A collection of every published and completed game that I made during my time at school, coupled with a post-mortem and description of the development process. Perhaps this should be migrated to a blog somewhere.
My second year in a row participating in the Secret Santa Jam (you might notice the other one isn't here, that's because it's been hid away in my dungeon, never to see the light of day again (or more plainly it wasn't a particularly good game)), this time making a game for iamwrongdog. I ended up creating an FPS/Platformer about catalouging and scanning plants on a tropical island.
In similar fashion to A Short Coffee Break, my first priority had been to make something look real cool, which was very succesful, making an animated ocean, growing vines and scan lines, but I turned out to have flown too close to the aesthetic sun, and had grossly mismanaged my time in regards to the rest of the game.
Despite this time drop, the game ended up having 3 scanable plants each with a varying degree of parkouring skill required to get to them, along with a talking robot assistant, both of which were pretty fun.
In it's current state, the gameplay is pretty bare (as of December 2021), but I'm hoping to improve it in January of next year.
P.S. The name is a working title in case you couldn't guess
Again back to making a 2d game, but this time my approach was completly different on design. After (somewhat) struggling to complete The Soup Swindler (scratch that, struggling quite a bit), I was determined to stop overscoping and instead focus on finishing a small game. Along with this, this was my first game to focus more on narrative and aesthetic rather than on mechanics.
I had a (pretty reasonable) 10 days for the jam I was competing in, with a limitation that I could only use 8 colours from a 16 colour pallete. Although tough in theory, this limitation was actually great in convincing me to change art style from my (usual) pixel art to a more vector-esque sort of pattern, which turned out pretty great.
In similar fashion I decided there were some things that I really really wanted to try out:
Making the Tie, Legs and Eyes for the various NPCs took me around 4 of the 10 days, with the Dialogue system taking a decent portion of the rest.
The dialogue system alone was pretty tough, but after introducing the player's ability to say "yes" and "no" to the NPCs (which sadly didn't have too many branching options with permanent applications), the system was much harder to code. Despite the challenges it was very worthwhile to do.
It was also a lot of fun just to design all the different characters and give them all backstories and personalities, sadly some of which couldn't fit in (like how the reason Trent is so shaky and nervous is because he just went through a messy divorce), but it was still super fun.
I am, as always, addicted to secrets in games as well, so after creating an NPC system it was almost ineviatable that I would use it for that.
Overall the game did pretty well in the jam, reaching a modest 14/36 (lacking slightly on sound, as most of my games have), but it was after the jam that it suddenly became way more succesful.
Due to some quirk of itch.io's system (I presume), A Short Coffee Break suddenly jumped from 1~2 views a day up to around 300, and continued that trend. Along with this a YouTube video was made playing the game (can you believe it? Also thanks again StoneWolf for playing), both of which were far beyond my expectations.
The Soup Swindler was a nice ease back into Love2d after making Gluten Newton, but I didn't get too comfortable as I tried 4 radically new things for this game. (Also my first finished game since spring last year!).
The lighting system was extremely fun, as were the AI (in fact the whole experience was enjoyable for trying new things). It's always good to learn new things. Unfortunately, I fell into a familiar trap and ended up severly overscoping the game. Luckily though, I was able to add everything I had wanted (except sound) the day after.
Although in the end it turns out sound was pretty important. I came #193 in sound out of 225 (as I didn't have any) and my art was also quite low, bringing my score down significantly. Despite this I did pretty well in fun and mechanics and I was overall pretty happy with this game.
Gluten Newton is another monumental game in my Game Dev Career, as it was my first ever game in Unity (cue confetti cannons!), having finally upgraded from my much loved Love2d (see what I did there?). In order to not fall too out of depth, it was made in a month for Devtober 2020 (10 points if you guess the month), and was also a roguelike (my third now). As well as this it also conicided as the third game of my super-devlopment spring.
There was no rating for this game (it's more of a habit building focused Jam) but regardless it has become my most-played game as of November 2020, probably due to the fact that it has browser support. Due to using Unity it is also my first ever game to run on WebGL, and (although I have tried) it seems to be my first working Mac Game as well. It is possible that this game will be updated in the future so look out for when that happens.
