GGJ 2014

Game Logo


Update

We kept developing the game and released it on iOS and Android, here’s the trailer!


Chummy Fishes
The game Chummy Fishes is a simple, rhythm based, Kinect game where you collect chum for greater glory.

Pre-production
Despite being a 48 hour game-jam game, pre-production is no less important than for a 3 year game project. We quickly decided upon a game and a theme and divided the work using a shared google-spread-sheet.

My main job was developing an art style, I was also to create most assets for the game, with a few things having to be delegated for fear of running out of time.

Starting Up
I started out by creating some place holders for the coders to work with, it wasn’t pretty, but it got the job done.

First Screen

Art Direction
All thanks to the less than one hour long pre-production I knew if roughly how many assets I needed to produce before the 48 hour deadline was over.

First of all I needed to create an asset which I could use as reference for not only style, but also level of polish etc. I decided to create a character following the only lead word so far, “fish”.

Fisch State

At first I had thought to use bones to animate the fishes, a simple technique I’ve used in a few pre-unity-days projects.

Fisch01

 

It’s quick and dirty but works well, however, game jams are a time of fun and learning and the as of yet untested 2D toolkit on offer from Unity seemed like an interesting new route, what’s the worst that could happen?

Unity Fish Sprite

In the above image all of the technical aspects are showcased, the system is as simple as it is brilliant.

  • Export a .TGA with an alpha channel.
  • Change its import settings to Sprite and Sprite Mode to Multiple.
  • Apply and open the Sprite Editor, create your sprites and make sure you set up the correct pivots, there’s an awesome Custom setting which allows you to hand type or drag a small ring to set a sprites pivot.
  • Drag the main sprite into the Hierarchy then drag the rest of the sprites onto the first sprite, one at a time.
  • Optional : Drag all or some to create an animated sequence.
  • Optional : First create an empty game object to put the first sprite into, to avoid having one sprite be parent to the rest.
  • Now all you have to do is open the “Window/Animation” click “Add Curve“, save the animation clip and get to animating using either the auto-key (top right) or set-key functions. Now a days there’s an “Add Event” option as well! It’s really amazing for timing attacks or effects and the like.

Here’s a small Unity player showing off the end result for the red enemy Spagett.
Requires that you have the unity web player installed : http://unity3d.com/webplayer

Particle Effects
Creating the particles for the game was something I was initially a bit worried about as I wanted a lot of different gibs to spawn but I didn’t want to create a hundred different particle systems.

Instead of doing a load of repetitive work I wrote a simple script which held all materials in an array, upon enemy death, 3 to 5 of these were selected at random and then initialized.

Other systems written by one of the coders then allowed for automatic selection between water splashes, blood and guts depending upon fish species and state i.e. birth, death or escape.

 

Post-mortem
I’ve worked with most of the people on the team on other larger projects, as well as on other game jams, because of this we could easily finish the project in time without sacrificing the amount of sleep we have in earlier jams.

This year was incredibly fun even through this was the first time we did a distance jam, I’ve learned a lot about how much faster and easier it is to work with 2D assets than 3D assets when working with simple and small projects.

As a team we instantly decided to recreate the project working in a new project using Unity’s new 2D work-space. Our aim is to have it finished within a few weeks to a month.

I hope you enjoyed the read, hit me up at Jona.Marklund+GGJ2014 @ gmail.com if you have any questions.

Final Gameplay Video

Fishing for help section

We’re trying to get the required number of likes to get to the Facebook dev tool-set so it’d help us out immensely if you’d like the page and even more if you’d share it!

https://www.facebook.com/chummyfishes

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