Mobile Mission Impossible

During ACMI’s 10th Birthday celebrations, a group of game developers took up the challenge to create a game in just 14 hours.

Impossible you say? Well you haven’t met The Voxel Agents and their band of assistants. Here’s the crew’s take on their frenzied weekend and the birthday celebrations that followed.

Panorama of sunny Fed Square

Panorama of sunny Fed Square

Taking ACMI and Fed Square by storm, we took up residence in ACMI’s Lightwell and commenced our hectic mission of building a new game from scratch (well, almost from scratch). The game: Time Trackers.

Using the prototype called Time Travel Treasure Hunt, made back in 2011, our objective was to turn this idea into a fully fledged app – fit for the App Store – in just 14 hours!

Some of our enthusiastic helpers

Some of our enthusiastic helpers

As we began to work, we had some lovely audience members join in. On the first morning this involved some communal brainstorming, helping us to come up with a suitable name and the creation of art and sound effects for the game. After a few hours of hard work, our game started to take shape and we had the basic mechanics up and running.

To get a feel for Time Trackers in its initial stages of development, use the slider to control the movement of the trees in the first build of the game.

Building 'Time Trackers', one tree at a time

Building ‘Time Trackers’, one tree at a time

The second build included our audience-made art as we started to texture the game environment. Time Trackers was now populated with trees, cows and much more.

Here are a few of our favourite pieces of game artwork from our awesome audience assistants (great work guys):

Other worldly trees and cows

Other worldly trees and cows

A helper's brown chicken with great blue wings

A helper’s brown chicken with great blue wings

Another helper's chicken with white plumage

Another helper’s chicken with white plumage

We entered the final hours of the challenge racing against each minute. Our team edited the game and hunted down those pesky bugs and errors. A finishing flourish or two and… we’d done it. Time Trackers was complete!

This is what the final build of the game looks like:

'Time Trackers' in all its finished glory

‘Time Trackers’ in all its finished glory

After 14 exciting hours hunkered down in the ACMI Lightwell we can proudly say that Time Trackers is available for download on iPad in the App Store and playable on our Voxelites website for gamers everywhere. Hi Scores all round.

The experience was a lot of fun and it’s a great feeling knowing we’d managed to complete the challenge.

While the time flew by for us, 14 hours might not neccessarily for you, so here is a short time-lapse video showing the entire game development process (accompanied by some delightful piano music):

Cut to three weeks later and we were back to help celebrate ACMI’s 10th Birthday (we just couldn’t stay away).

As a fitting coda to our collaboration with ACMI, we had the opportunity to play our game on the Fed Square big screen with all the people that had help create it. So many smiling faces!

The Voxel Agents and audience in Fed Square

The Voxel Agents and audience in Fed Square

It was the first time we had seen our games played on such a big screen (and hopefully, it won’t be the last).

– The Voxel Agents

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