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[Devlog] Crustacean Vacation

A topic by dyunster created Jul 18, 2018 Views: 1,110 Replies: 24
Viewing posts 1 to 14
(3 edits) (+2)

Hi all! We're a team of four, consisting of two artists, one programmer, and one composer. Our game is about a bored kid who picks up crabbing over the summer vacation and makes some money (and maybe some friends) along the way! 

Programmer - Speck (US)

Speck's goals:
Learn Phaser3 - "Originally I wanted to try Godot, but since I ended up doing more than just coding I picked Phaser3 instead. I don't know it well but I do know JS, so it'll be something new but not too new."
Work in a team - "This was my goal for my last MFGJ too but I haven't done it much since and I'm still pretty new to it overall. I am a hermit crab and normally work alone for most stuff "
Narrative Design - "IDK what I'm doing here, but I'm giving it a shot."
Game Design/Systems Design - "IDK what I'm doing here either."

Artist - Amelie (US)

Amelie's goals:
"...To learn what it's like working with a team for an indie game, and learn what a game jam is like!"
Game Dev Goal - "get used to making sprites and assets as they're needed for the game. learn how to iterate ~fast~!"
2D Animation - "ok, i did not major in this in school but i am gonna try it and see if i can be at least be a little more okay at it by the end. who knows, maybe it'll actually break me in the end instead lol"
3D Modelling - "if i'm lucky, i'm might get to work on 3D models for some crabs (they can be used on a "you got a new crab" screen or something) AND pre-renders can be used as stickers, a la smash bros brawl's adventure mode thing"

Artist - Natto (ID)

Natto's goals:
"...To have fun and make cute art! "
Game Dev Goal - "Being able to make assets that are reusable and have a consistent feel to it"
Color Palettes - "Hopefully be able to emulate different kind of color palettes and be comfortable in drawing and coloring in many different styles as opposed to the current style that I have"
Working with team - "Still working on this one!"

Composer - Danna (AUS)

And my goal is to be able to create the perfect atmosphere in the game through making its music (and designing its sound) and by aligning my ideas with our team's vision!


Initially the idea for this game was closer to a fishing game than a crabbing game. The original pitch went something along the lines of this:

You play as a kid from the city on summer vacation that was dropped of with a relative in a tiny seaside town. The kid is incredibly bored until an angler teaches them how to fish. There is a simple minigame for fishing (similar to SDV or Fantasy Life fishing), and you can sell fish for money.

Mechanically, the game has the fishing minigame, and then the rest is simple adventure exploration/point and click. The player could opt to focus on accumulating a lot of money for themselves, or focus on building relationships through fishing.

But then we thought that an alternate theme could also be a crabbing game:

...Similar story except you crab. You start with string and Vienna sausages, upgrades include buying thicker and string line that less prone to snapping and can carry heavier crabs/bait, buying better base such as hot dogs and chicken drumsticks, and as a stretch goal CRAB POTS. The rest would be pretty similar, you’d sell the crabs, complete a collection, and perhaps build friendships OR just make fat stack of cash.

So here we are!

Goals for the game (loosely in order or priority)

  • Basic crabbing minigame
  • Inventory
  • Selling caught items
  • Time of day
  • 2+ Maps to explore
  • 3+ Crab species


A small, remote island. It may have once had a booming tourism business, but it’s much quieter now, even in the heat of summer.


  • Crabbing Screen
  • Overworld Screen
  • Shop view Screen
  • Journal Screen

We're still in the midst of brainstorming a title for our game, so any ideas from everyone will be greatly appreciated! :D (So far we have: Crabby Kid, Kid Crabby, Angling for Summer, My First Summer Crabbing Business, Summertime Pastime, Angler Island, Crab Lad)

Otherwise, I'll be posting updates here detailing our work progress! Thank you for reading, designs will be shared VERY VERY SOON!!

(4 edits) (+1)

Here are our ideas thus far!

The  interface for the minigame's crabbing gauge; It's a little piece of hot dog bait, with a crab hanging on, and the fill of the bar changes from blue water, with calm bubbles to red with furiously bubbling bubbles (kinda like boiling water) depending on the context. The crab and bait move independently from the rest of the gauge.

We have a demo of the minigame with new assets, which can be played HEREUse the up key to reel in the string. Pulling too fast will spook the crab away, whilst taking too long will allow the crab to finish eating and bail. These fills are implemented with the addition of catching the crab... THE CRAB FALLS WHEN YOU DROP IT!!!!!

