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[DevLog] Feed Me or Die

A topic by Spottedphyre created Jan 06, 2018 Views: 433 Replies: 12
Viewing posts 1 to 13
Submitted (Edited 2 times) (+1)

Team Members:

Spottedphyre(Spotty): Hi! My name is Spotty and i'm a freelance artist. I've fiddled with creating in Gamemaker before and have a very, very basic understanding of coding. My strengths are more on the artistic/story side. I'm also the one who will be updating the Dev Log as we go along - nice to meet you!

Grinjr(Grin): Hi, people call me Grin! I've always loved things more on the development side of things - even though I am still considered a junior at it! - But I am not so artistic so that will be Spotty's job! I've never actually finished a game to completion but have made a couple prototypes, and have made multiple things just testing out certain feature ideas. Most of which have been made in Unity, but I have also fiddled with GameMaker Studio, and Unreal Engine. I'm not really all that great with words, so that's partly why Spotty will be updating the Dev Log! Plus, I really love all her doodles that she shows!

Engine: Unity

Concept:

You are a hungry fledgling Pied Babbler bird. You're always hungry but your parents simply don't understand your needs. They just don't get you - they say what they feed you now is enough. It's time to make them realize what really matters - by screaming in the open in front of hungry predators.

Inspired from the documentary "Natural Born Hustlers: Sex, Lies and Dirty Tricks" and this article: https://www.themarysue.com/birds-who-blackmail-their-parents/

Gameplay:


You are a tiny bird that walks left and right. You occasionally get fed by your flock and grow bigger as a bird until you reach adulthood. Getting further from the safety of your home and causing noise concerns your flock that you will attract predators, and to shut you up they frantically try to feed you more. The further you go, the more noise you make, the more food you get and the faster you grow. Going out too far has it's own risks as predators often walk through the area and find noisy little birds tasty.

Process:

Original sketch for the scrapped 2D to 3D camera idea

We honestly had little idea of what we were going to do when the Jam began. We tossed around a few ideas, like a 2D isometric RPG that has the camera go 3D when you fight enemies (think "Wild Arms") and a cooking game where you shuffle left and right to access all your cooking utensils. We decided to watch some documentaries and see if any ideas came to us, when at the very end of the third episode of "Natural Born Hustlers" was the segment on the parent-blackmailing Pied Babbler chicks. Here is my actual reaction from the whole thing.

An idea was had

We did end up trying to brainstorm a few ideas before we ended up settling on the Babbler chicks. Next, we did some thinking for the gameplay.

Initial concept for score multipliers and danger zones.

Some things we talked about:

  • How the predator would react to the chick when in proximity
  • The possibility the chick would have to escape when being chased by a predator
  • How zoomed in the camera was to the chick
  • Going up the tree for safety vs Going in a spiky bush for saftey
  • Having the multiplier/danger risk being visible or hidden
  • Possible UI elements
  • In-Game ways to explain the premise/gameplay

We would like the player to be able to choose how safely they would like to complete the game. The entire game can be completed simply by sitting safely at home, but would take much, much longer than taking a risk out in the field. Going out should be a fun adrenaline filled gamble, so we'll have to find a balance between narrow escapes and actually being caught.

Assets:

We haven't dug too much into what the assets of the game will look like, but for now we're doing simple pixel art. For the world, we'll have around 4 layers - The Foreground, The Animals (predator and prey), The Ground, and the The Background as illustrated below (all subject to change).

(1) Foreground, (2) Animals, (3) Ground, (4) Background

And that's it for the first day! Coming up we're deciding the priorities for each task and hopefully get some code going!


This is so amazing!! ;o; those poor parents...

Submitted

I love it. I'm so excited for this idea and to see it take shape. Can't wait to see your finished product!

oh wow! Loving the looks of the devlog~ love the concept so far, the risk vs reward of going out seems like a great juggle. Keep up the good work!

good !!

