Hi fellow gamedevs! this is my first game jam ever so please be patient.
Yesterday did a bit of brainstorming with my son as to find a nice concept for a game that I could build in time for the Jam. Wanted to use the theme of Water for simplicity and because in itself it's always fascinating anyway. He's an incredible ally to have because he's creative and his mind goes into places where my years of office work have forgotten about.
He wanted something as ambitious as a clone of Subnautica but i managed to convince him to hold his horses and reduce scope to something achievable in two weeks . So we (well, he mostly) came up with this idea:
"Harold Wickers and Edward Johan are two researchers hired by a company called Underwater Life to document endangered underwater species. They have been provided in good faith with a donation of the research submarine Deep and suitable contracts to retrieve footage from marine species at three levels in the ocean: the surface level, the twilight zone and the sea floor. However, at the beginning Deep is only capable of navigating the surface level - further adjustments and upgrades will be needed to explore the other two levels. Deep is launched into the sea by a scientific vessel, the HMS Abyss Hunter.
As Deep is a research submarine it is only fitted with a HD video camera and an advanced species detection system to help it find the creatures specified in the contracts. Once in close proximity with a species the video camera will be activated and the submarine needs to remain close to the animal for the time required to capture suitable footage.
By fulfilling a contract and once returned to the ship, the explorers can receive credits to refuel, fix and upgrade the submarine.
Obviously, marine dangers await the two explorers in their quest but there's also something they suspect the company hasn't told them about - maybe a secret lurking in the depths of the ocean? that no one else's eyes have seen?"
As this is mostly a side project (got a family and day job to take care of) I've created a Trello board to keep track of what needs to be done . First time using it, as at work we use Jira but I think it's too much really - wanted to keep it as simple as possible:
The gif above shows the progress made on the first day. Managed to create some crude sprites (I'm in serious need of an artist - completely lacking those skills) and made the submarine move a bit fluidly using lerp() to a fixed target speed on a kinematic body2d. Also, using an inverse gravity force as to provide a sensation of positive buoyancy - haven't yet decided if this is best or if maybe let the sub oscillate between two fixed points of the y axis.
I guess the marine species should swim in kind of a sinusoidal cadence, randomly raising or lowering their cruising depth - any suggestions?
Don't know most of this yet - I'm learning these techniques as I build.
For marine species detection I was reading a bit about ray-casting. My idea is that when the submarine faces a certain direction it indicates to the player (maybe through a blinking light) that a species is in a given direction and out of view. Blinking can go faster as they get closer (maybe an Area2D is the best for this?).
Once the sub is close to the marine animal - I'm thinking inside another Area2D surrounding the target - the camera recording action is active and user has to press a button. Sub has to remain close for a limited time until footage is complete.
This is enough posting for now. I'll be grateful for feedback when I get back to work tonight and hopefully will have some comments .
Semper Fi Game Makers!