Game Jam Posts
This game was originally made for My First Game Jam: Winter 2018. I posted dev logs to the forums there, so this first post will just be a compilation of those posts.
Log 1 (1/7/2018)
Hello everyone. I am a software engineer and gamer. I've never participated in a game jam before. I've played around with game development in the past, but very few of my projects get very far. I kinda want to change that.
Since I don't have a ton of experience making games, I am going to keep it to a simple puzzle platforming game. I am not artistically talented AT ALL, but I do find myself doodling quite often. The doodles aren't great, but they litter the pages of my notebooks. I thought I would use this to my advantage.
The idea is to draw out levels and characters on a piece of paper and then scan them in with my printer. So the game will have a very rough, doodle-y aesthetic. I am not really going to put much effort into incorporating the "memories" theme, but perhaps the game will invoke memories of your kindergarten drawings that your parents put on the refrigerator (because that's the pinnacle of artistic achievement, AMIRITE?).
Sample player "sprite"
For now, I think I will just jot down the notes I took in my initial brainstorming session.
- Binder Paper
- Post-it Notes
- Printed papers (newspapers, pamphlets)
The player will be drawn on a little slip of paper that sits over the level. Maybe the player can become different mediums that would grant abilities to help solve puzzles?
- Pen (Potential ability: immune to erasers)
- Marker (The lines of a marker are thicker, so maybe the potential ability could be heaviness?)
- Metallic Ink (Potential ability: can connect electrical circuits draw on the level to solve puzzles)
- Laminated (Potential ability: waterproof)
- Blow dryer (maybe these are dangerous, but can be used to move things?)
- Whiteout (both liquid and strips. Maybe these can also be useful in erasing walls drawn in ink?)
- Drawn on hazards, like spikes, monsters, etc.
- Paperclips (maybe these can keep you still when you turn on a blow dryer to move obstacles?)
- Stickers (because why not?)
- I could write things directly on the paper for tutorials or sarcastic remarks when you die
- Maybe when the player falls, you can fall either regularly straight down like a rock or you could press a button to sway from side to side like a piece of paper would. This could present some interesting platforming challenges.
Story: The idea for this game started as just a platforming game with hand-drawn and scanned art assets. Any story that I come up will sort of be after the fact and I am not going to stress about having anything super compelling.
Log 2 (1/8/2018)
I have made some decent progress with the base structure of the game over the weekend. I will let some GIFs do the talking first and then go into some details about what all I have done and what I plan to do next.
So the basic platforming mechanic is built out pretty nicely. The player can move around and jump. If you hit the spikes, you die. If you hit the flag, you progress to the next level. There is one other level (below), but it has even less than the first (just there to test out progressing to the next).
I want to build out a few more levels with some different hazards. After that, I will work on a start screen (and maybe a level select screen) and a death screen. Right now you can press the spacebar to restart the level when you are dead, but there is no indication of that. The level switching/progressing works, but there are no real nice transitions so having a little animation between them at least would be nice. I will also play around with how different mediums look. I like the look of the pen and paper, but I want to see how the others that I mentioned in my first post would look.
As a side note for anyone interested, I am using the Godot Game Engine. I have a little bit of prior experience with it, but there is no particular reason for that choice otherwise.
Log 3 (1/9/2018)
Alright I have some more progress to share.
First, I added two new hazards. The first is an Xacto knife. These are currently static and are similar to spikes. I thought of having them move across the screen with their blades being dangerous, but their handles being safe. There could be some interesting platforming dynamics there where you have to use the handles as platforms.
The second hazard is a pair of scissors. These are kinda neat because they are animated. Both of the hazards are images I found online. I like the aesthetic of having the hazards be real objects as opposed to being drawn on the paper.
Next, I added some death screens. There are 7 total, and you get a random one every time. They range from sarcastic comments to bizarre and unpleasant statements. You have the option of retrying the level or quitting (which for now closes the game, but later should bring you to the start menu). The selected option is highlighted with, well, highlighter.
I also scanned in some art for the start menu and stage select screen, but have yet to implement them. That is next on the agenda! Once those are done, I really feel like I should focus more on designing levels. If I want more hazards or other functionality (like the abilities listed below), I would rather work on those as the need for them arises.
Log 4 (1/13/2018)
I wanted to do these daily, but so much for that. Good progress has been made. As mentioned in my previous log, I implemented a start menu and a stage select screen.
I did exactly what I wanted to do after as well, which was work on more levels. I now have a total of 11 completed levels. Some of them are extremely basic (especially the first few) because I wanted them to be tutorial type levels. I hate games that hold my hand, so I tried to create levels that could introduce mechanics without any explicit dialogue.
A new hazard I added is a blowdryer although it is not completely fleshed out visually (mechanics-wise it's pretty there). The to-do items with that include getting a real-life image and adding a wind animation (right now there is no indication you are being blow, but you can see the character not running as fast to the right and moving to the left while standing).
I also worked on modifying the Xacto knives to be able to move around and act as platforms. They either move back and forth, or wrap around the level.
Log 5 (1/15/2018)
Mostly fine tuning has happened recently, but I have a few things worth mentioning.
I mentioned before that my blowdryer wasn't complete visually, well I found a different image for the blow dryer itself and drew out a wind animation.
You may have also noticed the character looks a little different. That is the other major change I have made. I re-drew the player in pen and pencil (adding a jump sprite in the meantime). I then created a portal looking thing for you to switch from one to another (calling it a medium changer). To test this functionality, I also added erasers as a hazard. These only kill you if you are made of pencil, however. So you will need to turn to pen first.
And pen mode:
The level did not originally have the medium changer so it's just sort of awkwardly floating there, but it looks nicer when resting on a platform.
I am happy with my progress so far, but there is still a lot I have that I would like to do. Here is a list of items I would like to accomplish for the jam, in no particular order:
- A pause menu and level transition menu/animation
- Sound effects (music would be nice, but I am not optimistic that I can make anything myself)
- A background to go behind the piece of paper, instead of the default grey provided by the game engine
- A thanks for playing screen for the end
If I can accomplish those tasks soon, I would probably just spend my remaining time adding more levels. There are currently still 11, but they are very short so you could probably beat the game in 5-10 minutes.
If anybody has any of their own ideas or thought any of my brainstorming ideas that didn't make it into the game are worth trying to squeeze in, I would love to hear your thoughts! :)
Log 6 (1/16/2018)
Of the 4 items posted above, I have completed 3 of them. I have added:
A pause menu, a level transition menu, and a background to go behind the paper:
Also a thank-you page at the end (not pictured).
I don't know how much effort I want to put into gathering sound effects or music, as my knowledge in that domain is pretty non-existent. If I decide not to do that, a few more ideas came to mind that I can add to the game.
- Adding time goals to the levels (not necessary to progress to the next level, but maybe you get a gold star for getting under a certain time?)
- Adding a collectible to the levels (also not necessary for progression, but placed in a hard-to reach location to add extra challenge)
- Adding a boss level (I honestly have no idea how this would look, but I would like there to be a grander ending)
- Adding saving (the game will keep track of levels you have beaten and unlocked while it is on, but the data does not persist after it is closed)
I mentioned earlier that I would want to spend time adding more levels, but I am debating whether it makes more sense to do that or spend my time enhancing the levels I already have. By enhance I mean adding time goals and collectibles and so on. I guess it's a question of whether I want to have more features or more content. I feel like for the purpose of a Jam, I would rather try to produce less higher quality content as opposed to more lower quality content, but what I do I know? It's My First Game Jam, after all.
Get Doodle is Art
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