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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Carhuavilca

Draggy's Dominion

Updated: Feb 24

Engine Used: Unity

What I learned:

"Draggy's Dominion" will always be one of my favorite projects. This was my final project for my last year of graduate school. I invested lots of hours and a piece of myself into this final project, and it does not disappoint!

"Draggy's Dominion" drew a lot of inspiration from "Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest," where DK somehow gets captured by King K.Rool, and Diddy has to save him. It also drew inspiration from the "Paper Mario" games, which had a light-hearted and charming sense of humor.

"Draggy's Dominion" follows the story of Draggy the dragon on his quest to rescue his best friend and roommate, Pip the squirrel, who has been kidnapped! The player controls Draggy through three levels until they find Pip and confront the final boss, the Yeti, to save him.

I learned how to create cutscenes, develop boss AI, design a staff roll credit scene, and make music loop and play continuously across multiple levels. All of it was worth it! It was a lot of fun, and honestly, I hardly encountered any bugs while making this project (unlike the multiplayer game).

I do recall that the music looping posed the biggest struggle I encountered. Music in games is actually quite complex, and there are dedicated professionals for implementing sounds and music. Fortunately, I managed to figure out how to make it work for my game. Moreover, this was the first game to feature original music, and I believe it fits the game perfectly!

I am still extremely proud of everything in the project! While there are some bugs and areas that need polishing, at its core, it captures much of what I envisioned and reflects who I am as a designer and gamer.

World 1

World 2

World 3

Above is a video clip of the boss fight cutscenes! I love how silly and goofy the Yeti is! Creating this cutscene was a lot of fun! I had zero prior experience with cutscenes in Unity before this project, and I was impressed by how user-friendly it was.

What I would do differently:

I would love to give "Draggy's Dominion" a makeover. I would add more levels, refine the existing ones, and simply expand its content.

First and foremost, the player character controller needs improvement. Jumping feels too floaty, and Draggy sometimes gets stuck in the jump animation even when he touches the ground. I'm not sure if the ground check bool isn't working or if it's the jump code, but that needs fixing. Traversal should feel natural and could use some refinement.

Secondly, the enemies and boss need much better AI. I handled all of this myself, and I'm not a programmer. The logic is very basic: target the player. While it gets the job done, the simplicity becomes repetitive. Introducing various enemies with different behaviors would keep players engaged by requiring them to adapt their strategies (e.g., Goombas vs. Hammer Bros in SMB3).

Additionally, all levels currently progress from left to right, which isn't bad, but I would like to explore 2D levels that involve vertical traversal. "DKC3" executed this well (World 2 drew inspiration from that game).

However, I am quite pleased when reflecting on this project. One of the nice aspects of revisiting past projects is seeing how much progress you've made. It's heartwarming to see where you once were and to have a moment to be proud of what you've accomplished, what you're currently doing, and where you're headed next.

I love games and have always cherished the memories and experiences they leave us with.

Fun Facts: 

  1. "Draggy's Dominion" was dedicated to my grandparents! They were always my biggest fans and consistently got me the games I wanted. My grandma passed away during my graduate program, and then the pandemic happened, but I knew she would have wanted me to excel, so I did. My grandpa is still alive and well at 92 and in amazing health, while I throw out my back weekly just from sneezing too hard. Love you, Grandma <3

  2. Draggy is a vegetarian, so no, he would not, nor would he want to, eat his friend Pip the squirrel. (Why do you guys keep asking!?) And yes, he gets plenty of protein and is doing just fine.

  3. This was my first game EVER to feature its own original music! For you music lovers, I've attached the score :)

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