Weekly Update #7 - Potato Game Jam Entry
Hello fellow gamers and devs! The Probe sale has come to an end but I do have something new to share. I teamed up with my friends, Jason Varnell and David Rosler, to participate in a 24 day game jam under our partner company, Apostate Games. We decided to make it our first jam entry done using Unity 3D. I've had a little experience working with Unity prior. I've made games for my friends as gifts on a few occasions with Unity. However, a lot had changed in Unity since I last used it so was great chance to learn the new tools and brush up on my skills (love Unity collab by the way). Needless to say we didn't get as much done as we had hoped (as is with any game jam)....
...But BEHOLD our entry: Trash Panda
Play it FREE on itch: https://apostategames.itch.io/trash-panda
A 3D platformer puzzle adventure. Collect all the things! Clean up the trash in the streets, save your babies, and most importantly obtain all the precious golden potatoes. Use your tail to interact with the environment to solve puzzles and knock the trash out of trash cans. Talk to NPCs for tips on where to find the potatoes.
We wanted to add enemies but ran out of time before the submission deadline. Funny enough, we were the only entry ...so technically we won by default? Could have just made an EXE that said Potato on repeat with a picture of potato and won. But that wasn't the point of entering. It is always more important to do a jam in order to test your skills, both as a team and individuals, and, personally, I am very happy with the results.
The main character model Jason Varnell made came out great as did the other 3D assets he made. A majority of the ones used were Unity assets or from other public domain sources as were the sounds and music however (full disclosure). I did the animations, environment design using assets and did all the programming from scratch. David Rosler came up with the concept and wrote all the dialogue for the game and was a huge help in testing everything.
Of course there were some issues like getting the cameras to act right using Unity's Cinemachine (was my first time using but may rather code my own in the future). Also I have never made a character controller script so the simulated gravity came out a bit weird. There is also one bug I could not for the life of my figure out where the trash that drops from cans sometimes counts as 2 trash on pickup. I think this is do to the fact that I had a capsule collider and a character controller attached with the same script and when the trash spawns I made it wait a second before it was collectible so you know there is now trash there to pick up. So if you stood right inside of the trash when it becomes collectible it collides with both the capsule and character controller. I may play around more with this later and even add enemies when I have some free time just to help hone my skills a bit more.
As well as this game jam entry I wanted to touch on a couple things concerning Probe. With the final major update released, I do still plan on adding a few new quality improvement options to the game for a minor update soon as well as create a demo for new prospective players to try it and see if it's something they would enjoy. First I want to add in a full-screen, full-screen windowed and windowed option for more ease of use, especially for users with multiple monitors. Another thing I want to do is enhance the flow of gameplay by mapping the menu buttons to keys for when you beat/lose a level and make it navigable via keyboard/controller. I also am going to try to make it to where the music doesn't start a new song on retrying a level. Unfortunately that was a byproduct of the engine I use but I think I have a work around (hopefully). After that I will do a post mortem at some point on the game and maybe, if I can get enough done to show by then, announce my next upcoming title as well.
Anyway, let us know what you think of Trash Panda in the comments on here or the itch page! How do you think we would have held up in a more populated jam? Would you like to see it as full polished and more original product? Every bit of feedback helps. The only bad feedback is no feedback.
Going to take a break for a few days after that jam. Need a little breather and I also am back at my day/night job so trying to get used to that again (for the second time). But I will be back next week with more updates and/or content.
Nate Bit Games