Type for Me!
Video game project, made with Unity in a team of 5
Genre: Casual, Typing
Last updated: Oct 2023 (development completed)
Play in browser: Click here
I’m back at it again with my fifth entry to the Game Maker’s Toolkit (GMTK) Game Jam! Released in 2023, Type for Me! is what I consider to be our most casual-friendly game. A typing game where the player doesn’t actually type – they help a cast of characters to type out messages by moving the keyboard around. There’s a score system that encourages accuracy and high combos.
Compared to the Last Project
Within 48 hours, the game development team I’m a part of (Fire Otters) needed to once again conceptualise, prototype, and release a game. 2022’s project Bingo!! Dungeon!! was an ambitious game that may have offered some challenge to a seasoned gamer, but intimidating to the type of player that wanted some quick fun. As a result, my number one priority while working with the game jam’s theme was to make the gameplay as casual as possible. We wanted to have our game this year shine, and to do that the game needs mass appeal.
Game Jam Theme
The jam’s theme was ‘Role Reversal’. The game jam’s host explained this idea by showing Tetris – but instead of moving blocks, the entire screen moved around the block. This theme was open-ended, yet we came to the conclusion pretty quickly that a game involving a reversal of roles would have to include an AI of some kind. An example being, we can’t reverse a simple platformer game without having to program an AI that automatically moves the character around.
My idea for a typing game gained popularity with the team, and we decided that would be the direction we’d go. The AI would be simple after all – a hand, poking up and down, while the player moves a keyboard around for the hand to press.
Summary of Development
The first day of development involved getting the keyboard logic to work. I had practice from 4 jams now, and so from the beginning was programming things to use classes and other interchangeable properties to make development simpler.
On the second day the assets were finalised by the artist/sound guys, and in the final 8 or so hours the programmers (Ruben & myself) pulled together everyone’s efforts into a functional end product. It was polished, free from major bugs, and looked really good in our opinion! We set aside more time for play-testing and sharing builds with other people during development, which got us much valuable insight to work from.
The results from the judging period were amazing for our team. Out of 6805 entries we’d placed in the top 10% of games overall, and for the Creativity criteria we’d scored in the top 50 games! We were thrilled that our approach of mass appeal worked out.
Version 1.0 released for the jam was well received and has almost no bugs, but was difficult to play at faster speeds and only offers 4 levels.
Version 1.1 improved the gameplay by focusing on 3 aspects: making failure more forgiving, the game is easier to control, and presentation was improved. An in-depth blog post on v1.1 is available to read here.
My Project Responsibilities
– Revisiting the blank Unity project, to provide a foundation that took lessons learned from our last game’s development
– Code for arm movement, key pressing logic, UI code & high score management
– Last hour polish, assembling levels to function correctly, quality control
– Refactoring code to simplify future development, rewriting those segments of code while it was fresh in my mind
– Turning user feedback into features & tweaks that improve the gameplay
– Thorough play-testing, discovery & fixing of the last few bugs
– v1.1.1 Fixes a few small UI bugs
To play the game in your browser, visit the itch.io page for the project! Windows and Linux versions are also available.
The source code is currently private, it’ll be made public later this year.