On the 21st of September, we participated in the Estonian software conference Digit 2023. The conference took place in the Estonian National Museum and brought together software development companies from all around Estonia. Our lab was present in the University of Tartu Institute of Computer Science booth, where we showed the game Blastronaut.
The video game Blastronaut is designed by our video game development and design educator, Jaanus Jaggo. The development has taken several years, and the game was released on Steam in early access in July of 2022. After the release, there have been four major updates: Darkness, Companion, Aqueous, and Swarm. Each update has added new game mechanics to and greatly improved the design of Blastronaut.
At Digit, we showed Blastronaut’s multiplayer game mode. Four players controlled their little Blastronaut characters in a shared game world. They could help each other mine minerals to improve their gear together or, instead, be greedy and hinder the other players by shooting them and keeping all the minerals to themselves. Of course, sharing the same physical space at Digit led to fun experiences where the players could talk to each other right away, making plans or expressing themselves.
Blastronaut has also been a learning project for many of our students, who have used it to write their theses. For example, Markus Sulg designed and implemented a base construction system. Arlo Tammekun developed the water simulation, and Erik Tarelkin worked on the enemy movement logic. There have been many other thesis works that have experimented with different parts of Blastronaut. At Digit, the game was shown by developers Markus Sulg and Viljam Ilves.
Blastronaut is currently available on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1392650/BLASTRONAUT/
It is in early access, and if you want to get involved, join the official Discord server: https://discord.gg/zvVNRs5cFg