Today I want to invite you to join me on my summary on the some of the most interesting Unity projects I've seen in a long time, some being commercially very interesting, others being very special in their artistic and game mechanics nature.
These projects were all presented as part of the Bachelor project presentations of the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHDK), more specifically in their game design course which originally used Torque for its project but moved on to Unity some years ago.
Mangrove was one of the games that at first seemed totally trivial on what they do, reminded me of a game I played some years ago. You collect creatures with specific abilities that attach themself to you in form of chains. You are able to change the order in changes and position and even detach them to act along you. There is a creature allowing you to fly, different once or multiple time attackers as well as one that for example allows you to steal enemy creatures and more. Your target is to control the 6 Volcanos which are protected by other being like you with their own chains of creatures.
After the third or so try when I finally got the hang of it, I realized that the game and its mechanic are extremely addictive due to its flexibility and tactical depth with the positioning and resorting of the creatures you can collect and their abilities.
The only sad thing that the game has no downloadable version at the time so all can experience it but I've good faith that its creator finishes the game and releases it in some form!
This game likely my favorite game of all.
The easiest and fastest way to describe this project would be to call it as a brother in spirit to the good old Creatures games with the norns, but on a whole new graphical level with very lovely graphics and nice new concepts.
The game definitely had to suffer from the short amount of time available for the bachelor projects as it shows a lot of potential for a really great and successful indie game with the needed and development time and I'm pretty sure they will continue on it.
As a total Tower Defense addict, this game naturally struck my interest right away and this game has a lot in common with tower defense concepts as you build towers that attack, towers that collect energy to build and support further towers and defense as well as powerlines basically. Its very simple to grasp but a real nut to master it :)
Normally likely this game would have become my favorite, but it has some serious problems on balance and visualizing the relevant informations which lead to too many frustrating loses. But if those things get worked out and it gets more content, I'm really looking forward to buy and play it!
Umami Relish was a game in the "normal definition" of a game with you as player playing a tofu block, which defends itself with all required measures against Piratecooks and other things that try to get you as meal and that in a very colorful world. A very funny idea and could definitely be brought up to a sellable product.
TapKick was the only mobile title in the round, more specifically an iPad title.
Its a 2 player oriented simplified table kicker with lines of 1, 2 and 3 players on each side and the target is the common one: Score goals!! :)
TapKick is a lot of fun to play if you have a friend at hand that does not want to lose either!!
Definitely a title that after some small anomalies on the input get fixed is qualified as a nice iOS appstore title
Semiramis is not that much of a game in the "game sense" as we know it today, its more a piece of art and up to a given degree a denunciation of our style of living today out of my view as it tries to bring a very special, colorful interactivity into our "gray world of city living" with its guerilla gardening.
Kinect naturally is not only for MoCap and indie games very interesting, its also interesting for art forms of games and I loved the prospects these two projects have shown and the non-game topics they picked up and brought closer to us as audience!
We all think to know that it is not easy to life without eye sight. But Listen is a title that really makes you understand that fact! Instead of having a visual game, the game totally bases on kinect input for movement as well as a headset to listen to your environment. The game featured a story where you were kidnapped and tried to flee.
Due to the large number of attendies for the vernisage on the first evening, kinect suffered seriously, but this is a very interesting concept. Unsure if its usable as a game of any form, but I'm 100% sure, that it is very usefull as a way to allow people to experience the world out of the view of people that lost their eye light and understand each other better . I'm sure similar things could be done for other forms of losing one of our relevant senses.
Catatonic was one of the visually more interesting title with a rather simple mechanic which though has a lot of potential for thriller - horror titles.
The game used the left hand to let you move and the right hand to move and target with a flashlight, while you tried to navigate out of a relatively dark valley with a great looking night sky and other things. The title in its current form didn't have a real target aside of reaching the end, but with such an intuitive control and a similar atmosphere, a resident evil alike title or also a title to therapy the fear of darkness or being followed would be very well thinkable as usages!
There was also a master student project that was presented but that wasn't an interactive application to experience, it was a theoretical thesis on feedback systems towards the player in different sandbox alike titles. Its exact content is hard to explain here, but should I find the thesis online I will add it as it was a very interesting read.
I've been stunned by the large variety of projects I found there and I really enjoyed being there, talking with some of the devs and others that experienced the titles and gain some insight on the matters.
I will definitely attend next years bachelor and master project presentations!