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Team Mud Pit's Week of Awesome III

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Day 7 - Final journal entry

Right, so there wasn't a Day 6 part 2 -- when I was finished for the day I was just too tired to spend time writing a new journal entry.
After some nice and very needed sleep, the final day was upon us.

Today was pretty good. Managed to get all the things done I wanted (new animations, add new level with new mechanic, add sounds, fix a lot of bugs, do some polish, etc.), and still have time to test it a few times and make minor tweaks here and there.

We're really happy with our result in this week's competition. It's the first game jam-esque thing I've ever done, and it's the first time I'm using Unity for something.
I think our concept is very good, the art is amazing and it plays fairly well. Given more time, I'd probably want to expand in a couple of different ways, and spend more time on framework and such, but there wasn't really any huge mistakes done that spring to mind.

Looking forward to some relaxation now, before the judges' scores in some weeks time.

Download link:

Good luck to all contestants!




Day 6 - Part 1

There might be a part 2 to this later on, not sure how late I'll stay up working on it (it's already 2:30 AM).

So today was fairly good. Managed to clean up a lot of code and issues I had, while allowing new levels to be set up more quickly. As a result, there's now 2.5ish levels in the game. The final level is wanting some new features which I really want to get in. Time is starting to become the main hurdle right now.

Apart from the new mechanic, I still have quite a few issues to sort out:
- Animations need adding and fixing.
- Indications for the swapping mechanic, to show what you can and can't swap.
- Possibly some introduction with a very brief settings/lore piece.
- Some sort of level completion screen.
- Some sort of game completion screen.
- There's currently no sounds in the game (only music).
- Various other polish issues.

All in all, I think it's looking fairly good, especially the limited time taken into consideration (and the fact that it's the first time I'm using Unity).

For now, here are some screenshots. There might be a build later on tonight, if I can get things into a working state before I go to bed.

Thanks for reading :)




Day 5

Making levels for this thing is difficult.

Added some music to the game.
Made the level pieces swappable based on input, instead of being hard coded.
Started adding new animations and fixed a bunch of minor bugs.
Started work on criteria for swapping level areas and for level completion.

Spent hours and hours on designing levels, with nothing really working out. It's past 5AM now, and I'm feeling quite tired.

Hoping some sleep will help with the level designy bits. No new build, was hoping to have at least another rough level before uploading something.




Day 4 - First playable

So today most level art got an upgrade. I also added ladders and made you able to climb them, and adjusted some camera settings.
I still need to constrain the camera to not display things outside of the level, but that'll be looked at during the weekend -- along with loads of other issues and content adding.

I've uploaded a FIRST PLAYABLE version. It's still in quite a rough shape -- no sounds, music, etc. The level swapping mechanic still needs work -- it's still just hard coded which pieces are swapped.

If someone feels like testing it to ensure it starts/runs without any major issues, I'd appreciate it

Left/Right arrows to move.
Up/Down arrows for ladders.
Space to jump.
F to activate the swapping board (and F again to swap -- currently hard coded which pieces swap).

Download link:

Tomorrow will likely be focused on the level swapping, adding more animations (interact, scythe swipe, etc), and maybe some more stuff to interact with in the level.




Day 3

I got the first placeholder animation today, which I added. Currently I'm using the same one for both movement and idle, and it's very likely to see some upgrades in the future as we polish the game before submission.
I also worked more on the level swapping mechanics mentioned yesterday, adding some effects to it and actually testing it for the first time.
Just as I was going to post this, I had an idea on how to improve the visuals for it, looks decent enough for now
I wouldn't be surprised if I go back and polish it more later, though.

I also got placeholder graphics for first level up and running, as well as laying out collision, and getting Death walking and jumping around somewhat decently.
Further improvements include adding ladders and high-tech climbing skills to Death's repertoire.

I also need to add more to the level swapping mechanic -- being able to select which pieces to swap (currently just hard coded for testing purposes).

I recorded a clip (using my phone, later videos will be in higher quality) which shows both the new placeholder graphics and the level swapping mechanic.




Day 2

We discussed some more mechanics and tried to do some scoping. Will probably have to reduce scope slightly later on, but we'll burn that bridge when we get to it.
We're hoping to end up with roughly 3 areas/levels, and some simplistic platforming abilities, for which we outlined the animation requirements.

The major mechanic in our game is going to be the ability to (at certain points) re-arrange the level as if it were some kind of jigsaw puzzle*, which I implemented a bare bones (bones, get it?) version of today.
I also worked on the camera system some more -- I did a bit after last night's journal entry, but it needed some more effort put into it.

In terms of story, we're thinking Death wants to feel more useful in normal life when he's not on duty. Death's not just a bad and cruel villain, but also a kind and caring Death, who likes flowers.
Death is also quite cute, as we can see from the artist's rendition below :)

Tomorrow will be getting some initial graphics in (hopefully!), as well as working on the platforming mechanics/movement/"physics".
Depending on how well things go, there might be a screenshot or short in-game video.

*Normal rules don't apply to Death; Death comes and goes without having to consider normal spatial relationships and dimensions.




Day 1

I was fairly confident before the competition that if anything were to be made, it would most likely be a 2D platformer, or puzzle-based somehow.
Upon seeing the theme Death is Useful, there were a few ways of thinking about it that immediately sprang to mind.

- The death of others is a positive thing for you. Maybe you drain their energy somehow, or gain abilities.
- The death of self is a positive thing -- somewhat based on Planescape: Torment's the Unnamed One, who can only solve some puzzles by dying (being effectively immortal can be a boon at times).
While those ideas sounded interesting, I didn't quite see to translate them into something sensible within the time frame.

After a while, another thought struck me -- most likely quite influenced by Discworld and how Death is portrayed there.

What if player controlled Death? Not while he's "on duty", but when he's on his time off, wanting to do something productive and useful?
For quite a while I've had an idea in the back of my head for a puzzle game which I think might be quite interesting, and which would fit with how Death can get to places no other mortal can.
There is also some potential for Death's usual accesories (notably, the scythe), if I can find the time to implement it.

Besides thinking about some design bits, I also started on some initial work with the actual game itself.
Since I'm still coming to grips with how Unity3D works, I started with something small and isolated -- the splash screen.

It now fades it, displays with some highlight on team Mud Pit, and fades off, before entering the "game" proper.
I also toyed a bit with a camera for a side-scroller, and I'm thinking it might work quite well (but that might obviously change when I have something to test it on!).

More thoughts and planning on the design, as well as trying to implement some basic movement and interactions.
On the art side the artist is currently a bit sick, so not sure how that will impact things. Would be cool to have a sketch or something to show, but it might be too early.




Preparing for WoA III

So, Week of Awesome iII is starting soon. I didn't have a chance to compete last year, but I'm giving it a go this time.

I'll be working together with a colleague/artist, and we're hoping we'll find the time to submit something cool :)

In terms of preparing, I've downloaded and installed Unity, and I'm currently trying to get my head around how it works.
I might also try to locate some websites with free music/sounds and bookmark them, in order to save some time later on.

Best of luck to all participants :)



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