Web-enabled games

Summer is almost over, and I am cranking through a bunch of projects I had wanted to complete. One of them was to spend as much time as possible learning how to make video games.

I don’t have any delusions of grandeur; however, I do have a fantasy of being able to combine game making with electronics and making in order to design a game that interacts with the physical world. In order to do that, I need a way for the game to communicate with the physical world.

In a previous post, I highlighted some of the things I learned during my first 100 hours with the Unreal Engine. That was enough time (with the right tutorials) to build a simple game called Chicken in the Lab where your a Chicken, in a lab, collecting elements. The trick is that you have to collect them in order of atomic number, so it can be a bit of a challenge.

With some general knowledge on game design using the Unreal Engine, I wanted to learn how a game could interact with the world outside of the game. There’s a plugin called VaREST which allows the game to communicate via REST API calls; however, the documentation on the plugin is virtually nonexistent. I decided to demonstrate how I got it working primarily to have all of this information in one place when I need it again, but perhaps it will be of use to someone.

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There’s a Chicken in the Lab

One item on my bucket list has been to learn how to make a video game. I figured forced isolation due to the pandemic gave me the time I needed to dive into this project. After 100 hours, I was able to produce Chicken in the lab! where you – the chicken – need to pick up the elements (in order of atomic number) that have been scattered across the lab by an evil Biology Professor.

I’ll have a link to the game once I get it all packaged up for distribution for the 1 or 2 of you daring enough to try it out. Meanwhile, check out this video commentary about my experience with the Unreal Engine 4. You can just jump to 5:55 and see gameplay if you’d like.

My first UE4 video game: Chicken in the Lab.