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  • Andrew Jonhardt

Sidetrack -- Ghost Game

This last week was particularly difficult for me, and when I finally got a chance to sit down with my Psychic Scrap Racers spreadsheets I found I couldn't focus. So, in order to make things a little easier on myself, I let myself get distracted by a previous project.

In March of this year I signed up for a game jam posted on Itch.io simply called "ghost jam." The idea was to work from March 9th 2018 at 2:00 AM to March 11th 2018 at 3:00 AM to make a game featuring a ghost.

The challenge seemed simple enough, so I took the opportunity to try making a game in the Love2D engine. Love2D is a free 2D-focused game engine that uses Lua as its programming language, and I've been interested in it ever since I found out about it in college. Unfortunately, due to the free nature of the engine, many of the things paid or semi-paid engines would handle for you Love2D won't. The biggest example of this is the camera view.

I spent a large part of the ghost jam trying to get the camera to work. I could get camera to scroll with the main character, but I couldn't get any of the bad guys to spawn while this was happening. When the due date for the jam arrived, I had nothing to submit.

I still haven't figured out the Love2D camera. Instead, I spent this weekend converting my project to Unity and the C# language. The camera in Unity is just so much easier. The only issue that has arisen is related to the mechanics of my game.

My game, for now just titled "Ghost Game", is focused on typing. However, the idea is less matching words on screen and more typing directions. And, while you're typing directions, things attack the ghost.

Working out the reading of and reacting to keyboard input in Unity has been the biggest hurdle so far. However, I've come up with a solution that I'm actually proud of. My current plan is to post my scripts in my blog once I'm done, as I'm hoping what I've created will be useful instead of obvious.

My progress on Ghost Game this weekend amounted to making the camera script, the ghost movement script, and testing both until I was satisfied. I'm currently planning to have the enemy movement, spawning, and game state scripts worked out before the end of next weekend. Once I'm done, I'm going to post the game on Itch.io for free as it's more of a learning project than a product.

One final note: I can't believe there are already multiple games with titles like or similar to Ghost Guide, and none of them have typing!