Have you ever started a side project and then put it on hold when something else requires your focus? Yeah, that happens to me at times. Right now I have two projects I started in the past year, but are currently sitting idle. Who knows, maybe I’ll revisit them again in the future.
Rollercoaster Tycoon UI
Rollercoaster Tycoon is a game I played a lot as a kid. I liked starting with a blank map without having to worry so much about money or meeting level objectives. I had my own method to it too. I would create the food court, then move onto creating my own rollercoasters and rides while trying to get as many people into the park as possible. When I got bored of the park I made, I would pick a blank map and start all over.
At one point in the past year or so I had an urge to play it again. I downloaded the game from Steam on my desktop and was pumped to play, but immediately had some difficulty navigating the user interface. How did I do this as a kid? I remember it being so much easier back then!
I decided to eventually create my own updated version of the UI and started by putting together some wireframes of the HUD in Figma. I also worked on a couple of hierarchical diagrams of the menus to understand what went where. However, I didn’t get much further than that before going on a vacation to visit family and focusing on other life happenings at the time.
Tower Defense Study
I wrote about this one in my blog before I switched over to WordPress. I was inspired by a Warcraft III mod called Wintermaul that I played when I was younger. This was a multiplayer tower defense game where you had to destroy waves of enemies before they reached a ship at the bottom of the map.
I wanted to create a single player version of this gameplay and eventually got a very hack-y version working in Unity. I don’t remember why I stopped working on it last summer, but it’s worth revisiting at some point.
How it’s played
There are two alternating states in the game, build and attack. Build mode allows the player to build “buildings” (orange blocks) anywhere in the lane for a set about of time. In attack mode, the buildings attack the “enemies” (red cubes) with arrows (blue spheres) as they make their way down the lane to the green bar. Enemies may also attack and destroy the buildings if they can’t find a path to their destination. Gold is gained by killing enemies and used to build more buildings. Every time an enemy gets to the green bar, the number of lives decreases and if the number of lives hits zero, the game ends. If all enemies are destroyed in attack mode, the game continues by switching back to build mode and increasing the health of the next wave of enemies.
Previous posts about this project from my tumblr blog: