A free-to-play multiplayer Android game for two players on one phone, developed and published in one week.
Play the game!
What I Changed?
What I Learned
Although the entire Centre for Digital Media program is about Agile management, scope and collaboration, Snake and Bun was in a lot of ways the first time the program really forced its students to completely reinvent a standard game pipeline. Being forced to think in a series of near-daily sprints drove home the importance of quick, constant changes and check-ins to me. I’d applied many of these principles before in various jobs and in earlier courses, but this was the first time it was expected to be instinctive, and I had to learn to trust that and trust that my teammates and myself to pull it all off. We did.
Snake and Bun was also the first time I’d really been exposed to the business side of a project since my time working at The Dalhousie Gazette, and it was my first time negotiating the actual processes involved in getting a game to market–even a fairly straightforward market such as Google Play. That choice proved to be a good one as, within a week, even getting the basic pieces into place takes a large percentage of time. That’s something I can and will bear in mind for future games: time has to be budgeted early in the development process to set up business expectations and constraints, and to allow time for the necessary promotion and legal checks to publish a game.
Finally, this project was a good chance to get away from the constraints of story on a game that I usually encounter as a narrative designer. In some ways that was uncomfortable, but it also allowed me to help focus specifically on gameplay and player progression. There were a lot of shared skills there–I was still building a process to reach a specific situation–but it was liberating to learn how to give all the control to the player.
Snake and Bun is a project by Naijing Jiang, Dylan Matthias, and Michael Widmer. It is available on Google Play for free, and is best played with a friend who has a calm temperament.