|Engine & Tools I Used||Unity 2020.3.5f1|
Microsoft Visual Studio
GitHub & GitHub Desktop
Twitch chat builds your Town …
and you’re their Ruler!
Stream Town is a real-time strategy and city builder game where Twitch streamers and their viewers can create beautiful towns, collect resources and defend against monsters.
Every viewer can create their very own character in your world. From there, the game can be played entirely by your Twitch chatroom – even if the streamer leaves for days, the chatroom can take full control of Stream Town!
How does it work?
Exactly like Twitch Plays Pokémon, Stream Town accesses Twitch’s API to read the chat comments in any given Twitch channel. The game reads those comments and translates them into game logic. By typing commands in Twitch chat, players can:
- Create a character
- Switch between unique player roles in building, resource gathering and combat
- Place buildings anywhere in the world
- Customise their character
- Vote for Town Goals to advance the town’s technology
- And more!
- Tech tree with unique branches for unlocking buildings and advancing your town’s citizens
- Dynamic day and night system – beware of the enemies that come at night!
- Four seasons that affect resource production – can you stock up enough to survive the winter?
- Boss fights when other streamers raid your Twitch channel – the more viewers they bring in, the tougher the fight!
- A whole list of other silly events! Praise the Fish God!
Our goal building Stream Town was to develop a unique community game that Twitch streamers can play with their viewers. We took inspiration from Twitch Plays Pokémon, Stream Raiders and Ravenfall, and embraced the opportunity to design a new type of game and grow an audience in a relatively unexplored market.
- Game Design: The first of my major responsibilities was to write and maintain Stream Town’s game design document. This was a complex task involving numerous conversations with the project lead and programmers, as it required designing two strands of the same game experience: one for the streamer, or “player”, as a traditional real-time strategy game with character progression, and another for Twitch viewers, as the same game that can be controlled entirely with chat commands. It was pivotal that these two design approaches coexisted simultaneously.
I worked to ensure that all of the game’s complex systems were clearly documented, and that there were no conflicts between these systems.
- UI Design: I brought my experience as a graphic designer to the challenge of designing Stream Town’s user interface. Real-time strategy games already require a significant amount of UI – this challenge is exacerbated by a game that can be played by multiple players at once, via a single video stream. This means that the UI needs to apply to all players simultaneously, rather than catering to individual players too much. We tried to ensure as much as possible that the streamer’s UI resembled a traditional RTS game, while Twitch viewers are able to request specific information by pinging a chat bot.
Designing Stream Town’s UI involved drawing sketches, previsualising UI elements in Adobe Photoshop, and exporting these assets into a Unity prefab while maintaining their dimensions and spacing.
- Project Management: I enjoyed my time as producer on Stream Town. Using Jira, I maintained an agile workflow across eight sprints while holding daily stand-ups, 1-on-1 meetings and sprint reviews. These sprint reviews allowed the team to remain flexible throughout development – cutting and scaling down on features where necessary, and committing ourselves to preventing any overwork. I enjoyed keeping in close contact with my team and regularly gauging their feelings about their work and the project in general.
- Marketing: The last of my major responsibilities was to manage all of the game’s marketing. This was a mammoth task! It involved designing the game’s Twitch channel, maintaining its Twitter, and producing marketing materials to showcase the game at DreamHack Melbourne and PAX Aus.
I was also responsible for presenting the game to industry members on two occasions: once at a panel event organised through my game design school, and another time after the team was invited to a game publisher’s studio. These presentations were well received, requiring a keen understanding of the game’s unique selling point and the ability to communicate that selling point succinctly and effectively.
- Our team was extremely pleased with the positive response we received – especially for a student project! The game’s Discord server forum managed to reach almost 350 members, many of whom play the game regularly, and even daily, on our Twitch channel. We distributed the game among interested streamers, who often play the game idly with their viewers. Some of these streamers will play the game during long subathon streams, in which viewers will join in while the streamer is sleeping or attending to other things.
Andrew Nardi – Producer, Designer, UI Artist, Marketer
Ben Babicka – Designer, VFX Artist, Tech Artist, Programmer
Jayden Hunter – Project Lead, Lead Programmer
Declan Doller – Programmer
Ben Lindridge – Lead Artist, Tech Artist
William Trimble – 3D Artist
Isabella Kovac – 3D Artist
Aaron Hunter – 3D Artist
Lam Nguyen – Animator
Leahanna Crimmins – Music Composer
Francisco Inigo Garde – Sound Designer