I’ve recently started volunteering at a CodeClub, which is a 1 hour session for kids to encourage them to do coding. They sit and work through some worksheets and create a game in Scratch.
Despite being dead simplistic, I’m actually really impressed with Scratch. Instead of typing code, you drag and drop logic. But actually you can do some pretty advanced things, it’s not too far off really from Unity, the game engine I’ve been using to make my recent games.
Last week, one of the kids asked to play my game, and I happily showed him BotSumo. But I hesitated to show him anything else, because I realise now how much I’ve shot myself in the foot when I named my other 2-player game.
Chicken Fokkers is a game I made after BotSumo, but it’s never been as popular. I thought the name was witty, playing “chicken” is the act of flying/driving directly at an opponent and holding your nerve until someone swerves away. And Fokker is a make of German planes, which I first discovered in the Amiga game “Knights of the Sky” (I can’t find a good photo of that so here’s a photo of a scale model kit).
The name does hold it back a bit, because it’s sort of awkward. It’s technically not sweary, but alludes to being sweary, so I probably shouldn’t push this game towards kids, although there’s nothing bad in the game itself.
But anyway, the game is my 2nd most popular on the Google Play store, with between 10-20 downloads a day, so I wondered if it’s worth improving to see if I can get that number up.
So I’ve been working on adding a single player story mode. Something simple with levels to complete, which will allow you to unlock more weapons to use in the 2 player duel mode.
Using Figma for basic vector editing
Honestly I’ve no idea what this blog article is supposed to be about, only that I wanted to briefly mention what I’m up to.
I’ve started using Figma.com for basic graphic editing. I’ve imported the tiles that I created for my unfinished (and temporarily abandoned) Solburn game into Figma from Adobe Animate. You know, the one that used to be Flash.
Yeah I know right? Who uses Flash for graphics these days?!
Well, Me. I still like it. It’s useful for animating and exporting a spritesheet, which was useful for that SVG animation project I put on Codepen.
Anyway, to try out Figma, I exported these tiles as SVG and dragged them into Figma’s web editor (a desktop version is available too).
What’s nice is that after editing you can export multiple all at once, and select the pixel density too.
Previously I was exporting the batch into Illustrator and then exporting each one individually as double size. Honestly, it was time consuming so I’m glad Figma’s made that easy.
I’m going to experiment a bit more with Figma before I make any grand recommendations to anyone about it being a great free tool for game developers, but it’s definitely promising.
In Unity I’m using the tiles as sprites. I know a sprite grid is available these days which looks super cool to use, but tbh it looks difficult to learn so right now I’m doing what I know, positioning the elements individually. I’ve discovered ProGrids (a great video on Brackeys about that here) which makes lining stuff up really easy actually. I remember on my Escape the Sector game, lining up all the scene assets relative to their neighbours was fraught with danger when one of them wasn’t positioned correctly and you had to go and find which one!
Anyway sorry for the ramble, I’m going to do a little more on Chicken Fokkers before reporting back. Just know that more content will be coming soon.
Download Chicken Fokkers for Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.DavidDickBall.ChickenFokkers
Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/davidonionball