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[DEVLOG] IceCold (provisonal super generic name)

A topic by Fran Bosquet created Jan 28, 2020 Views: 125 Replies: 14
Viewing posts 1 to 11
Submitted (1 edit) (+1)

Hi! Its Fran, nice to be here.

Little presentation: I'm a web developer from Madrid, I mainly work with React and Node, building apps for e-commerces. But since childhood I have been a passionate coder. In my developer life, I have played with java, c, PHP, flash and many other technologies and languages. Including Unity, which I abandoned in early 2017 to focus on my web expertise.
Two months ago I began to feel a little tired about my everyday job in JavaScript. So i decided to recover the hobby of making games. I have spent most of this time doing courses in until I felt confident enough to begin to put my knowledge together and start to sketch my miny games.
Last week I created a simple physics-based Arkanoid. To increse the challenge, I decided to enroll in a game jam as my next step (i have always been curious about these things). So here I am. I have been working on my game since yesterday. But I felt that I was a bit away from the real "jam experience" so I checked the welcoming email to see what I could do about that. And so I encouraged myself to begin a dev log.

The game

As far as I haven't used Unity for a 2D project yet, I chose this way to do things and also learn to work with sprites, pixel graphics, photoshop, etc. I decided to go for a physics puzzle and see how it goes.
The thing is that there is a ball, and there is a goal. You have to alter the environment to make the ball reach the goal. The "cold" theme is represented here via water and ice. My idea is to make the player able to freeze or unfreeze water/ice blocks to build a path for the ball to the goal. Also, there are going to be water currents that the player has to interact with to solve puzzles. In this two days I have completed the first two levels: There is a ball, there is physics, there is a goal, water and ice. Very simple, but my goal here is to complete something playable before 8-feb.

That's the raw idea. I would like to see how things goes and which mechanics emerge. And, luckily, get to something funny before the deadline.

[Days 1-2]

This is the state of the game by 28-Jan:

I'll come back tomorrow with updates. Thanks for reading!


[Day 3]

Today I implemented the water currents, I worked a bit in the graphics and sketched the first UI. Now the player can reset the level if he gets stuck. Also, with the water currents now I can design more interesting levels. I have a couple of ideas to explode tomorrow with them. Here are the two levels from yesterday plus two more:

I should spend a couple of hours doing photoshop/pixel graphics tutorials to upgrade the appeal of the game. That's my main goal for tomorrow, along with building new levels. But for now, I feel that this is going pretty well!

Thanks for reading!



whoa this is a really interesting idea! i love how you showed the currents with the little particles--it's so easy to understand what's happening. also, this last gif/tutorial is so great because it perfectly demonstrates how the game works and how the levels can scale up in difficulty. it just sells it so well!! and it seems really well scoped for a jam. it seems like you already have a solid hold on the mechanics, so i'm really interested in seeing where you go with the level designs. nice stuff!


Thank you for the kind feedback!! Im glad you like it. Ill keep te work going, lets see where it takes the game :)


[Day 4]

I spent a lot of hours working on tiles today. I have even created a complete tileset for the rocks, and now everything looks a lot better. I haven't touched the water, but I have to.
In the rocks, I tried to automatically select the proper tile from the set depending on the surrounding ones. I failed miserably :D In Javascript I could have done it in a matter of seconds, and here I have spent two hours, no success. I'll try again tomorrow.
I refactored the level composition to make it easier to work with them. I remade the 4 levels, now the ball comes from above the level, and leaves below, so it looks like the tunnels are connected. Sadly, I didn't have time to create new ones.

I hope I can come with one or two new mechanics this weekend to complement the currents + ice creation/destruction, but I'm a bit short of ideas.
The state of the game today:

Thanks for reading!


I quite like that water for what it’s worth. :)


Really? I dont know man, i feel it needs a lot of work.


It’s your game, so don’t let me stop you. :)

I think that people tend to be their own worst critics, though, so perhaps you’re being hard on yourself.


[Day 5]

Lots of work today!!
- The currents now have a range, and the particles adapt to it. Beyond that range, the current does not affect the ball, so the player has to be aware of inertias and so.
- There are destructible rocks now, they only break if the ball hits them hard enough. Combining with the new current ranges, I have designed the fifth level using both mechanics.
- General review of the levels, they look better now.
- The restart button grows when you get to a dead end.
- A ton of refactoring and improvement in the code.


Im supper happy!! This is advancing



[Day 5]

No work today

[Day 6]

Only had a couple of hours. I have implemented the animated trapdoors and keys to open them. I have to figure out how to use them in the puzzles. Here is a sample level:

Somehow, my BG tiles have broken. I have to fix them.




[Day 7]

- Added jumping plates. Those make the ball able to jump long distances.
- Added an icon-based UI
- Added a tool system: Now, you are only able to do certain things depending on the level you are in
- Added the build tool. For now, you can only build jump plates. I designed a level involving this new mechanic.
- Added custom cursors.
The cursors are giving me some problems. Also, the 2D collision system of Unity is super buggy: I have no idea how to put a trigger over another, is kind of a lucky shot to get the one you want. Any ideas about that?

Appart from that I am starting to feel the deadline too close. Tomorrow I will try to make something about sound and music. And start to combine the mechanics to make more levels. I have seven now, I think that 15 could be a nice amount. After that, a menu and a game over screen and we are good to go. Hope I can get there before Saturday :S

The new level:


[Day 8]

A lot of progress today:
- Solved all my problems with cursors and collision, just by simplifying the aproach. Everything is going smooth now.
- Implemented the sound system, now everything cricks, cracks, poughs and all that. I used sfxr to match the retro feel. I decided not to search nor make a song for the game, I feel that just the sounds, no music, gives a better cave atmosphere.
- Limited the number of times the tools could be used in a level.
- Refactor, like two tons.
I decided to lock the features for the game. I know I have just a few mechanics, but it's hard to implement new ones and make them fit. So I have to play and combine the ones I already have to make the new levels. As an example, in this new level I use the pick, the freeze, the jumping plate and use the current to try to cheat the player:

I keep the idea of 15 levels, so I have to design 7 more in the time left. That and a menu and finish screen, submit the game and I can call my jam finished!

Thank you for reading!



[Day 9]

I made two more levels (for a total of ten) and i solved some bugs. Im not going to show the new levels, i dont want to show the solution in case somebody wants to play it.

Tomorrow i will sketch the menu screen and the finish screen, i would like to have this finished on friday morning. Two days to go!


[Day 10]

Today I draw this:

I think im going to change the name to something even more ridiculous lik COLD CAVE DESCENT WITH A BALL or so. When i began this project i know almost nothig about pixel art, neither photoshop. So im very proud of that artwork! This screen is the start of the game. A start button is going to be at the center of the screen. When the player presses it, the ball is going to roll from the left side to get into the hole, and then the game starts.

Tomorrow: Design two more levels, the end of the game and general polish. I already build the game a couple of times, so i think im going to make it!


[Day 11]

I finished the start screen and created the end screen and credits. Also created a new mechanic (a lever) and a new level for it. And then, a lot of playthrought, bugfixing and so.

[Day 12]

Just now, polished the last detail, builded the project, checked that it works, fulfull the project page in, and... thats it: SUBMITTED!! I completed my first game jam ever! So proud!

You can try the final game in here. Sadly is only available for W10.

Thank you for reading, and see you in the next Jam!