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MIT Global Game Jam: Grandma's Tech Support

This past weekend I participated in MIT's Global Game Jam, and co-developed Grandma's Tech Support, a text-based adventure game in Unity.

Game Jam Details

Friday: 5pm-10pm brainstorming and forming teams

Saturday: 10am-10pm work

Sunday: 10am-3pm work, 3:30-5:30 presentations

(All times based on personal project, doors opened at 9 am on Sat/Sun, people could leave before 10 on Fri/Sat).

Game Details

Help your grandma send an email to her friend Mildred! You have 10 tries to explain to her, in the simplest way you can think of, to send an email. Don't make her mad!

Under the hood, it's a simple text-based adventure game where you input commands in order to make progress. Like those type of games, you have to think of the right action and type it correctly. Grandma responds with audio, and if the command is correct, a corresponding action.

My Role

I helped the main programmer translate his code over to Unity to work with the art and audio assets. He came up with the basic code structure in C#, and had conceptualized the core game. Instructions are evaluated with regular expressions, and parsed for certain keywords or parts of relevant phrases.

However, there's some trickery just to get "simple" things done in Unity. When someone types the wrong command, Grandma has to say something. When someone types the right command, multiple actions need to happen that may include a combination of: hands moving, grandma talking, the cursor moving, text appearing on screen (letter-by-letter). The only proper way we would be able to get this done was through coroutines. Coroutines in Unity are used when you need something to be done gradually; a regular function call isn't able to produce a change in something over time. The program is told to pause, and then continue until a defined "end" result is reached. More can be read about them here for those not familiar with the concept.

And, for those familiar with Unity, you must grab a hold of a GameObject's GameComponent in order to manipulate certain values and properties....and do it many times.

Credits and Download

Robert Pitts - Programmer Nick Iebba - Co-programmer, Unity dev Shirly Spikes - Audio Joseph Hangis - 2D Artist

Download it here for Windows and Linux (working Mac version coming soon)

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