A downloadable game for Windows

A simple board game, wrapped up in an explosive shoot-em-up.

Early Bird


  • WASD to move
  • Point with mouse and Left-click to shoot
  • P or Escape to pause the game
  • Tutorial recommended for first time players

About the Game


Early Bird is a simple board game, wrapped up in an explosive shoot-em-up. You must navigate a randomly generated dungeon, wiping out everything that gets in your way, and then roll the dice for a way out.

Detailed Description

Early Bird is a shoot-em-up about a bird with a fondness for trophies and a fear of giant worms (or are they snakes?).


  • A playable tutorial designed to introduce players to the board game concept.
  • 2 randomly generated dungeons, each with their own theme, music, and unique blend of monsters.
  • A main game that currently offers around 10-30 minutes of increasingly challenging play.
  • Your high score is saved across sessions!
  • Lovingly illustrated with silly cartoons of a bird running from worms on almost every screen.
  • A four-track soundtrack (2m40s) created specially for the game during off days.

Board Game

The Board Game is at the heart of Early Bird, your primary goal is to roll dice to beat the board game while running around fighting and survivng. Each time you clear a room, a Dice Machine spawns and continuously cycles through the numbers 1-6, shooting the Dice Machine will trigger a 'roll' and you will advance along the board by whatever number you shot at.

Each tile on the board contains some form of consequence or reward for your choice, these range from free money to an army of snakes, so simply rolling a 6 in every room isn't going to be enough to stay out of trouble.

The following tiles are currently implemented:

  • Target Practice: (Tutorial Only) spawns a Target Dummy
  • Jackpot: Summons a fountain of gold coins
  • Snake Pit: Summons 5 snakes
  • Health Up: Instantly gain a heart
  • Ouch!: Instantly take 1 damage
  • Reroll: Respawns the Dice Machine allowing you to roll again for free!
  • Bouncing Bullets: Gives your projectiles the ability to bounce off of walls, allowing for greater safety and insane trickshots!
  • Snack Time: Summons 3 cookies

The following enemies are currently implemented:

  • Blob: Slowly bounds towards you, dies in 1 hit
  • Bat: Flies toward you at a constant pace, dies in 1 hit
  • Giant Worm: Fast and sporadic, wriggles and writhes its way towards you, sometimes dies in 1 hit, sometimes splits into 2 worms
  • Ice Cream: Tough creature, fires ice cream pellets in rapid succession, dies in 3 hits.
  • Cookie: Very fast and accurate, pursues you effortlessly, dies in 3 hits.

The following areas are currently implemented:

  • Forest: A green wooded area, home to Giant Worms, Bats and Blobs.
  • Caketown: Deceptively friendly looking area, home to Ice Cream, Cookies, Giant Worms and Blobs.

Planned future areas:

  • Volcanic Land: This area would have included lava-based hazards, deadly weather effects, and even more precarious board game forfeits.
  • Castle: Originally planned to be the end game, though it's unlikely I'll have time to add it at this point. The castle would include unkillable enemy obstacles that get in the way, when combined with the room generation this would become an obstacle course, while still introducing even tougher enemies.

About the Competition

This game was created as part of the second round of the Search for a Star 2017 competition - a student games programming competition modeled after a typical industry application process. We were given just under a month to take a skeleton project and build it up to something wonderful.

Changes from the Skeleton Project:

  • The player's controls were changed considerably to be more instantaneous, I also gave the player a weapon to fire with.
  • There were initially two objects that the player could interact with, these objects would attract or repel themselves from the player, I decided to remove these.
  • There was also a screenwrapping mechanic which was removed.

Extensions from the Skeleton Project:

  • The project came with a scene loading mechanism which was kept in, though I didn't end up adding any extra scenes.
  • The project also came with a screen manager for segregating the different UI screens, this was utilised to add options and extend the interface on existing screens.

Most other things are additions to the project.


During some off-periods in development I turned to music production and ended up with a short but sweet original soundtrack for the game, here is the YouTube playlist:


EarlyBird.zip 15 MB

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