Bag It!

Bag It Promo Art

Bag It! is a grocery-bagging puzzle game that’ll put your organizational skills to the test. Bagging groceries may seem simple, but there are many factors at play - avoid crushing fragile items, group related groceries for score bonuses, complete unique challenges, and manage the personalities of an array of grocery characters. Become the ultimate grocery bagger through six modes of play and 100+ levels!

Bag It! is available on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and Amazon Appstore.

Apple App Store Google Play Store Amazon App Store

Development

Gameplay Screenshot

Bag It! was the first commercial game I worked on. Though I was originally hired at Hidden Variable as an intern while interviewing full time candidates, I acted as the de facto lead programmer on this project, architecting and programming the majority of the game myself. By the time we hired a second programmer, the game was about to ship!

The game was built in Unity, and development took place from about February to November of 2011. We then continued to support the game with updates through 2012. I worked with one designer and one artist to implement the game from start to finish.

We iterated on several initial prototypes of the game. Originally, the game had customers buying plain ol’ boring groceries. However, our artist added facial features to one of the groceries on a whim and the rest of the game’s direction sort of fell into place!

I was responsible for all of the gameplay logic, which included intelligent placement of groceries in the bag as you dragged them around, a weight distribution system (don’t put too much weight on top of the eggs!), a way to detect when certain “grocery groups” were present (to grant bonus points), and a modular system for defining gameplay goals and end conditions, which allowed designers to build a variety of levels.

I also implemented a lot of the game’s menus and meta structure, including a game state system, UI elements, progression and level unlock logic, and achievements.

Outside the game itself, I was responsible for getting Hidden Variable’s build and deployment infrastructure up and running. I developed a build system that allows us to build 10+ separate SKUs across iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS from a single codebase. We experimented with many mobile game paradigms during this time (premium, iPad-only “HD” SKUs, free trial versions, full “free-to-play” versions, etc), and the build system allowed us to support all of them.

Finally, I integrated several third-party SDKs to augment the game:

  • GameCenter Achievements and Leaderboards
  • Facebook Login and Leaderboards
  • StoreKit (Apple In-App Purchasing)
  • Google In-App Billing
  • Flurry Analytics
  • Game Analytics
  • Chartboost

All in all, Bag It! was a great initial exposure and “trial by fire” experience in commercial game development. Not only did I gain experience in gameplay programming and Unity development, I also learned a lot about various business models in practice, build systems, and integration of native plugin code into Unity.

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