Posted Thursday March 17th 2016
Back in 2009/2010 I was on the committee of the Games Society at university. I had this crazy idea that the Games Society would build their own video game to raise money for charity so I set out to try achieve it. When we announced the plan, we immediately had a lot of people volunteering to help and so began our quest to build the Games Society’s first video game.
60 days and 60 nights
The university’s big charity week was held in the second week of semester 2 every February so our goal was to release then. We started development in December 2009 so this meant we had to have a complete game done in two months by February 2010. It didn’t help that exams happened in January and there were several weeks in December/January where people went home for break.
After initial discussion, we decided on an adventure game because I had the most experience in it and would be doing most of the coding. Eventually Keith Cummins, Tom Walshe and Tony Murphy signed up to write some of the mini-games. Thomas Butler done all the graphics, Mike Clarke implemented the level/world design and Shane O’Farrell and William Hanks helped writing the story and quests.
The game was programmed in Java using the now abandoned Slick library. It took a lot of sleepless nights and pizza but we eventually made it.
The game wasn’t complete until 11 hours before launch. I had stayed up for 72 hours to finish the end of the game and playtest it with Ciaran Mooney.
I remember packing the final build, burning it on to a CD, walking to the university campus and meeting Gavin Tubritt (the Games Society chairperson) at 9am. He asked “so we’re ready to go?” and I replied “as of 1 hour ago, yes”.
At 7pm we held the launch party in a bar nearby. It was a great party. We sold loads of copies of the game and even had a Collector’s Edition of the game that came with an old pirate map of the kingdom. I had one beer, went home and immediately collapsed from exhaustion.
A small success
In the end we raised over €1000 for charity and beat the Charity Society as the most charitable society at the Clubs and Societies Awards. Despite the stress, it was one of the most fun experiences of my life.
If you’re interested in playing Bandit, head on over to the Games section and download it for free 🙂