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foxesandshotguns

Udacian Florian d’Erfurth took Udacity’s HTML5 Game Development and created Foxes and Shotguns, a fantastic game that won Best Overall Game in the course contest. Today we’d like you to join us in congratulating Florian on releasing a beta version of Foxes and Shotguns!

Florian, a freelance web designer, took Web Development as his first Udacity course and was “blown away by the quality; even though I already knew how to build websites, I learned a lot.” When HTML5 Game Development was announced, it was the beginning of a new passion for game development!

Below, Florian shares the Udacity courses that helped him make Foxes and Shotguns, and gives a preview of what you can expect from Foxes and Shotguns in the near future.

Foxes and Shotguns Inspiration

I thought about a runner avoiding obstacles. However, I find those games get boring quickly. My solution was to add shooting to jumping, to have some sort of tension and yet keep simple controls that works well on touch devices too.

As for the theme, I came up with the idea of alternating easy levels with hard levels, resting with fighting. Easy became day, and hard became night, where you would be chased by demons.

You may ask why foxes, rabbits, shotguns? Well I don’t really know, but the red moon is summoned by killing 7 rabbits.

Making the Game: Applying Knowledge from Other Udacity Courses

The physics engine used in the HTML5 course doesn’t run well in mobile browsers, so I made a simple one using what I’ve learned from Differential Equations in Action. It’s a really simple engine that is only suited for this game, but without it I wouldn’t be able to target mobile browsers.

I also used app engine and database techniques I’ve learned from the Web Development course so I could handle in-game payments.

For the new version of Foxes and Shotguns, I wanted to use WebGL to illuminate the night scene with gunshots that would reveal enemies. Thanks to the Interactive 3D graphics course, I was able to understand how to program my custom shaders.

Now I’m resuming the Introduction to Artificial Intelligence class, which I paused for a few months while taking the HTML5 course and then building the game. But I can’t wait to finish that class and see how I can apply what I will have learned.

Stay Tuned for More Games!

I will make more games, although for now I’m focusing on improving Foxes and Shotguns. I’ve launched this new version as a beta so I can iterate and progressively improve it by listening to feedback and looking at statistics. So those are the early days, and a lot more improvements are on the way.

I plan to launch Foxes and Shotguns on the Chrome Web Store next month and make the game playable offline along with some performance improvements for mobile devices.