October 9, 2021

What is Lunch Box Worlds, or how we tried to create a video game from scratch?

What is Lunch Box Worlds, or how we tried to create a video game from scratch?

The other day doing an internal event for knowing the new friends who joined us in the past months (we are about to surpass the barrier of 100 47ers 🤯), I proposed a game called "Things you may don't know about 47 Degrees". And, thinking about the things the people around us may not know about our company, came to mind an old beautiful project.

Something we did ten years ago. Our very own video game. Lunch Box Worlds.

We need to do a quick flash-back and go back to when 47 Degrees were only nine people (three people in the U.S.A. office, and six in Cádiz). During that time, we were part of super different projects. And, due to a stars alignment, we were doing things pretty close to the videogame industry (we had a few friends working in big studios in Seattle). And we developed a few community sites of video games that reached out to millions of downloads.

That quick success of those apps took our attention. Also, I have to say that during this time, the Spanish office was on the first floor of a churreria, and I guess we were particularly creative there.

Taking advantage of a break between projects, we started our big little adventure-a multi-platform videogame for playing on phones and tablets.

The Plot: A kid forgot, just about to start the summer holidays, a lunchbox with food inside his desk, and when he comes back, in the lunchbox, It’s an entirely new universe living there.

The point which incredible me the most, it's the quantity of creativity we invested in this. We created a whole universe from nothing. And, I am going to tell you a few things about how you could (ideally) play and what you would be the game about.

This little guy is the good one of the story.
I can imagine that the people who live there enjoy a pretty good "view". 🤦

Inside this lunchbox, it appears a new world populated by little beings. Little and soft creatures who think that the kiddo that opened the sky (the lid of the box) is their particular god, and he should protect them. (yeah, everything could come from a Simpson Episode).

Those little folks were living around houses of food. Literally, the food inside the box evolved in buildings where they live.

These buildings are essential for the main gameplay because they are also part of the generation of weapons.

The game is a kind of Tower Defense game (in the way that Kindom Rush). The bad fellas come from a path for eating the good folks, and you have to defend them.

The way to do it is to throw projectiles at them, weapons generated by the buildings, and through the pray from these creatures (as many you can have around, more speed on the generation of different defenses).

Pray, pray, little people. I need more carrot rockets!

Cool, eh? I am super excited while I'm writing this because I did not remember how dope it was! But, wait, because I'd like to show you who are the bad guys of the game.

Those fellas kill these kind and friendly creatures. 👇

The bad peeps

If I like the good creatures, I have to say; I am completely in love with these bad folks. Each one has a different attack (bites, licks, burps, and farts 😂). Yep, I can see myself on this. But do you want to know what is the best about them?

Each one is inspired by an actual group of bacterias that spoils food

What else? Let's talk about the buildings because those are also pretty cool, and the different weapons they generate that change depending on the kind of food.

Come on! Who wouldn't want to throw exploding albondigas from a volcano to those people!

Or ninja cucumber's slices that come from a sandwich Piramide?

Or even carrots rockets, or maybe you want to slow them down pouring juice on the path.

At this moment, you have to be thinking, "But why the hell didn't it come through?" What failed in this project?

As always in these cases, an alignment of different circumstances.

The first, money. We have never had investors, so we depended not only on our savings; we were not making more money (because we are a consulting company). The project landed in the middle of other projects, but that limbo couldn't take forever.

Second. Videogaming is a branch of the software development industry with many variables and stuff to keep in mind (animation, design, playability, performance, devices, etc.). A project like this was freaking difficult and was our first experience with videogame development. Apart from that, we were brand new in the development platform (Unity), and we coded in a language new to us (C#). So, on top of that, you have to put our learning process.

This is an actual screenshot of the only phase we did. Zillions of hours were investing on this, and barely we could play it.

The device from the screenshot is an Ipad.

So, what a pity, eh? Well, yes and no. To have the possibility only to be part of Lunch Box Worlds was a piece of luck. And, it is part of what made 47 Degrees different. The thing we learned, and the laughs we share, it's something we still are in us, and in the way, we do the things.

About that group of folks who formed this project. Some colleagues are still part of 47 Degrees, and others started their own path without us. Still friends, still in contact, and still part of us.

Thanks to Ana, Isra, Ignacio, Javi Pacheco, Derek, Javi Jaen, and Raúl Vazquez. And of course, to my partners Raúl, Justin and Nick.

So, was this project a failure? I’d say that no. We learned how you shouldn’t do a videogame, and we had fun — a lot.

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