Submitted

Omg, this is hilarious!

The concepts are awesome! Looking forward to seeing how this develops. :)

Host

AAA THIS IS SUCH A GREAT PREMISE it's cute and cheeky and i can't wait to see the art for it haha. i think there's also really strong design foundations here--there's risk taking and management that the player has to decide on. best of luck!!

Submitted

Log #2

The past few days have been pretty busy, but progress has been made! It's like everytime I go to write a log something comes up or we make progress aaaaaa

Grin started tossing some placeholder assets into Unity and got some basic stuff working - the bird walks and jumps! The background also moves behind everything rather nicely~! We did have some initial problems with the pixel edges of the sprites being anti-aliased, but that was quickly fixed.


Next, we inserted the parents. The chick only get points when the parent delivers the food. So far, we're leaning on having just three birds flying around - The parents and an older sibling. They each have their own cooldown and amounts of food they deliver. Grin did some pretty cool stuff like implementing "risk" and birdy screams. Screams will make the parents fly faster, as will higher levels of risk until it gets too high (say, next to a predator).


With Grin working on the coding of the game, I went to work on some animated placeholder sprites! Just making sure that everything looked alright before refining the colors. I managed to get a basic running and jumping animation done~


Things we talked about:

  • What exactly is affected by the screams/risk?
  • How screams and location affect predators
  • Parent behavior around predators
  • Predator behaviors
  • Limitations on the screams

Well, time to sit down and learn how to work with sprite-sheets in Unity!

Amazing progress so far! The animations are very cute and I like how the parents swoop down and zip back up to the tree. :>

Host

these animations look really lovely!! great work with the mechanics so far :Oc !! it's awesome that you already have the core gameplay loop

Submitted

Oh my gosh- this is a fun and darkly hilarious game concept, I'm really looking forward to the final product!

Submitted

Log #3

I really should've been updating this more as we went along, but every time it was "I'll wait until we get this one thing done before I write the log".


Anyways, a lot to cover!

Grin got a LOT of work done. Not only did he get the animation code working for the bird, but he also:

  • Programmed the predator's spawn rate and behavior
  • Made it so if you try and leave the tree before the snake is far away enough it runs back at you
  • Made code that made it so the sprites switched properly
  • Introduced a sprint with recharge
  • Made a gameover screen (The snake can get you now)
  • Made camera bounds (Can't go infinitely left)
  • Created a killfloor for the water
  • Made it so Parents don't hover over you while delivering food
  • Adjusted Parent flying speed to make up for the changing distance from the chick
  • Probably a lot more beneath the hood like optimization and many, many tweaks

An insane amount of work in which Grin has conquered every single thing I think of as an idea. A huge thank you for his patience whenever I said "Hey, can we make it/alter it to this?" which ended up taking a long googling session and testing code.


With Grin working so hard, I tried to match the effort and made a lot of graphic changes! Here a list of the things I was able to accomplish:

  • Completely redid the Main Ground and Background
  • Introduced a Far Ground and Sky
  • Learned how sprites/sprite animations worked in Unity (I was so lost most of the day)
  • Redid the sprite for the adult birds/ Made a proper sprite for the snake
  • Tried to compose a tiny bit of music (scrapped, we decided it didn't fit the game)
  • Learned how to make a Menu screen
  • Learned how to make a WORKING Menu Screen
  • Learning how to make a working options menu
  • Put in game music

Normally i'd go into detail about every little thing, but so much has changed that I made a video instead to showcase it working all  together so far! I'm so proud of what we accomplished as a team, it's amazing we're this far.

Things we're working on next:

  • Getting some playtest feedback and balancing the game
  • Creating sound effects (screaming, footsteps, hissing, stuff like that)
  • Fix resolution for Main Menu
  • Finishing the BGs
  • Creating an end to the game
  • Making volume sliders for music and sound effects separately
  • Probably some more things that will come up as we're working