Unicorny Jump!, an Introduction

The second game that I’m working on (I find having two with different genres helps) is Unicorny Jump!, a game for my daughter. She’s just getting into playing games and so I wanted something fairly simple to get her going. The basic gameplay is jumping to get different collectibles on the screen. Over time, I’m iterating on that gameplay to make things more complex.

As a rhetorician and technical writer, I’m a big fan of having structures and architecture in documents, as well as games, that teach you how things should work and operate. You can find any number of breakdowns of the original Super Mario Bros. that show just how this can work in the video game world just like it does in document design with a table of contents, headers, sub-headers, and fonts/colors themed for different distinct purposes. With this game I’m attempting that by slowly ramping up the complexity by introducing new elements one at a time before using them to increase difficulty.

A screenshot of development of a pixel art game in Unity Engine.
A shot of the early development of Unicorny Jump!

With a basic set of assets created, I’ve been iterating on different level designs, different powerups that have different impacts on the player, and eventually different types of levels with gameplay themed to the art. Right now, I’m moving past a simple game with apples and a super-speed apples to include ice-themed levels with a fire attack to melt frozen apples.

The goal is to have simple additions that don’t clog up the main interface with a fireball button appearing next to the jump button when you get a certain item like a hot pepper. I’m working through getting the first ice level built now as you can see in this short clip:

My current challenge for the game is to get the code designed for shooting out the fireballs from the unicorn. Once that’s done, I’ll be ready to get the rest of the level going. (I’m told a jet pack needs to be next on my list).