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They Came From the Sea

Event: Young Games Designer AwardsDate: Saturday 29 June 2019  Venue: BAFTA, 195 Piccadilly, LondonHosts: TBC-Area: Game StillsBAFTA/Thomas Robson

They Came From the Sea (Unity) - Thomas Robson (18) Durham

“They Came From the Sea is an endless, wave-based 2D shooter, where your goal is to survive and get a new high score on the leaderboards!”

The player is tasked with running around an island, getting chased by wave after wave of ghosts, with nothing but their wits, speed, and gun to defend themselves with. The game cannot be beaten, as the objective is to challenge yourself to see how long you can delay your inevitable defeat. 

Beyond that, the game features: a leaderboard to track the stats for your top 5 highest scores; a series of achievements to challenge the player to try a new way of playing; and a fully fleshed out custom games system, allowing the player to tweak any of the game's settings to match their playstyle.

Throughout the development of this game, I was constantly improving my understanding of game feel. For a good portion of the development, the game wasn't nearly as fun, but once I started going in to add effects such as screen shake, or a smoother camera system, the game just took off in how much fun players would be having.

When the game was initially released on, it didn't receive much popularity or attention. It got a few downloads, and that was that, which was incredibly disappointing and disheartening, given how much I loved the game.

So, after a brief period of little motivation, I went back and started working to add new features, constantly updating the game to fix things, tweak values, and make the experience better overall. I also started attending events such as the Yorkshire Games Festival mas a developer to showcase the game, which proved to be a great boost to the game's popularity.

I'm looking to implement more online features soon. Starting with global leaderboards, but hopefully, that could extend into co-op sessions, or even completely new modes! Once I make that leap, the possibilities of where the game could go are near limitless, and I'm excited to put all of my network code knowledge to the test and make something awesome!