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A jam submission

Across the UniverseView game page

Survival and friendship in an impossible situation.
Submitted by pianotm (@pianotm26) — 4 hours, 47 minutes before the deadline

Play game

Across the Universe's itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
People's Choice Vote#2131.7371.857

Ranked from 7 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

Engine
Unity

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Comments

(+1)

The tech demo has a lot of promise to be an interesting game when it's complete. The ideas presented in text form is, I thought, an interesting way to present your case to the judges on what to expect and how the game would play out. It wouldn't work in another IGMC but in this one where the idea is to showcase your idea for them to see if it's viable for publishing and winning, it might work out really well. Maybe? It might also make them think about the fact that the game is missing a lot of the interesting stuff that they didn't get to play.

The art is very nice, as is the sound. Presentation was well done and though I was a bit annoyed at the slow speed of some pieces, the promise of a full game made in this style has made me more interesting in following the game to see where it goes, so good job in that. 

Developer(+1)

Thank you, Libby!  I'm glad you think it's at least worth following!  Also, that floor pattern...is pixel drawn directly off of the real floor of the Space Shuttle Endeavor.  Those are modular panels and the direction of the design is supposed to indicate how they interlock for easy replacement in case of damage.

Submitted(+1)

Rating games using Judge categories just for fun

Gameplay

The idea of a survival experience like this is pretty novel. Sadly there is not much to do, as the game itself points out. In all honesty, the game reminds you via text that it is a prototype a little too much. Gets in the way of the experience, no matter how short it is

[5/20]

Presentation

Gorgeous. I liked the character portraits as seen from the screenshots, but I was wowed when I saw their expressions ingame. Music is also pretty nice and fitting. The story has the same issue the gameplay has. The immersion suffers when you get reminded every now and then that it is a prototype. Solid overall

[15/20] -> Doubled to 30

Engagement

The high amount of text (some of it disruptive) and the short length hurts the game a lot in this category, sadly. I would have preferred a message in the beginning stating that this was a prototype, and then no more mention of it during the game

[5/20]

Potential

This has a very unique idea going on, and it is clear there is a lot of unfinished things here that could make this game really exceptional. Most games in this competition require polish, but I honestly believe what you presented was pretty polished already. It just needs to show more proof of its true potential

[10/20]

Total: 50/100 (3 stars)

Developer

Thank you so much for your feedback!  I've gotten so little, but thankfully, all of it's been good, including yours.  Sorry, I didn't respond sooner.  I haven't paid attention.

I agree with most of your points.  I WOULD agree with all of them under ordinary circumstances but in the case of this particular IGMC, I have to disagree with the notion that I shouldn't explain anything (and please don't take this personally.  I understand the criticism.  I know you're right, but there are extraneous circumstances I simply had to take into account.).  In this IGMC, it's not a full game we're supposed to be presenting, but "the next big thing".  When I realized I had overextended myself setting up the health system (and while it's mostly hooked up, it's still not entirely done), I realized I wasn't going to finish anything remotely resembling a near complete game or even a near complete level.   I probably could have explained better and streamlined the text, but at the time I realized I was going to have to explain some stuff, I was already in the 11th hour.  My goal became to demonstrate the technical aspects of the game, and to explain what it was going to be used for.  This game isn't just survival.  There are deeper aspects in the story.  The game is just there to tell the story.  The story is where this started.  I didn't create the story for the game.  I created the game for the story (and from the beginning, I always intended to make this story into a game).  The game was made for these two ladies who have to survive on their own.  So, while I would ordinarily agree with you, in this particular instance, I have to essentially rebut that this game not only needs to be a prototype, but needs to be a functional sales pitch.  I just wasn't able to present in the prototype enough to really explain what the game was about.  It's about survival.  You have to install antennae.  You meet an alien.  And?  It's a sci-fi with procedural elements.  Hardly unique, and there's not nearly enough there to show the game's intent.  I thought I could get that health system going in two weeks.  It took three.  No showers or shaving.  Two days of mapping.  Mapping in the process of hooking up the health system.  The rest of the time spent racing to add anything I could that showed what the game was going to consist of.  Again, ordinarily, I would not disagree with you, but the specific requirements of this specific event puts me in a different mind.  Yes, it is jarring, but without it, there's very little indication of what the game's actually about.  The text is mostly put in loading screens.  Those screens were going to be there anyway.  May as well put something useful there.  Ultimately, a big drain on my time was making sure to polish what I made as much as possible.  I wasn't going to put something ugly there, and there was no way I was going to make a game this important to me without first establishing the framework (which is what led to me overextending myself on the UI and health systems, but now they're up and they were definitely the hardest part.  Seriously: animating, mapping, even setting up text and the antennae installation; it was all a cakewalk compared to that health system.  The only other thing I think is going to be as hard, if not harder is setting up save functionality.).

