BGMC11 | Gene Machine

Okay I didn’t think I would have time for this but I’ve managed to get something going…

Name: Gene Machine (Working title)
Style: Top down 2.5D free swimming
Setting: Inside the human uterus.

I took a different look on the concept of “nature” for this and asked what is more natural than reproduction?

Gene Machine sees the player guiding a single sperm cell via LEFT and RIGHT arrows to control swimming and forward momentum in order to seek out and fertilize the ova. The play area will have other sperm (if I can work out some AI) who are racing against the player, enzymes that will attack, as well as damage from the boundary and just existing in the environment. (It is a race against your health meter and conserving energy for swimming / drill-attacking)

The ova will be randomly spawned from either side of the fallopian tubes without the player knowing which way to go and will slowly drift down into the uterus. Also I am thinking of having a randomly spawned IUD that will occasionally wipe out all the sperm immediately at the start of the game. (YOU ALL LOSE! TRY AGAIN! Haha)

Here is my design doc:

And here is a link to my first test video:

Status update:

I’ve incorporated a bunch of the features I have listed but some things are going to get cut because of time constraints. (And I am not sure I will be able to really work on sound at all but oh well.)

What I have:
- Player controlled character as outlined in the mind map.
- Start up splash screen and interactive transition to game play.
- Basic health and energy system as described. (Walls do damage and swimming takes energy.)
- Waypoint following floating egg to be fertilized. (Floats from point to point and stops out in the play field at the fifth waypoint.)
- UI health and energy bars that react correctly using shape key animations controlled by python scripts.

What is needed:
- Random left / right choice for the starting position of the egg. (Easy.)
- Placement of enzyme launchers and basic seeking AI for the enzymes. (Will explode on contact with the player.)
- Auto seeking and magnetic-like attraction to the egg when the player is within X distance of it. (This will engage the drill mode to attack it and get in for victory.)
- Game Over message and associated logic to exit / restart.
- Victory message and associated logic to exit / restart.
- End screen splash thanking the player.
- Environmental toxicity. (Health depletes over time… very easy.)
- Balance of energy consumption vs. restoration. (Balance is SO important!)

What is being cut?
- Other “friendly” and “berserker” sperm. I don’t have time to make a system to spawn them all and to do AI.
- Most likely sounds except maybe a basic swimming “swish” sound. (I did plan for a watery sound coupled with an internal recording of a heart beat that starts off up in the 120bpm range and then slows to 60bpm at the start of the game and then remains constant… We shall see.)


Link to video on Dropbox:


I’ve gotten interesting feedback from those around me. Some are amused and others are disgusted, so I know the content may not be for everybody. However, I really want to see games as something more than just re-framing killing over and over in 1,000 slightly different settings. (And yes, the player can die in the game but they can’t attack anything per-se so I don’t think of this as breaking with my interest in not haven killing - even if I did implement the berserker sperm that would have to be fought off it isn’t humans slaughtering humans or very human looking aliens on a battlefield.) I could see games like this explore facets of biology in an engaging manner while remaining very much in the “game” side of interactive program. Nature is not necessarily biology, but biology is certainly nature.

I also know that graphically it is nothing spectacular to look at. I am not a fantastic model maker or texture artist yet and I probably never will be. This is what gets slapped together with a week worth of time and doing EVERYTHING from scratch for THIS project.

Feedback appreciated and thanks for looking.

This is a cool idea DownshiftDX, perhaps it’s a bit late, but it might be worth taking a look at Microbot on Xbox360 - which might have a similar style and feel to what you’re after. Looking forward to trying Gene machine, blender’s perfect for 2.5D navigation games. Especially thanks to that slow-parent camera feature

Thanks Chucker. I’ll take a look at that video a little later.

I’ve tried a couple different methods for moving the camera around with the player (The camera actuator, having the camera track to the player and follow a an empty that is parented to the player by using the steering actuator, and just positioning it and using slow parent.) and each has short comings. It isn’t worth wasting a lot of time on for a week long project but I want to investigate making a really solid third person camera system for my long term projects when this little challenge is over.

I hear you on the investigating and experimenting more once this challenge is over! :yes: Good luck :slight_smile:


I’ve had a chance to put a few more hours in and get some things done. Here’s the updated lists…


  • Egg and waypoints are able to be flipped to the other side of the uterus randomly using the random actuator and some messaging. You never know which side to head to. (Though it seems to favor one over the other even though it should be 50/50)
  • Enzymes (which look like little cheese wheels or pac-man type yellow things) spawn semi-randomly all over the place and when they detect the player they home in for a hit.
  • Added some extra boundary hit detection zones to keep things in the play field.
  • Environmental damage is in. The area is slightly toxic and the player loses 0.2% per frame right now. It isn’t too strong because the enzymes ravage the player as things are.
  • Implemented the basic sperm-egg docking. It screws up a lot and the egg goes drifting while the camera clips into the level walls but it is there.
  • Improved the camera a bit though I think the new view can be more disorienting.
  • Improved the turn speed, forward momentum, and energy use balance.
  • Squashed various bugs.


  • SOUND!!! (It is almost certainly being cut now… I just don’t have time with OT at work and fighting a cold.)
  • Enzymes need spawning and death animations.
  • Game over message and correct logic. (Sunday)
  • Victory message and correct logic. (Sunday)
  • Finishing splash screen thanking the player. (Probably will be incorporated into Game Over / Victory screen.)
  • I’d like to add an idle anim for the player as well as improve the swimming motions but this is not a top priority.

New Video:


All I really had the time and energy to finish was making the player be able to win and lose correctly and having the game restart itself. Being the first time I have tried to really experiment with starting, suspending, and restarting scenes it took some fiddling with the logic to get to work at all but I have learned a lot along the way. (Hell it was the first time I tried to make a fully functional ANYTHING in the BGE!)

There are plenty of bugs of course and it could use a completely redesigned camera system but I am submitting as it is. I didn’t use a lot of python just because I didn’t really need it for the scope of this project so following the logic may be a bit tricky. (My other tools and projects use fairly well structured system of several helper python files but I am still implementing features, fixing bugs, and generally trying to make it less of a beast to handle so it wasn’t really ready to use as the basis here.)

Get it here:

I tested your game and recorded a short video:

The game is uploaded to our host and you can download it here:
We will use the same link on our website and in the Youtube video so you can track your stats here: