Tag Archives: Unity

Individual Research Project – Genetic Algorithms

The major project of my final year was for my dissertation. I chose to research the effectiveness of dynamic learning algorithms in providing an adaptive, real-time finite state machine in a game environment. After doing a literature review to get up to speed on Bayesian networks, artificial neural networks and genetic algorithms, I chose to focus my research on the latter. I felt genetic algorithms could offer a working solution, and I was interested in programming one and seeing for myself exactly how it would work.

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Week 10 – Go Right

Week 10 marks an exciting first for my Game a Weeks; happy collaboration. Please indulge in Go Right:

The controls are explained in-game. If you absolutely have to mute the audio, press the M key.

Credits

I’m going to start this post off by giving a huge shout out and thank you to the four other people who contributed to the game.

Tom Lamey is the enigmatic hero responsible for the lovely character design and great spritesheets that bring the protagonist to life. He also advised me on the general look of the game

For the music I counted on the talents of the insatiable Jack Drewry. He brought together a couple of rag tag musicians to aid him, collectively they’re known as Squid Tooth, but separately they go by their birth names of Jack, Laurie and Rowan.

I hope you agree that these four all helped raise the bar on my games with their contributions. I’ll talk more about how it all came together below.

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Week 9 – Colourful Threes

And now for something completely different:

Arrow keys to try a slide, space bar to confirm it. Imagine it’s on a phone screen; pressing right swipes right, and so on.

Some bad news: this game is going to be incredibly colour-blind unfriendly. I wanted to have letters on the cards to give you a fighting chance but I ran out of time. I’m so sorry.

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Week 5 – Physical Breakout

This is the fifth week of my Game a Week challenge. I didn’t have a clear goal this week but things really came together once I started experimenting on Friday, and this is the result:

The paddle follows the cursor, use a and d (or left and right cursor keys) to tilt the paddle slightly. Use the ball to destroy the blocks! I’ve clearly taken inspiration from the Breakout (or Arkanoid) series, but added a physics-y twist.

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Week 4 – Graduation

A small update for a small game. I was busy pretty much all week so threw this together in two hours on Sunday; guess the reason why after giving it a play:

Yep, I graduated this week so I was super busy with that and entertaining my family who came to visit. So I used that as the theme and tried to think of the most lightweight idea possible so I could still make a game without having to stress about keeping up with it all week. And this is the result!

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Week 3 – Blink

So I’m actually incredibly happy with this one. It hits all the right buttons for me: it’s a novel gameplay mechanic, I implemented something technically challenging, and I think I’ve achieved a really nice atmosphere in general. I implore you to give this one a play.

Headphones are recommended. W, A, S and D to move, mouse to aim, M to mute the sound if you really want to, but I advise against it.

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Week 2 – Flappy Infinite Jetpack Bird

(Due to variable window/screen sizes, gauge on the left may be cut off, sorry. Also, this one’s a bit more resource-intensive than the first. There will probably be a short delay after firing the cannon. Also a quirk of being in the web player, things will get a bit funky if you resize the window.)

So as you can see above, I completed my second week of Game a Week! The development of this one was completely different form the first week, so I’ll go over that in a moment, but first I’ll break down the basic gameplay:

  • Aim the cannon with the two arrow buttons
  • Start the firing sequence by clicking the Fire button once, this’ll make the power gauge on the left bounce up and down – the fuller it is, the more force will be used in the ensuing blast
  • Click the Fire button a second time to fire the bird out of the cannon
  • Once she’s out, just click anywhere on screen to use the jetpack. The fuel gauge on the bottom of the screen will show you how much is left in the tank. Once the jetpack runs out of fuel, it’ll fly off
  • Get extra fuel by flying through green rings
  • Get a speed boost by flying through orange rings
  • Get some extra points by flying through yellow rings
  • Try to fly as far as possible!

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