Clone Kitchen: A Monumental Game for me, simply because it was my first Ludum Dare (https://ldjam.com/events/ludum-dare/47/clone-kitchen) as well as how well it was achieved, coming an extremely solid 295/3206 (oh, and also because it's my first open-source game, go have a look). It was made in two days during early October 2020, and during this time I was also working on a game for Devtober. For this game I most definitely overscoped, attempting (and somehow succeding) at making 40 different foods and ingredients (I mean really, in two days? Am I insane?). Obviously this extreme overscoping left me in a tough spot on time, so for art there was no background and I stole the tutorial/message system almost directly from Chronocide. Regardless this was a super worthwhile one to make, and was also part of an apparent super-development spring where I made three games.
Chronocide (first can I get a pat on the back for that epic name? In case you don't know Chronocide means killing time, referring to both the game plot/mechanics as well as that it's a game to "kill time with", but I digress) is again one of my favourite games, and was made for Mini Jam 63: Future in three days near the end of September 2020. Chronocide was my outlet for all the fantastic weapon and boss attack pattern ideas that had been bubbling in my brain for months on end. The art of this game is incredible, thanks to WizardShark (who also made some of the art in The Evilest Wizard), and also allowed me to go hay on the mechanics. I originally thought the Jam was only two days long, and so when I found out I had an extra day mid day two, that was excellent as by then I realised that I had probably overscoped.
Although my favourite things in this game are the bosses, the pièce de résistance of this game was truly the interactive tutorial. Something that had evaded me since my first game, and that really helped to tie it all together. The impact of this (and the rest of the game) is clear to see in the results of the Jam: Coming 29/128 Overall as well 7/128 in Fun.
P.S. After dying or beating a boss, if you wait ~5 seconds a secret message will appear and tell you some useful information on the boss (or a hilariously unfunny joke).
THE CONTROL TOLL, or as I like to call it "The Roguelike Returns", was made in July 2020 (almost a full year since my last game) for the GMTK Game Jam 2020. It faired moderately well coming 1081/5377 overall and 333/5377 in fun. This game was my first made in 2 days, significantly less time than my other game jams. I find THE CONTROL TOLL to be one of the best games I have made, with a lot of variety appearing in levels, weapons, enemies and of course the mechanic variations that the titular toll must be paid to keep. This is one of the games with the most replayablity, and the ever-changing pallete swapping effect of the game allowed me to make a good(ish) looking game without a lot of art time (although I do adore the characters I made), allowing me to work on mechanics. Despite this, I probably overscoped and could have done more polishing.
This game was made in a week (although we were meant to have two) for the June/July Jackpot Jam 2019. This was the first time that I had tried to make a roguelike game, my personal favourite genre, and also the first time I had tried hand-drawing art instead of making pixel art (all the assets in my games have been made by me). This one was wildly more succesful than The Evilest Wizard (although I can't say by how much, as the Jam page has been removed), and is one of my favourite to play. To make the level's I used a picture-based system, where the engine would read the colours from a tiny (25px * 25px) picture and then place it as a chunk in the game. I have used this system before (and later again) in almost all of my games, due to it's versatility and ease of use.
P.S. Did you spot the duck from QWACKERS as one of the blocks?
First Game Jam! This was made in February 2019 over a week for the Weekly Game Jam 80. Despite my best efforts it performed incredibly bad, at a not-so-solid 27/28 (only beating a game that was a pure protype and submitted on day one of the jam). It was from this game that I realised the importance of actually telling the users what the heck they were meant to do. There was no discernible tutorial and upon touching the boss of the game you seem to instantly win. This is in fact losing, and what you are meant to try and do is die to his red shots. This clear miscommunication meant many who tried it found it too easy and with no point. This game was probably the most monumental in improving my design skills, as it was my first time I had gotten feedback from people other than my friends (who had been told how to play).
P.S. You can skip straight to the final boss by going left when falling at the very start of the game (good for speedrunning).
The first game that I ever published! Along with that it was the first game I ever made with sound or animations. This was made in late November and Early December in 2018, originally as a "Christmas Present" for my brother, although ultimately I was just challenging myself to make a game with a deadline. Although it is not particularly good, and definitely not well explained, it was a great experience to make, and I have ended up referencing it in some of my other games.