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Mission Squeak

A topic by Snuti created 47 days ago Views: 367 Replies: 18
Viewing posts 1 to 12
Submitted (2 edits) (+2)

Hi everyone! We are Snuti, a husband and wife team who are coming back to game dev after a 4 year break. We are excited to try something new and looking forward to being a part of this game jam!

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The working title of our game is “Mission Squeak”.

Concept
Mission squeak is a third person, dog stealth game, where you get to play as a Chihuahua, who has to infiltrate the Garden of Moritz (who is a Cairn Terrier), to take his pride and joy, the legendary Squeaky toy of all squeaky toys (with unlimited squeakiness). 

Why this concept?
We’ve based the game on our two dogs, Moritz (Cairn terrier) and Winky (Chihuahua), where Moritz loves to play with squeaky toys and won’t let go of them, not even to share it with other dogs. We wanted to make a stealth like game with puzzle elements of it and using the theme of “Pride”, we wanted to make the goal to steal the most important thing to our dog, Moritz, which is a squeaky toy. 


Plot/Gameplay
You are playing as a Chihuahua, who has been tasked with infiltrating the Garden of Moritz, to take his pride and joy, the legendary squeaky toy of all squeaky toys (with unlimited squeakiness). 

Your task is to move around the garden, using cunning, tactful treats scattered around the map to distract and sneak your way past Moritz’s guard dogs. Be careful not to step on a twig  otherwise Moritz’s guards will bark you away. 

Can you get to the Legendary Squeaky toy of all Squeaky toys without getting caught by the guards? 

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We are planning on focusing on low-poly 3D and level/puzzle design to make it interesting. It’s our first time making a puzzle/stealth game so will be exciting to try it out. We’ve had to take away a few ideas we had to make this concept simplistic and executable in the time frame. We can’t wait to get started. Good luck to everyone! :D

(+1)

OOO this sounds so cute and fun ! Good luck !!

Submitted

Hehe, thank you!! 😁🎉 It will be lots of fun, very excited to start working properly now that we have a plan. 💪

Host(+1)

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh my gosh I love this so much... this is such a good concept I cannot wait to see more!!

Submitted

Thank you so much! :D 

(+1)

This sounds so freaking cute! Moritz and Winky  look like very good dogs, please send them my regards <3

Submitted

Thank you! <3 Moritz and Winky were very happy and they both say "hi" in dog speak of course :D  

Submitted(+1)

Devlog Update #1

First off, we have a new team member who has joined our team to do music, which is Thortrillion. We aren't the best with music, so we are very happy that Thortrillion is joining the team! :D 

Puzzle Planning:
We started day 2 with planning out the puzzles for Mission Squeak. With traditional pen and paper, we sketched out 5 levels, where the player will learn how to play the game and the different mechanics that they can use to sneak past the guard dogs. Here is a small teaser of how we went about the level design:


The coding starts ...
Since we came up with an in-depth game design plan yesterday and the puzzles planned today, we decided to get set up in Unity and get some coding started. We chose to use 3 dog models from the Low poly Animated animals Asset pack that we bought so we don't have to focus on animating the dogs (which we realised was going to be too time consuming). We will be making all other assets ourselves but to save time, we decided that having fully rigged dogs will help us get the game in shape. 

Walking pink chihuahua
After importing the 3 models, we got started on the player movement and setting the default animation of walking. This wasn't too problematic as we have done this pretty recently in a Unity course, and having the rigged Chihuahua made things a lot easier. We now have a Chihuahua (yes who happens to be pink because hey, it looked funny at the time!) walking around but not doing much else. 


Guard dog activation
Getting the main mechanics in felt like the best course of action next and we started implementing guard movement. Unfortunately, we didn't manage to get as far as we wanted today so we have a guard dog with a navmesh that can go around an obstacle and go to a waypoint, but he just floats and doesn't do much else. 


We are planning to get more of the guard movement and mechanics working better tomorrow, but thanks for reading :)

Submitted(+1)

Congrats on your new team member. I've long felt that I'm not a powerful enough gamer to ever beat stealth games, but I'm excited to give this one a shot. 

