Epic's free development kit helped father make miniature racing title for son
A father made his son a video game for Christmas using Epic’s UDK. And he did it in less than a month.
Rob, or AggroFamily as he blogs under, is a graphic designer by trade, and his wife and seven-year-old son are both “avid gamers”.
On his personal blog, Rob explained that the idea to make a game for his son began when his wife suggested they all make their Christmas presents from scratch.
“With time short I had to make some quick decisions on the type of game and what I could accomplish in just a couple of weeks,” he wrote.
“I thought about using a pre-built 2D sprite engine that could be cross platform, but after looking through my options nothing quite gave me the feel of a complete game like I wanted.
“Then, I started reviewing 3D options such as Unity3d and UDK. Now both of these packages are fantastic in their own rights, but I needed something that would allow me to do all the below things, quickly.”
Rob chose to build a Micro Machines-style racing game set in a wonderful realised version of his son’s bedroom.
He opted for UDK for two specifics reasons: “One, I could model everything I needed within the software itself using brushes. It’s not ideal, it’s not recommended, but it would work in a pinch and that was what I was in.
“Second, it was utterly free and unlimited. I could create a beautiful game, fairly quickly, using just this one piece of software and maybe, just maybe, do it in time for the big X day.”
Starting with a blank document in UDK, Rob explains how he built a 3D version of his son’s bedroom, modelling the furniture and adding textures.
Complete with bunk bed, toy castle and other bedroom comforts, Rob constructed a miniature racing course around the room. In classic crunch form, he tested the game right up to the wire on Christmas Eve.
Finally, Rob tells us what his son thought of his father's game: “I was tucking the Little Spawn into bed this evening and he turns to me and says ‘Dad, my game you made is really awesome. I love it!’ to which I said 'Thanks buddy, now get to bed you little monkey' all with the biggest (I just pwned xmas) grin on my face. Ah yeah.”