 5 people
- 30 hours to develop your game (you are allowed to use frameworks and engines)
- 5 minutes to present your game
- The jury chooses the winners according the following criteria: game play, technologies used and innovations
Our game idea
We had a lot of game ideas but for this contest we chose the idea of “Tomato Wars” – a “bloody” top-down shooter where you are a tomato and you shoot other tomatoes. We had a long feature list for this game. We were going to make destructible buildings, various weapons, natural tomato “blood” effect, cut-scenes telling the main hero history.
Of course, we haven’t finished all the features. However we finished the most important ones. And that was enough. Here’s what we managed to do within 30 hours:
On the second day the contest was close to finish and all the developers and teams were waiting for the jury to name the winners. And then mokus (Max Hryniv, the creator of Contre Jour game which received the “Game of Year” award from Apple) announced that this year The Game hackathon winner is … Patriotic Games!
For the 1st place we were awarded with 3 Nexus 7 devices and 2 mobile licenses from Unity. And we were featured in the Unity Blog!
Here’s what Unity wrote about our game:
The game play was “bloody”. You are a tomato and you have a rifle and you make tomato juice from all other tomatoes that attack you in packs. The choice of the guns is available, all the objects are breakable. Oh, oh… and you have bombs *evil laugh*.
How did we manage to win? We knew that we had only 2 days to implement all the game features. And there was a high risk that we won’t be able to finish the game till the deadline.
That’s why we decided to use an agile approach which we always use when working on games for our clients. We prioritized the features in the way that allowed us to create a playable game on the 1st day of the contest. The game had to have minimum functionality, but it had to be completed and ready to show to jury. After that we were going to add other features one by one, and ensure that the game is fully working after every single feature is added.
This way our risks were minimized. Since the 1st day of the contest we always had a ready game to show to jury. Did this approach work? Yes! After 30 hours of endless coding we hadn’t completed all the features. But what’s important, the completed features were enough to enjoy playing the game, and the game was bug-free! While others were polishing and bug-fixing their games in the end, we were drinking cola and eating pizza because even without some features the game looked finished and was ready.