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Oasis Racer

A topic by Godzilla Blitz created Jul 14, 2018 Views: 706 Replies: 39
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Submitted (2 edits) (+3)

I've been taking a couple of courses on Unity, mostly about platformers, and figured it's time to create a game from scratch to get practice with the things I've been learning. My goal is to make a simple 5-level platformer that uses basic Unity features.  

Working with the "water" theme, I'm going with the idea of racing across a desert landscape. The player has got to reach the next oasis before he/she dies of dehydration. The last level will (hopefully) include some sort of boss challenge.

I'll use a simple public Trello board for keeping track of tasks and progress:
Oasis Racer Kanban

Random Thoughts...

  • I'm hoping to draw pixel art with Aseprite, and create all the assets except for sounds.
  • Possible obstacles: Cacti, Fire, Quicksand
  • Possible enemies: Vultures, (some other desert animal, for some reason I'm stuck on Kangaroos)
  • Maybe I'll add one new obstacle/enemy per level
  • I'd like to add a health bar, filled with water, that decreases with time (representing dehydration). I've got no idea how to do this in Unity, but how hard can it be?
Submitted (1 edit)

Interesting. I like this kind of "survival".

I don't know Unity, but health bar is a fairly common mechanic, I don't think you will have much trouble finding out how to do and  implementing it.

And if I may suggest: snakes could be good enemies in the desert too, with some sort of jumping behaviour. :D

Good luck!


I was just talking to my daughter about the game and she suggested snakes too. Snakes it is!

And I found a YouTube series about creating a health bar. I'm guessing I can modify that to work with a time-dependent health bar.


ohhh nice! i love that you've also linked your trello board! not sure how much you use trello or if you already know this but it would be cool to have some labels on your cards--something like high, mid, and low priority might help the viewer visually understand the level of your tasks and where you are with those. best of luck this jam!

Submitted (1 edit) (+2)

That's a good idea for the Trello board, thanks much!

The board now has some High, Med, Low labels.

EDIT: I've got an idea for the hydration meter that came to me as I stared at the all white player prototype I made. What if the hydration meter was the player, something like this...

When the player is fully hydrated they are all blue, then they gradually turn white as they lose water. I was reading about sprite masks in Unity, and wonder if I could use something like that to get this to work.

I know I could do it by creating a series of sprites for each level of hydration (say 10 levels times about ten sprites for the animation stages), but that'd be a slog and not as elegant.

I had a very similar idea to yours with the whole dehydration mechanic! Looks like you have more of a complete vision of what you want though- Can't wait to see your progress throughout the jam!


Thanks! I'm not sure I've got the chops yet to pull the dehydration off with an animated character, but I'm going to get started on it this evening.


Day 1 Update

Yesterday I got the basics of player motion in place. This is probably the most comfortable spot for me in Unity, so I didn't expect any issues so far.

I've decided to try to get the dehydration mechanic working, so that'll be next. I'm going to try to break it down into three steps.

  • Get a hydration bar working.
  • Get a hydration bar working as a mask on a static player.
  • Get a hydration bar working as a mask on an animated player. (I'll need to create the animated art first, so this might be tomorrow.)

Day 2 Update

I ended up with not as much time as I had hoped to work on things yesterday, but I did make some progress. 

• I've abandoned for the time being the idea of making the player into the hydration bar. I hacked away at it for about an hour and realized I was in way over my head with something that just isn't critical to gameplay. So to the options bin it goes.

• I'm leaning toward this musical score for a background track.

• I was able to spend some time with Aseprite creating the main character. I'm going for a durable survivor type feel to it. Also, I switch from 16x16 artwork to 32x32 artwork because I finally realized how limiting 16x16 is for characters. Here's a quick look at main character version 1.0:

Today I should have more time, so I'm hoping to get the running and jumping animation done. I'm using this drawing I found on the Internets as a base for an eight-step animation sequence:

Off we go!


Running animation done. That took longer than I thought it would. Now I just have to add it to Unity. 

Hoping for a big day of production tomorrow.

love these little characters! 


Wow! I love the concept of your game! Your sprites and colour combinations are amazing! Can't wait to see more of your progression! :D

Good luck ! :D


Thanks Leiahuang! I'm liking working in 32x32 graphics, which is new for me. It feels more expressive than 16x16, but not as time-consuming as 64x64. I'm hoping I can end up with something playable, at least. It's been super fun doing this.


Finally got player animation and movement done...

Next up:
• Camera movement
• Rock (obstacles)
• Jumping Cacti
• Background art
• Build out the first level


Day 3 Update

Today was a good day, got some stuff DONE.

  • Cactus created and brought into the game as an obstacle
  • Rock created and brought into the game as an obstacle
  • Camera now tracks and leads the player movement
  • Status bars half done and brought into the game, then recreated and brought into the game again. :)
  • Background created, recreated, recreated again, and brought into the game. Much fun iteration. :)
  • A few bugs fixed

I like what I was able to create with the cactus. I don't like my rock. I might try to draw that again if I have time later.

Latest screenshot...


Everything look's pretty good to me! I especially like that background. And I don't think that rock look's half bad tbh!


Thanks StabbyJoe!

I think I'm going to reduce the pixelation on the background to make it match everything else, but other than that, it's time to start working on the hydration and damage mechanics.


Looking good! I love that sun!


Thanks, Bit!


Day 4 Update

Garg. Total failure to work on this today. Super busy day of both work and family stuff left no time at all. Can’t afford many empty days if I want to finish something by the deadline.

The next three days look better, though. 


Day 6 Update

After total failure to get anything done the past three days, I was back at things today. Got quite a few behind the scenes things working.

