Programming with Unity, Norco College

During the Summer of 2015 I took an online course through Norco College on Video Game Programming to better prepare myself for the classes I would be teaching during the 2105-16 school year. The course is part of Norco’s Game Development program that has specializes in Art, Audio, Programming, and Design. I highly recommend Norco to anyone interested in Video Game Development (norcocollege.edu). Here are short videos of the projects I completed during the course. All projects were done in Unity using C# as the scripting language.

One of the first project I completed was a Tic-Tac-Toe game. The crux of this project was scripting checks (booleans) for 3-in-a-row every update. The game switches between two players and the current player determines what color the block turns when clicked.

Next we made a Flappy Bird clone. This project focused on collision detection between the bird and the pipes. Secondly, pipes are spawned semi-randomly every few seconds, so we learned some procedural generation too. Altering the amount of velocity imparted to the bird on button press had a large impact on the feel of the game as well.

No game programming course is complete without a Space SHMUP. The own I made for Norco wasn’t as involved as the one in Jeremy Gibson’s Unity textbook (which I had already done at this point), but was still good practice. We had to create a second weapon type besides the standard laser, and I went with an Ion Cannon (ala Star Wars). The purple bolts only disable enemy shields, and don’t actually destroy the enemy ship. They have to be hit with a laser to be destroyed. The player shield can be activated voluntarily as an emergency measure, but points are not awarded when it is used to destroy an enemy ship.

One of the last projects was a cooperative puzzle game. I really enjoyed this project. The white and black spheres need to work together to get to their respective blocks to finish the level. While working on this project we essentially created a level-editor tool so it is very easy to create additional levels once all the unique pieces have been created. The green spheres tell the player which paths are open to them (the spheres are colliders that check whether open ground is in front of the player). The left player uses WASD for movement, and the right player uses the arrows, so both players play simultaneously.

The cumulative project was a check for how to script a variety of functions. We had to script a bouncing ball, a light that clicks on and off, spawning an object when two buttons are held simultaneously, and a few others. I’m a fan of the color-changing spheres. The “reset” sphere wasn’t a requirement but I felt it provided more utility to the player so I added it in.

Overall I really enjoyed the class. It’s a 3-unit class that’s only $150 for California residents and is usually offered online. I recommend it for anyone interested in scripting in Unity.

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About Wes J.

Your Focus Determines Your Reality
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