The magic pixie dust that goes into creating a functioning 3D game is also fairly beyond me, so I'm already impressed with floating dogs. :) Can't wait for the next update.

Submitted

Clare is not a very good stealth gamer either, so we'll make sure to make it a bit easy and mostly cute. 😅 Our plan is that once you understand the puzzle it should be quite straight forward.

(+1)

This is off to a good start, Snuti! Kudo's with the 3d and the concept :) It looks really good. 

Submitted

Thank you! It's been fun, glad you like it. 😊

Submitted (3 edits) (+2)

Devlog Update #2

Day 3 of the Jam and we are making some good progress. We started making some of the 3D low poly assets, and made a hedgerow, some bushes, rocks and a tree. Will be working more on improve these and adding some more assets soon. 

Live Coding on Twitch
In coding, we pair programmed live on Twitch and made our waypoint system for the guard dog and fixed his walking so he wasn't hovering above the ground. We also fixed the player movement when we realised that the Guard dog couldn't actually detect the player. This would have totally ruined the game, but this fix took a lot longer than anticipated. Thankfully, everyone on Twitch were super helpful and we finally fixed it in the end. We did have a roller coaster Chihuahua at one point! 


With the player bug out of the way, we started adding in the player detection's for the guard dog but still have a while to go. At least it recognised the player at long last :D 

You can see our twitch stream here: https://www.twitch.tv/snutihq

You can also watch our Devlog video here:


Thanks for reading everyone :D 

Host(+1)

omg this progress is amazing :OOO !!! it's awesome that you already have 3D animations working in engine and i looove seeing your hand drawn level concepts. i can't wait to see more!

Submitted

Thank you J, glad to hear it!! Much thanks for heavy lifting of Unity3D, but yes, it's really coming together! 😁 Got a few more features to implement before it's in a playable state. 💪

Submitted (1 edit) (+1)

Devlog Update #3:

Yesterday, we weren't able to make much progress on the game due to Christer having his wisdom tooth removed, but we did manage to model and add in our twig obstacle. The twig will be one of the game mechanics where the player will have to avoid it or use it to their advantage, otherwise any nearby guard will react to it and come in your direction. 


Today, we were able to make a few tweaks for the game and finish the majority of 3D models for the game. This included the dog house which houses the legendary squeaky toy of all squeaky toys (with unlimited squeakiness). The only models missing now is a redo of the hedges for the game and potentially the lamppost. 


We introduced level loading into the game, and added a start screen. Still a lot of work left to do with the levels but will get ourselves started with those tomorrow. 


We have made improvements to the speed of the main character and now the Chihuahua can finally move backwards. Getting the right feel of the controls took a lot longer to get the right feel, but we think we finally nailed it now. We are also improving the guard field of view but that is still a work in progress. 


Hope everyone is doing well with their game's as well! 

Submitted

Devlog Update #4:

Phew, it's been some busy last few days, but also taken some time to take a break and relax a bit. It was nice to just take a brief break on Saturday to relax and enjoy some long walks with the doggos too. They aren't very good at contributing to the game but at least they help us get out and about. 

Player improvements
We've made a lot of tweaks on both the player movement and player detection across the board. The main character also had some speed tweaks and added animation to pick up one of the interactable objects in the game, the dog treat. 


With the dog treat added, we needed to make the guards react to it, so we gave the dog treat an aggro radius so that it would hit towards the guard dogs and also give a visual representation to the player. 

Our guard detection was working ok, so there were quite a lot of minor tweaks done to the guards and improved the shader of their field of view too. 


Levels
We managed to create all levels for Mission Squeak. We still have a lot of tweaking to do with the levels to make sure they aren't too easy and not too hard. As we have made the levels, it is very easy to think it's too easy, but we shall do some testing and ask others to play it and see what they think. We also added cutscenes to the beginning and end of the game. 


Logo
And finally the logo has been finished. We decided to go with the low poly legendary squeaky toy as the main icon! 