I'm honestly not happy with the music.  I wrote three pieces.  One of them I like.  One of them I think needs to be reworked, and I just don't think the piano piece fits.  The credits music and the title music I nabbed from some of my older projects.  The title music had been written in a hurry for a previous game when I couldn't find a piece that fit the mood I wanted to convey.  It actually conveys the mood here very nicely and I will probably keep it.  The Credits music is one of my earliest pieces I wrote for children's fantasy game.  Definitely didn't fit, but wasn't horribly out of place.  That will get replaced.  That was literally added last minute to just to give you something to listen to in the credits screen.  I also wish I could have done transitions.  Turns out they're actually kind of complicated.  Just fading out and in takes stupid amounts of code to pull off.  That probably would have eaten a whole day...all to get it to fade out and back in when she goes to sleep.

Finally, I wish I could have done this RPG Maker VX Ace or MV (preference being VX Ace, which is a bit more conducive to directly scripting).  I actually spent a bit of time trying, but it turns out it that those engines just weren't ideal to this game.  My big reason for giving up on RM and switching to Unity is because I know C# and I do NOT know Javascript or Ruby.   It turned out to be a good choice.  However little progress I made, I ended up making three times as much as I had in either of those two engines.

Submitted(+1)

The concept of this sounds neat; I couldn't really find to much to do at the moment though.

I like the art and music a lot and the idea of two people from backgrounds completely alien to one another trying to communicate to solve their problems is a solid one. I get the feeling this is in -very- early stages at the moment though.

Once I got out in the rover, it took me a long time to find the first part to stop. Any sort of visual indication here is better than nothing, strapped for time or not. I placed a radio tower, but I couldn't figure out what to do after that.

Side note - if you return to the base, it re-triggers the opening scene again.

Congrats on submitting your demo! I'd be interested in playing this again when there's more to see.

Developer (1 edit)
I like the art and music a lot and the idea of two people from backgrounds completely alien to one another trying to communicate to solve their problems is a solid one. I get the feeling this is in -very- early stages at the moment though.

Thank you!  I'm not so thrilled with one of the three songs I wrote for this (I think it's fine, but it needs some serious sound leveling: word of advice, never try to write music with a single earbud), and the two songs that I yanked from other projects will be replaced. 

It is EXTREMELY early development.  Instead of trying to throw a concept together, I sat there and made the actual UI and Health framework.  When I had it together, I found I had very little time for anything.

Any sort of visual indication here is better than nothing, strapped for time or not.

>.>

 I didn't want to make anything ugly or clashing.  The rating period for last IGMC wasn't a very pleasant experience for me and I didn't want to repeat it.

 I placed a radio tower, but I couldn't figure out what to do after that.

There isn't anything else to do after that.

Side note - if you return to the base, it re-triggers the opening scene again.

Save functionality is required to prevent events from replaying in C#.  The game does not have save functionality, yet.  Psy_wombats told me that I wouldn't be able to establish it for this type of game in the time I had and to simply worry about presenting the game.

When I realized I wasn't going to have much of a game, I just worked as hard as I could to present a coherent concept, which I hope I did.

Again, thank you so much!