I also added in player death and got some kill routines working. Tomorrow I'm hoping for a big day. I really need to get the health bars working, for both incremental damage and dehydration. Ideally, I'd like to get past that and into the building of the first level. I have lots to do and not much time left to do it.

Here's a video showing early motion, player death, and possible soundtrack.


Cool progress! 




Day 7 Update

Good day today, but I've got to head out of town this Friday, so that leaves only four days to finish, and there is still a ton to do. I should have all day Tuesday to work on this, which will help a lot. I'm hoping I can make a huge push then.

Today, however, was a good day. I got the health bar working. I got the hydration bar working. I added water bottles which add hydration. I also got some object respawning working, and adding some player motion tweaks.

Things left to do:

  • Add four more levels (Monday)
  • Add navigation guides to the first level as a tutorial (Thursday)
  • Add an end point for a level (oasis) (Monday)
  • Add snakes as an enemy (Tuesday)
  • Add quicksand as an obstacle (Monday)
  • Add vultures as an enemy (Tuesday)
  • Add fire as an obstacle (Monday)
  • Add a mechanic for moving between levels (Monday)
  • Add a splash screen. (Tuesday)
  • Add a start, pause, end game, and resume menu (Wednesday)
  • Other stuff I can't think of at the moment. (Thursday)
Submitted (1 edit)

Great progress! The hydration concept is really neat.


Thanks! Getting the health and hydration bars working felt great. It was new ground for me, and I had to piece together stuff from three tutorials to figure it out. I was stoked when I got it working.


Day 8 Update

A good day, but not good enough, I'm afraid. Things done.

  • Created the Oasis art
  • Got the Oasis working as a hydration stop
  • Created a level end sequence
  • Got the fire art done
  • Added a Lives system to the game
  • Game over screen working

But the pace isn't fast enough to be able to finish by Friday, when I have to leave town. Must. Go. Faster.

Tomorrow I really need to get the Level Selection Mechanism, game saving, pausing, resuming all in place quickly, so I can start working on more obstacles and enemies. If I could get all that done tomorrow, I think I have a chance to get levels built in time to finish a functional but untested game in time.

Love this entire development blog you have going on here and Im excited to play your game! 


Thanks! I've learned a ton from doing this, and it's been fun to do.


Good day so far. Got menus, saving, pausing, resuming, and the level selection system all working. Probably my least favorite part of the whole process, and now it's behind me. 

Time to start working on more levels!


Day 9 Update

Really big day today, but it's still not enough to finish in time.

  • Main menu works
  • Saving mechanism works
  • Pause menu works
  • Level Select mechanism works
  • First tutorial level is complete.

Everything went pretty smoothly today, but it was a grind getting through this stuff. The UI stuff was probably my least favorite part of building this game so far. It does feel great to get it behind me, though, as only fun stuff remains.

The problem, however, is that I'm heading out of town on Friday afternoon and have work and family activities that fill up most the time right until I depart. So there just isn't the 8-10 hours I think I need to finish this.

My plan, however, will be to submit what I've got done. The tutorial first level works now, and I can probably get some of the second level done too. That'll have to do, and then I'll finish the rest of the game after the jam ends.


Nice, you got a lot finished, by all means post what you have for the jam, but I'll also be happy to play the final version when it's done.


I'm both happy and disappointed, but mainly happy. I feel like I learned a lot and got a lot better, and I'm happy with what I got done. However, I had hopes to finish the whole 5 levels during the jam timeframe. I'm a little disappointed that I wasn't able to get there.

Submitted (1 edit) (+1)

Final Update and Alpha Build (Most Likely)

I've got nothing left but work, family stuff, and travel between now and the end of the jam, so I decided to build and submit what I've gotten done and call it a jam. I did manage to get a few things done late this evening:

  • Splash Screen for Main Menu
  • Credits Screen and Navigation
  • WebGL Build Submitted to GameJam

Here's the submission page, and a direct link to the playable web version.

There are two known issues with the Alpha Version:

  • The menu buttons are blurry (not sure what happened, will fix later)
  • The first level oasis acts as a transporter back to the beginning of the level if you jump while inside it. (bug, will fix later)

When I get back from my trip, I want to build the core 4 levels of the game, with added monsters, obstacles, and a final boss. I'll probably even keep updating this devlog, just for my own records.

Things I've Learned...

  • I really enjoyed doing this jam and trying to complete my first game ever. I just like doing the work, and am excited to learn and do more.
  • Making even a simple game takes more time than I realized.
  • Time management, planning, effort, and focus are super important, way more important than talent.
  • It's been a lot of fun following others as they build games. Everyone has been so supportive.

Thanks to everyone for the comments and support!


Many thanks for this devlog. It was interesting to follow all your steps. 


Thanks, Jatsu! I wish I could have gotten the whole plan done during the jam, but I've still learned a ton and had a lot of fun.


Congratulations! Jams are great for learning and I think you did well, even researching animations, risking with different ideas. I hope you finish the game you imagined, after the jam.



that is a sweaty friend!!! great work getting UI in. it's awesome you were able to implement stuff like pause menus and etc as well... that's some serious polish!


Thanks J!

I've just returned home today and am looking forward to building the levels out.


I'm not sure if anyone is still around, but I'm still grinding away at this for about an hour or so a day, and have made some good progress.

  • Create fire (damages player)
  • Created snakes (enemy, damages player)
  • Created first aid kits (increases health)
  • Created quicksand (stops player movement for a few seconds, needs improvement)
  • Other minor gameplay modifications
  • Completed Level 2 (fire and snakes)
  • Squashed some bugs, created new bugs

I'm planning to create vultures next, then build Level 3 and 4.

Here's a screenshot from level 2...