Ragu is a game me and a couple of friends created for the Microsoft Dream Build Play competition 2007. It's a local multiplayer versus game where each player controls a bee, and the goal is to get your team's flower to grow by watering it.

It turned out quite well, and the game reached the finals (top 20) which makes it the most successful of the various hobby games I've worked on!


Get ragu.zip


Like many game development backstories the process was a last minute pivot of a failed idea. We had many ambitious and cool ideas in the start. Now most of it is lost in time, but what I can recall the most promising idea was one were you controlled a couple of different animals with different abilities each sort of like the old classic Lost Vikings, but with abilities related to the animals like a strong elephant, rabbit that can jump etc., and a world built on 2d physics.

However, as development time was almost running out it became clear that all we got was a half-working editor and not much more, so in the last minute we scrapped everything and hacked together what became Ragu reusing much of the existing code and graphics. The code repo still has a lot of leftovers from the earlier attempts, no time to clean up!

The last minute pivot can also explain some design choices, such as the title screen font or the out-of-place scorecard. There were simply no time to make hand drawn versions of those the last evening before submitting the game! Luckily the game turned out OK anyway!

Srekel posted an announcement (in Swedish) on the Sweclockers forum, here.

Screenshots & gameplay

In Ragu your mission is to push the rain cloud over your own plant, to make it grow into a flower. All the elements on screen are physics objects, and possible to push by the players (the bees).

Pink vs yellow bee. It looks like pink has the advantage as shown by the flower in the bottom left (compared to the barely seen green sprout in bottom right).
Closeup of a 3 player game. All graphics hand drawn in a quite unique style!
Closeup of a 3 player game. All graphics hand drawn in a quite unique style!
If the title screens subtly hints at a more ambitious game the editor leaves no doubt. Quite advanced with many features, not only for the actual game but also much more!

Victor 2023-05-23