2021 was a big year for me: not only did I discover the amazing technology of VR (including the purchase of an Oculus Quest 2), but I also rediscovered the amazing game development tool called Unity. I ended up doing some simple projects involving Unity/VR, for which you can see videos here and here.
The other thing that happened during 2021 was a certain career transition. Let’s just say I had a lot of extra time to research things as well as do interviews for a bunch of tech companies. During one of these interviews, someone asked me if I had used Unity before for mobile development. While I had done both Mobile development (including publishing several apps on the App Store), as well as a few Unity projects, I had never combined those things. I ended up not getting that job, and decided to do a Unity project that would target iOS.
When I was young (in the 80s) there was a simple ascii-based PC game I enjoyed that involved sending ships all over the galaxy to colonize the planets and eventually take over. I searched but couldn’t find the name, nor did I remember the detailed game mechanics. But I ended up making my mobile Unity project inspired by my vague memory of that game.
My game is called “The Universe Calls” and involves a similar idea: sending ships to planets with the objective of eventually taking over all the planets in the universe. The gameplay mechanics are pretty simple, but I added a few things to make things more fun like neutral ships, atmospheric music, and the ability to use pinch and pan to manipulate the universe in 3D.
Overall, using Unity for mobile wasn’t that different, though I had to learn some new things like how to use input from the screen and how to render UI properly on a variety of devices. I also struggled with a problem where the screen color was wrong on some devices, but it turned out to be a Unity bug and resolved when I upgraded. The majority of the development of the game only took me around two weeks time.
Although I probably could add much more to the game, things were working pretty well and I had a handful of stages created and tested (including two modes for randomly-generated stages), so I decided to upload it to the app store.
You can find the game here on the App Store (it’s free): https://apps.apple.com/us/app/the-universe-calls/id1606430601
I also decided to make a video showing me solving one of the more advanced levels from start to finish, which you can see below:
This was the first game project I did from start to end using GitHub, and I did frequent checkins (partially just to see a record of how I developed). At present the repo is private, but I am considering opening it up to the public. If you are interested please let me know, since if I get enough requests I may do it sooner than later.
Also I am always open to feedback about this game (and my other games), so please let me know what you think.