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Sperm Racer

August 3, 2008

Someday one has to grow up. After spending 2+ years learning about game engine development, now it is time to try a different thing. I joined forces with my friend Pedro who is a graphics designer to participate in the Unity3D Game Contest.

For those who don’t know it yet, Unity3D is a fantastic game engine which brings together a visual approach to game development and the best data-driven object oriented programming practices I’ve seen in any such tool. It’s IDE/Editor run on Max OSX only, but the target for the deployed game can be OSX executable, dashborad widget, Windows executable, web based game or event for the Wii console (with a special license of course). The price tag for this tool is very affordable for indie developers and so for now on I’ll be sharing my spare time between Unity3D and JMonkeyEngine.

But now, lets talk about the game. It a racing game (my favorite genre), but a very unusual one. It’s a game about the race for life, the sperm race. It features unique game mechanics and a fast pace action that hopefully will please a lot of casual gamers out there. Follows a brief explanation of the game mechanics and some early concept artwork.

Mechanics…

You’ll race a single sperm by quickly waving its tail sideways to provide the impulse needed to swing your way to victory. You do this by alternating the LEFT and RIGHT keys or by using an analog or digital gamepad. To drive your way through the body you’ll have to learn how to turn and slide just by waving the tail.

Early Sperm Sketches - by Pedro Thiago

Apart from the basic swimm mechanics, it will be also possible to quickly jump sideways to avoid an obstacle; use the tail to beat your adversaries; and perform small loops to get back on the track (in case you miss a powerup).

You’ll race against several Ai controlled sperms and the courses will be full of static and dynamic obstacle such as wounds, tumors, viruses and bacterias. Each unwanted encounter will affect your sperm differently, maybe slowing you down, maybe losing power-ups.

The racing sperm is not an indestructible half-cell, it has finite levels of life and stamina which directly affect its speed. To make thing more interesting, you’ll be given the chance to chose between male (Y) and female (X) sperms, each one with characteristic levels of stamina and speed: X sperms are know for being impetuously fast but get tired very quickly while X sperms are not as hurry but don’t give up soon.

The power-ups planed are all going to act for just some moments and are grouped in the following types:

  • Shields (against viruses, bacteria or other sperm fight moves);
  • Extra speed;
  • Extra stamina;
  • Alternative fight move/gun;

The race courses…

The sperm race will take place inside the female reproductive aparatus in the expected order. The first “track” goal will be to reach the uterus, and only the very first sperms will be granted on the next one. The Uterus course will be the second and the “Falloppius Tube” will be a fast paced spring race to the end, that reserve some surprises to the player. All courses will have different scenarios, chalenges and pace. In the next posts I’ll be updating the development status of the game and publishing (as possible) playable demos of the first course, which you can have a very early preview here:

The first course

The first course

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One Comment leave one →
  1. August 14, 2008 12:40 pm

    Iaí, cara. Que idéia irada, massa. Vi que a unity3D utiliza a engine da PhysX, muito massa, aí sim eu saquei o porquê da qualidade dos gráficos. Pancada!

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