Since I’ve been on a gamejam kick lately, I decided to try my hand at a Ludum Dare comp this weekend. I got so swept up into it I forgot to post that I was starting it. Well anyways, I gave it a go and actually finished it! Unlike my 7DFPS, I finished this one front to back. There’s a win condition, points, and nice sound effects. Unfortunately no soundtrack this time, as I didn’t end up having time to make one that fit with the game.
Overall it was a great experience to go through. I took it at a much slower pace this time. Mostly that means I didn’t immediately start programming the second the jam started. I tried to write down a couple ideas and chose the one that spoke to me the strongest. The theme for the compo was ’10 seconds’ so I initially came up with a couple stale ideas that would come along with that theme, but I rejected them in favor of something a little more ‘out of the box’ like. That being said, I’m sure those same ideas I cast aside could have made much better games than what I ended up accomplishing, I happen to be a fan of experimental and fringy games, so I try to go there as often as possible. A burger sim is nowhere near any of that, but I had initial intentions of it being so.
When I first sat down in Unity and started to bust out two pieces of panic hit me: I had to use Blender instead of Maya for 3D modeling and I had never used Blender previous to this, and I had no battle plan for how to implement my main mechanic. The Blender problem was half solved by an option to change the camera and selection controls to Maya-like, but that didn’t help too much as there was just too many actions I had to know how to do that I couldn’t quite figure out on the fly. I did, however, end up getting two models out of the process, so it wasn’t all bad. I plan on going back and properly learning Blender when I have a chance. Regarding the mechanic, that was a bit of a challenge.
The mechanic required that I was able to pick up a hamburger patty and flip it. The problem came when I had the spatula control implemented. Because I used a kinematic object and position changing, the friction wouldn’t hold the patty to the spatula, (at least that’s my best guess), so I had to think of an alternate way. The best solution I came up with was putting a small small sticky portion onto spatula that would create a weak fixed joint to the hamburger patty so that it would follow the spatula and naturally flip when it had to. For the most part, it worked as intended. I ended up having to add a cooldown to the sticky portion because it would constantly double stick and prevent the patty from leaving. If you play the demo, you may notice that even it it’s final implementation, it isn’t perfect and can be a bit spotty, but for a 48 hour demo, I’m proud of it.
The rest of the game just fell into place after that. Instead of trying to complete the theme and make an entire hamburger, I just went for a quick and dirty up the ante approach. I did want it be a bit more grandiose, and some last minute code got thrown out that would have helped it a bit. I was sad to find myself out of time to create a soundtrack for the experience as well. I know how important music can be to an overall experience, so next jam I will make sure to allocate some time to one.
One neat thing that I tried this time was time lapsing my entire process using a piece of free software known as Chronolapse. A link to the actual game page can be found by clicking the picture above or right here, and the lapse is posted below.
PS: I’m starting some interesting work on a side project, so you guys might get to see some awesome details down the line.