Liftoff! Making Astronaut’s Journey in 48 hours

Once again, Ludum Dare happened, and I had to make a game in 48 hours. And you know what? It came out ruddy great.

In Astronaut’s Journey, it’s 1969, and you are tasked with flying to the moon. But unfortunately, you haven’t developed a rocket yet!

The rocket is a multi-stage affair, and the gameplay loop is a simple one of balancing your rocket and dropping stages as they empty. Each launch gets you more funding, and with that you buy all the upgrades.

“More explosive fuel in my rocket, please.”

Most programming time was spent on the shop, as well as dumb things like the ending “cutscene” that takes you the final metres onto the moon. Meanwhile, the graphics just… clicked. The particle effects, clouds, and even the Saturn V inspired rocket all went together easily, and even the UI looked quite nice.

More than anything else, I am so goddamn proud of how much I’ve improved in Unity since April. I remember making the jam version of Platformer Mixtape in 2 weeks, while Astronaut’s Journey is more technically impressive and interesting after just two days.

There’s also exciting potential. I want to add atmospheric audio, as well as effects to make those larger stages feel powerful and dangerous. I can’t wait to keep working on this mini-project.

Part 2 of my Compelling Content series will be up soon, as will the menu asset that helped make Astronaut’s Journey possible. Hope to see you soon!

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