Additionally, here is a rough sketch and revision of our first map. This is the dusty little down you first arrive in. It contains your relative’s house, a restaurant, and a short strip of rocky coast with a natural jetty off which you learn to crab. Maybe a shop too?

And HERE is a music demo for this map! It has influences from BOTW, hometowns in Pokemon games, and just vibes of Animal Crossing!

Goals for the revised track will include:
• Changing up the guitar pattern in section B
• Extending C and altering its current melody
• Adding more details

We also have design ideas for our character:

...of which character B was the most favoured, so it's gotten made into a sprite!

Although, "These don't look quite right in discord. They're blurry and there's a stray pixel for some reason" –Amelie

Amelie had also sketched a concept of the entire island whilst waiting for us to reply:

"I just wanted to make a crab looking island" –Amelia

Speaking of the island, we aim to have at least 2 maps made from it:

1.) First area, (see above).
2.) Second area a shop area, could be a mega mart or sorts or maybe a market like Boston public market/pikes place market.

And possibly, if we still have time:
3.) An anglers club on the crab claw island
4.) A cauldera

The kid also carries a journal around with them and scribbles little doodles and notes about their day. The journal also serve as a non diegetic element and is the interface for several screens (like in Life is Strange and Night in the Woods). The journal should have tabs or bookmarks sticking out from either the top or side to navigate to different sections.

And here is a journal concept by Natto!

"whoops i realized it should be crabs and not fishes! imagine its just crabs there!!" –Natto

A sketch shifting the tabs to the side of the journal as opposed to the top:

That's about it for now! 


This art and audio aesthetic is awesome, perfect crabbing vibes 🦀

Ah, thanks so much omelette!! 😊

Submitted (2 edits)

Oh my ... This aesthetic is pristine! I'm loving every part of it so far! - been listening to that day loop sketch now while I draw, too. The name Crust Station just popped into my head and I think its funny

Omg thank you thank you myserval!! You're way too nice 💕 Ooh, Crust Station!!! That would be a LIT name for a pizza shop in this island 😍But since you've inspired a play on the word crustacean, what would you think of Crustacean Vacation?


Ohhhhhh Crustacean Vacation ... that's good

vibrating immensely at this good as heck project and working with natto, speck, and danna, wew


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Here is our progress with the game for today! Speck's work here - you can walk around the first map, and interacting with the body of water will activate the crabbing minigame! (crabbing initiation unavailable for mobile in this demo) Inventory is also added!

The temporary keybinding list just for reference:

up: w, up
down: s, down
left: a, left
right: d, right
interact: x, o
crabbing: up, w, space

An art update from Amelie too, on map 1:

 "i wanted to get the entire map done but oh my god rocks are my weak point and i had to do rock studies for the jetty so it could not look like POOP but here it's a small preview of the first area!!" —Amelie 2k18

So I guess everything's coming along at a steady pace! We're also digging the title "Crustacean Vacation" for this game (And oops, my bad! It turns out I misread the chat and that Speck actually came up with the title option a while ago 😋)

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HI! We're here with another update 😁🦀

In the art department, Amelie has added nice  touches to our first map:

"this is pretty close. but i'll redo the restaurant later. pretty glad with it so far. gonna move on for now~"

As well as animating our character's walk!  

Natto's journal design is also looking very cute 😋:

Meanwhile, I think I am almost happy with the music for map 1 *COUGHHAVENTCHANGEDMUCHATALLCOUGH* - might pull an Amelie and move on for now~ (CLICK HERE TO LISTEN) Onto map 2 for me!! Thinking of some Super Mario Sunshine and Pokemon HGSS for this track 🌴

Speck's done some really amazing work with the game as well, the sprite and art are updated and the music has been implemented - we'll post it here soon! 

I hope everyone has been making good progress too; remember to take breaks!  😊

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WHOA LOOK!! Some NPC designs from Amelie; introducing the captain, the restaurant owner, and a retired marine biologist!! 


<-- Restaurant owner 

<-- The kid's relative!

As well as that, we've been working on our second map! 

Speck: "[Map 2] being loosely based on Slateport City (Pokemon) was a good direction. The market is partially a market because it's kinda a good wildcard world where we can stick a quest and not explain why that NPC is there. There would be a store for upgrades, but it was mostly a hub for interacting with characters and quests."

Amelia's sketches:

and... TADAA!! The final:


And our Natto has updated the journal design! Now they're commencing with asset separation!

You also may have noticed, this devlog's title has been renamed to Crustacean Vacation! We're sticking with that name I think :9


the whole vibe keeps getting better and better!

