One Bullet


My buddy Ari and I often text one another game pitches. Most of the time with no intention of making them. In 2012 I had a simple idea for a first person shooter with only a single bullet in the game. It was a fun idea, that really stuck with me, so much so that I thought I should actually make it. So I finally decided to start building it, and with it, my ability to program.

I am not a programmer. In college I focused my studies on design because that is where I felt I excelled. Most of the games I work on, the content is built in Excel sheets and editors. I decided, to start learning how to program on my own time, with the goal of making this game. 

People always say "start with a simple game!" and I go ahead and make my first project a first person shooter, and multiplayer. But it was a game I was excited about, and it drove me to keep going. Honestly, Unity is doing a lot of the heavy lifting for me, but it's been a great way to learn, and it's been a lot of fun!

I have all of the mechanics I want in the game at this point, and now just trying to polish those things up. I've actually implemented a few different variations of some of the mechanics and have an any options menu that allows you try out the different variations, which has been great for play testing. I ran a few play tests when I was out in Los Angeles at Indiecade and at some of the Atlanta Game Dev meet ups and the response has been great. People really seem to enjoy it a lot. 

Though these play tests did expose some of the major weaknesses currently, which is four player mode and the map. I added support for four players and it was actually a lot of fun to set up how the cameras were handled dependent on how many players were playing. But the game kind of falls apart once there are more than two players. There is a lot of confusion, and still only one bullet. The play sessions brought out a lot of great ideas for how to fix this, mostly just a lack of messaging, but one thing that fell away was the tension of the two player game. The cat and mouse game that happens as one player runs away, to hide a round a corner, positioning their self to hopefully get the jump on the player with the bullet and steal it away. Which leads me to the map. The map is fine, it's inspired by Agency from Counter Strike, but I always knew it was going to be a test. I'm going to write another post going in depth on the things that worked and didn't work on the map. As well as how I'll be rebuilding it.