Hope everyone else's game is going well and looking forward to playing some of the other My first game jam games real soon :) 

Submitted (2 edits)

Devlog Update #5:
And the game is complete! We had to finish early due to other commitments but we managed to get that little extra polish we wanted into the game and fixed a lot of bugs. Guaranteed, there are plenty more bugs lurking around, but those will have to wait :( 

Devlog on Youtube
We published our 2nd Devlog video for the process of Mission Squeak which is available on YouTube and below. We had to take a lot of shortcuts during the final stretch of the game to get it complete in time. 


Final polish

We spent the final 2 days adding in audio and the awesome soundtrack from our friend, Thortrillion, and adding those little extra artifacts and atmosphere to the game. A gigantic arrow leading to the dog house is of course essential for getting to your goal, right?


Play the game
Below is the link to our game which you can try and out and give us feedback. We decided not to do too many tweaks to the difficulty of the levels because we didn't know if they would be too hard or too easy. But hey, the ending is well worth it :D 

https://snuti.itch.io/mission-squeak

Thank you everyone for the help and for the motivation throughout the game jam. It has been sooo much fun and really enjoyed adding in our dogs into a dog stealth game :D 

Good luck to everyone for the final stretch of the game jam! You are all doing awesome and we can't wait to play everyone's game. 

Submitted (1 edit)

Post-mortem of Mission Squeak

Making Mission Squeak was a lot of fun for us and we have to thank everyone in the game jam for all the motivation and help on Discord and our Twitch viewers! For us, Mission squeak was our first game (and game jam game) in 4 years, so we were really, really rusty on every element of Game dev from planning to development.

Efficiency
Since we knew that it would be hard to get back into working with Unity, we decided to plan a relatively simplistic game, where we would focus first on the puzzles and take some shortcuts using an asset pack for the animation of the dogs to save us a lot of time. We had delved into animation before the game jam and struggled a lot so thought it would be the best way for us to not spend too much time rigging/animating.

Scope
We really nailed scoping the game to make it both manageable to complete in the 2 week jam deadline without burning out or getting tired of the game. Having experience with making other projects with deadlines helped us a lot but we did misestimate quite a few elements of the coding that took longer than we first anticipated. 

Detection mechanic
One of the mechanics we struggled with was the guard detection system. We were live streaming on Twitch while making the first iteration of it, but we found a lot of bugs during testing that needed to be fixed, so we changed approach. Christer went back to the drawing board and used a video from Sebastian Lague to improve the field of view visualisation.

Publishing
Publishing the game was also a first for us. We have never used Itch to publish a game before, nor any other game publishing platform. So we spent a long time trying to figure it out and had to publish multiple builds before it was working properly. In the end, we used Butler from Itch to help us out, but since it was the last night before going away on holiday, we were both afraid we wouldn't get it published in time. 

Team work
Christer and I have worked as a team for the last 6-7 years, so we had very little issues working together and pair programming was a lot of fun for us to do since we both learnt a lot and being both relativity new to Unity, it was very helpful to debug things together. 

Soundtrack
Our musician, Thortrillion, was also someone that we have worked with for quite a few years and after a bit of direction, he absolutely nailed the music for Mission Squeak. We really wanted a cute, mysterious soundtrack and we just fell in love with the melody and atmosphere as soon as we received it. Looping was a bit of an issue as we were still figuring out how to transition the music in Unity, and keeping the music between levels without lag. We found out that it was fine in the final build, but it was confusing us like crazy during development.

Sharing the process
We were able to publish two YouTube videos and stream three times during the jam which helped us to see what we could improve and fix some bugs along the way. You can see the two videos here:

Part 1:

Part 2:

What could we do better next time
We both feel like we would have liked to have published more beta builds of the game earlier, so that we could have had feedback on the levels during the development. Knowing how each puzzle works makes it way too easy to solve the game in a few minutes, but for someone else it could be really hard. Had we known more about how Itch publishing works, we would have definitely published earlier in the jam for some feedback rounds.

Thank you to everyone who gave us feedback and helped to motivate us during the jam. It has been so much fun and we look forward to playing all of your games :D