Murdoor – Additional Information

I threw Murdoor together in a few hours. After choosing the tweet, my thought process went something like this:

What does a door do? It opens and closes. How about if it was a possessed door? A haunted one? Maybe it could scare people? Maybe it could suddenly open and hit people. Perhaps the door could be controlled by a misanthropic artificial intelligence.. Ok, a murderous door! Hmm, a MURderous DOOR.. and so Murdoor was born!

In addition to this, I was hungover from the friday night (thanks @empika - genius idea to meet at the pub), and had started the gamejam on Saturday afternoon, so had little time to throw something together. Obviously I’d use Unity for this, as I’m a huge fanboy. Also it’s incredibly fast to prototype when you get your head round how it works. There’s also a ton of quality free assets on the Asset Store, and as I’m not a 3D artist, I’d have to either grab things from there, or use coder art! Since I’d recently been playing about with coder art after being inspired by @infinitecontinu’s Street Fighter II abstract work, I thought I’d make something quite abstract.

NOT MINECRAFT OK - It's something I'm working on

NOT MINECRAFT OK - It's something else I'm working on. Coder art FTW!

So with the basic concept in place, and the art style sorted, I thought I’d make my life difficult and make this with NO CODE. Well, I wouldn’t write a single line of code for this game. Instead I’d use PlayMaker by Hutong Games. I’ve been using PlayMaker for a couple of weeks, and I am a total convert. It’s incredible! It’s hard to explain what it is, so I’ll lift the quote from the Hutong Games website:

It’s hard to sum up PlayMaker in a few words. It’s a tool for artists, designers, and programmers; It can be used by a lone developer or a development team; It can be used for rapid prototypes or full games. But one of our users summed it up best:”It’s a solid FSM. It’s a visual scripting tool. It’s a hierarchical logic framework. It’s a time saver. It’s a code-snippet storer. It’s an inspiration engine.”

All I’ll say is if you’re interested in making ANY content in Unity3D, you MUST CHECK IT OUT IMMEDIATELY. It’s some of the best software I’ve ever used.

So, in a few hours on Saturday, and a few hours on Sunday, I’ve thrown this silly idea together, and used physics, AI, and pathfinding, all with no code :) I’ve been writing code commercially for 15 years, and coding since I was about 7, so it’s nice to not touch it for a game. Of course, since I built it with Unity3D, not only does it work on web, but it works on iOS too! It’ll also run on Android, when I get round to exporting it.

So far, Murdoor is just an idea with a lot of bugs. But I think it has potential to be something a bit bigger than that, so I’ll tidy it up, fix the bugs, and add a few more levels over the next few weeks.


Me with the prize for "Most Visionary"

Huge thanks to:

@reallyfancy for inspiration and bouncing ideas around.
@toastkid for the terrible pun on the game over screen.
@empika for organising the event.
@profaniti for helping out.
@theskiff for hosting the event.
@littleloud and @relentless_sw for beer and pizza.
@pmolyneux and @petermolydeux – obviously.
@unity3d and @hutonggames for making such incredible software.

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2 Responses to “Murdoor – Additional Information”

  • That’s freaking cool man – I’ve been using playmaker for a couple of weeks and I’m loving it!

    I’m a designer by trade – I’ve talked with programmers about its viability and most turn their noses up at it for one reason or another saying its nice “for kids”. Cool to hear an endorsement from a programmer.

    I’m making small games faster than I ever have before, so clearly something’s working.

  • Yeah, PlayMaker is a fantastic utility.

    Beware when talking to a lot of programmers there’s a certain amount of elitism and intellectual willy-waving. Anything that simplifies what we do is frequently and unnecessarily scorned upon. :)

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