Ahahaha thanks heaps man!! :^D


This is all looking amazing! Love the concept, the characters, the journal, the maps, everything about this!

Thanks so much, we're so happy you like what we've done so far!! 😁 

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So! Tonight marks the end of another day, and we're picking up our speed now that the jam's due date is getting closer. 

We have inventory items drawn by Natto:

as well as CRAB DESIGNS!!!!! Natto's first design was this Chinese mitten crab:

It's a very pretty crab, considering how its face in real life looks like this (quote Natto):

And then these cuties happened:

<-- Coconut crab

<-- Shame-faced crab

<-- Vampire crab

Amelie's also drawn some adorable critters:

<-- Hermit crab

<-- Strawberry crab

<-- Yeti crab

Along with animating some boiling water bubbles!

I've also mocked up  music for our second map, the marketplace! It's only half done because I wanted feedback from our team before I continued making more of it, but we all ended up digging it! So I'll finish it tomorrow, but for now,  CLICK HERE to have a listen to the sketch!


aaaa this art is soooo beautiful im in love with the character designs and all of the environments ;;o;; it's awesome you were already able to get a playable prototype as well! god im so excited for this

OMG thank you so much J, that's so encouraging of you ☺️ We hope our final product won't disappoint you!!

(3 edits) (+1)

Almost 2 days left!! 

Amelie designed title ideas for our game:

We've gone with choice A, so here is a sketch, followed by the final design!

"i wanted to make it rough/crayon-like. this one is brown, but i think it'd look very nice in white as well"

Amelia has also designed the generic red crab and blue crab! How pretty are the shell colours? 😍

As well as having re-designed the gauge:

Natto's journal has been implemented and gosh does it look so pleasant and nice! 😊💕

Speck's also doing heaps of great work with the programming! In the past couple of days, lots of adjustments have been made because there had been some issues with how maps were done. Speck listened to music whilst redoing/debugging maps, and said that I could post their music playlist here since it did increase their ability to focus and stay motivated. However, upon closer inspection to the playlist, I found that Speck has only been listening non-stop to four songs:

We all believe in you, Speck <3 But aside from that, Speck says:

"...focusing on asset importing right now, the last major coding thing I think is the time system, but that should be a small thing to tackle. The inventory system already has some hooks for selling and buying stuff, so the main thing to implement that is a bunch of UI work. The script also will need some event scripting, but the main system for running through dialogue is in. The most time consuming things for the rest of the jam are probably going to be asset importing and actually writing all the dialogue."

And I've finished music for the MARKETPLACE as well as the TITLE SCREEN! Now I'm onto compiling sound assets for gameplay! You may be wondering why they have the same key/percussion rhythm/tempo, and that's because Marketplace initially had three sections, ABC, of which section C was a nice contrast but shifted the mood too much, so I cut section C out from Marketplace and turned it into an independent strong title screen theme. Long live section C!!!


these are VERY GOOD crabs!!

!! THANK YOU J !! ☺️💕

WOWEE, 14 more hours until submission!! We are all cheering for Speck right now 😊

Here are just the last of our designs! Natto has designed our shop interface:




AND ALSO NATTO'S DRAWN OUR SHIP (the ship transports the player from map 1 to map 2!)!!

We've added a little secret in our game as well, it's something that might come across as a little annoying... 🦀🦀🦀

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Our game has been submitted for MFGJ, you can find it HERE!! It's still a work in progress though - the second map (marketplace) is inaccessible right now, some dialogue is yet to be written, and the level of difficulty/rarity in capture/encounter rates has not yet been set for different species of crab! So Speck will be updating the game, but for now the game has a beginning, a goal, and an end 😊

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we did it!! i'm glad too have joined such a lovely team of  wonderful folx. super duper thanks to danna, whose music is off the charts good, natto, who made things she worked on look more polished than i ever could, and especially speck and b who continue to endure the dumpster fire that is programming crustacean vacation even after the jam ends. also more thanks to speck who i actually ended up meeting irl with my partner and not saying anything about me earnestly and unabashedly putting my girlfriend in the game.

edit: i forgot to thank some other ppl! yes, thank you to ellie!! and thanks to my friend toby. they both have a cameo in this game. i also want to give a quick nod to my inspirations, namely the LoZ games, in particular, A Link to the Past, Wind Waker, Breath of the Wild, the pokemon games, my creator friends and mutuals, the concept of clouds and also no thanks to rocks, i hate you, rocks.

my first "my first game jam" game jam was an incredibly wild ride and fantastic experience. 100/10 i will do this again