Simmom, the game
It all started a few years ago, at the GDP Game Jam (of 2015?). Me and a few friends decided to take part in it creating an arabic themed rouge-like casual RPG. We had 72 hours, but after the first night most people debanded and the idea fell into oblivion. Fortunatelly, by May of 2017 we got the oportunity to resurect the project with a properly motivated team! At the “Animation and Games” course, we were given 3 months to present a functional game using Unity3d. At our poorly mantained devblog, you can actually read about the start of the project and get to know the team.
Simmom, the game, took inspiration from many of the games and genres I love. An ambitious rougue-like shmup where you flee from the ultimate doom in the form of an apocalyptic sandstorm. The best one-liner would be: “an arabic roguelike shoot’em up whith an isometric camera named Simoom”.
noun: simoom; plural noun: simooms; noun: simoon; plural noun: simoons a hot, dry, dust-laden wind blowing in the desert, especially in Arabia.
You can see the original pitch here. In those 5 slides we defined all the principles on which the game would rely on. Mechanichs, narrative and technologies. All very simple, but enough to have us occupied for the next 3 months of
our lives work, rethinking everything and creating a functional prototype. If you want to skip all the talk, you can have an idea of the end result of those 3 months watching the gameplay below.
For my part, I contributed with most of the game design, narrative, and programming. After many discussions, and greatly inspired by games such as FTL and The Binding of Isaac, amongst other dungeon crawlers, rouguelikes and shmups, we reached the mechanical principles of what Simmom should be. Having a team of passionate gamers and programmers made this process quite easy and fun.
Also, developing on Unity is great. Really. An awesome community, amazing functionality and ease of use, it does feels like you are playing a game for most of the time, even if it is a tricky one. Without such a great tool, we certainly would not have reached this far in so little time.
There is much that I should also have written about the development process in the devblog, but could not at the time. For example, why we could not, in time, develop the procedural arena generation, even though the resource management system is already done and adjusted for such an implementation. Or how our enemies AI work, using ScriptableObjects. In fact, there is much that we left undone, and, as expected, the project is very far from complete.
All in all, great success. The crazy shcedule didn’t stop us from creating a playable, fun and functional game. Sure, it is far from complete, and I don’t see it going anywhere from here any time soon, but the experience with the team was fantastic, and having something cool to look back to is awesome.
This wasn’t my first, and won’t be my last experience with gamedev, I’m sure. As long as I keep learning and having fun with it, there is no reason to stop, even if all I have to work with is my free time. Too many stories untold to be left without a game.