Monday 12 December 2016

TappyRun - infinite runner with cute voxel graphics!

I decided to spend November revisiting Unity3D, and this time I wanted to give it a proper shot. The aim was to publish a game in the first week of December... and I made it! TappyRun was released on the 4th December :)

TappyRun is a simple but fun infinite scrolling endless runner. Super simple gameplay with one tap controls, tap the left side of the screen to move left, tap the right side of the screen to move right. Avoid crashing head on into stuff or you land in the drink, at which point it's game over man, game over! It's fun to play, infuriating when you make a mistake and splash into the river, and awesome when you beat your friends highscores and share the screenshot on social media to rub their noses in it :) The closest comparisons that come to mind are subway surfers style gameplay - running in lanes collecting coins and avoiding obstacles, with a minecraft or crossy road graphical style - blocky voxel graphics, and flappy bird esque replayability and social friend baiting - quite short game sessions with the constant temptation to have "one more game" to try beating a highscore.

I intend to keep coming back to this game for the purposes of mini tutorials in the future. One month was barely enough time to scratch the surface of what Unity3D has to offer, but on the other hand it was enough to get a complete game published, so there's bound to be a handy tip or trick or two lodged in my brain worth sharing with the wider world. Interesting tutorial worthy features of this game include unlockable characters, in game currency (not purchased using real money, totally free to play), rewarded video ads, achievements, global social leaderboards, cloud saving and loading, tiles that link to my other apps formed from json retrieved from the internet, social screenshot sharing, level styling seasonal cycles, and so on. Plenty to talk about. I reckon a youtube video or two on creating cute voxel characters could be fun too! If you install TappyRun and find there's a particular feature you'd like to learn about, give me a shout in the comments and I'll see what I can do :)

Alongside creating this game I spent some time in November making a small web app with a public API that serves up useful information relating to my games and apps. Currently it just offers up information on my apps ( and web presences ( The plan is for all my games and applications to retrieve this information over the intertubes rather than have it hardcoded in each app, meaning all my apps should always be up to date. I like the idea of extending this further to help cross promote new apps to existing players, but am taking care not to rush this as it must not be annoying. I guess this isn't particularly exciting if you're just interested in playing games, but quite interesting if you're into making your own! Also, while I was at it, I couldn't resist giving the webapp a slightly prettier face than application/json text, so if you visit you should now see my fully responsive self promotional website :)

As for Unity3D vs LibGDX, well, that's a whole blog post of it's own just waiting to happen... Suffice to say they both have their pros and cons, and I will most likely be using both in future, it seems it's all about using the right tool for the job at hand.

In the meantime, what are you waiting for? Go and grab TappyRun for free from Google Play, and let me know what you think in the comments (or on facebook or twitter)!