Abduction on a Budget

Abduction on a Budget
Video game project, made with Unity in a team of 5
Genre: Puzzle Platformer
Last updated: June 2021 (development complete)

My third entry to the Game Maker’s Toolkit (GMTK) Game Jam, Abduction on a Budget is a game that tasks the player with guiding a UFO around Earth to go about gathering humans. The problem is that their abduction system is out of order, so to fetch the humans, the aliens dangle one of their own on a long rope. This unfortunate alien and the UFO are connected at all times. Either as a single player controlling both units or playing as a two-player experience, the units need to cooperate to achieve the mission.

Again, the GMTK Game Jam had a 48 hour time limit to complete a video game. Compared to 2020’s project Meowt of Control, this project was both more ambitious and turned out a better result for the jam build. The team’s focus this time was on shipping a game with a better defined gameplay loop, as Meowt of Control was a confused project in many respects until being fixed months later.

The jam’s theme was ‘Joined Together’. With this brief in mind, our brainstorming steered toward a helicopter with a person attached by rope. Thinking this was somewhat cliché, the idea of an alien invasion came to us. From here, our artists went all out on a cartoony, fun style for both the visuals and sound/music.

The programmers, including myself, had some work to do. The basic character controls were simple enough, but having them interact with a rope-like physics object proved challenging. Still, by the submission time the game functioned well outside of a few glitches to do with the rope. The 3 levels designed were created to show the potential of the game mechanic.

The team’s cohesion this time was a step above the last project, and I consider this the best jam game that we’ve created so far.

Version 1.0 released for the jam was acceptable, although within a week Version 1.0.1 became available to fix some player control oddities.

My responsibilities for the project included:
– Creating a blank Unity project with basic systems in place before the game jam
– Code for alien unit movement, rope physics
– Polish of player experience (animations, when sound effects play)
– Screen transition between game levels
– Fixing the rope physics & tweaking level designs after the jam

More information and download links can be found on the Itch.io page for the project.

> > > Click here to visit the Itch.io page < < <

The source code for this project is private on GitHub. To see what I put into the project, contact me and I’ll show the commit history.

The game runs on Windows, Mac and Linux. For instructions on how to run for your operating system, check the readme provided with the game’s download.

Note: Thumbnail for this post was designed by TeslaSP2, one of the team’s artists

Screencap of Abduction on a Budget’s gameplay