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A jam entry

Where Do Birds Go When It Rains?View game page »

A short experiment in flight created for xkcdjam
Submitted by DeoVolente.Games with 7 minutes, 49 seconds before the deadline

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Visit Where Do Birds Go When It Rains?'s game page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw score
Audio#24.3464.346
Visuals#24.5774.577
Overall#74.0774.077
Innovation#143.6923.692
Fun#243.2693.269
xkcd-ness (how well it matches/interprets the comic)#343.8463.846

Ranked from 26 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

Link to xkcd comic / 'what if' article the game is based on
https://xkcd.com/1434/

Please list any pre-made art/music/other assets that you used.
Uses the xkcd script font: https://github.com/ipython/xkcd-font
Rocks by Yughues: https://opengameart.org/content/free-lowpoly-rocks-set01
Trees created with Tree It: http://www.evolved-software.com/treeit/treeit
Rain sound by Arctura: https://freesound.org/people/Arctura/sounds/39828/
Unity Game JamMenu Template: https://www.assetstore.unity3d.com/en/#!/content/40465
Music by my brother

Team size

1

Team's social media links:
http://deovolente.games/

Anything else you want players to know before they play?
Mouse 1 to hop around, Mouse 2 to flap your wings. You'll glide if in the air and not flapping your wings. Try to find a dry place!

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Comments

The vibe of this game is fantastic! I love the simplistic but consistent look of the visuals... the mood and atmosphere overall is so great!! :D 

The flying of the bird looks amazing! My fav is the landing. The way it auto-targets branches, and flaps as it hovers to a land. All feels so great. It was fun to just fly around and explore.

One tweak might be following the bird's 'root' position while on the ground, (instead of body joint). To eliminate some of the camera up/down when moving on the ground. Flying didn't bug me though. The flight anim looks so great... makes me wish he had a little more animation while bouncing around on the ground. (Even if super simple, legs hopping, slight tail/wing motion, etc). But honestly, didn't bring the experience down, just would've made it that much better. Really cool stuff. :) Loved it.

Developer

Thanks! I'm glad you like the style, consistency is something I think is extremely important in games. And the landing was the thing that took the longest to achieve, even though I'm proud of what I managed to achieve in the time limit I still want to completely remake it... 

My brother pointed out what you found with the hopping animation before but it's not a super easy fix unfortunately and I wasn't able to get it into the game. I think what the camera needs to do is trace the height of the ground while in hopping mode. I'm still working on an update though, it's just taking a long time but hopefully this change will make it in. 

And I'l note what you said about hopping, I was just hoping people wouldn't notice :P

I really love the atmosphere you've created here. Excellent choice to make the bird 3d, instead of just a 2d sprite; it works so well. The landing system can be a bit janky at times as you mentioned, but when it works well (and you alight on just the branch you were aiming for) it feels incredible. On the off-chance you're not aware of this issue, I uploaded a quick video showing a landing bug. Overall it's easily one of my favourite entries from this jam. Great work!

Developer

Thank you very much! I'm so happy you enjoyed this game. It was a real challenge getting the landing working at all within the time limit. I'm currently working on a better system that should solve most if not all of the issues that currently exist. 

I think the bug you have is probably a result of the collider being too spherical, so it is having trouble detecting that it is grounded. I think I can fix it by making the collider more complex so I will try that for the next build. Thanks for the bug report!

Beautiful and relaxing! Well done! The bird's flight was spot on, and the music is the perfect choice. I want this as my screensaver, with a little bird making his way out of the rain!

Developer

Thanks! Interesting idea, I just checked and it seems like it's actually possible to make Unity games into screen savers. Would you like me to try it out?

(Edited 1 time)

Simply the best!

Developer

Thanks :P

Tried it and it's pretty beautiful and moving around is fun! Is there an ending though?

Developer(+1)

Yep! You just need to get inside somewhere dry and safe from the rain... 

A potential goal was to have multiple ways to "win" the game but I didn't have the time. I'm still working on this so I might add them in later though. 

My only five star in visuals so far. It looks great! The sounds also goes quite well with it.
It's not very xkcd, but beautiful in it's own way!

Developer

Thank you very much! I don't consider myself much of an artist but I tried pretty hard to get a nice look with this game. I modelled, rigged, textured and animated the bird from scratch in blender and it was a real challenge to get it working in such a short time. 

I was hoping to add a stronger reference to the xkcd comic but I didn't have the time during the jam. Hopefully I'll be able to include something in an update since it's one of my favourite xkcd comics and I don't know whether I really did it justice. 

The comic this is based on is a beautiful one, and I hadn't read it before.  Let's see how you interpreted it. :)

It's a very charming game.  The music and color palette are both very well chosen.  Personally I don't think it really goes in the same mental/emotional place where the original comic does, but this game creates its own space with that comic, which is totally fine.

Exploring and flying is rather fun; I very much liked the flying mechanic (though the player who hasn't read the description will probably spend a bit of time pressing WASD & the arrow keys in confusion).  I do wish there was more to explore and see besides just rocks and trees.  And actually getting in the birdhouse was rather frustrating (because the controls are about going up or down in flight, it was difficult to get in).  Do wish the game had a restart button.

A nice little game.  Thanks for making it.

Developer

I'm glad you found it relaxing, I had games like Proteus and Abzu in mind when I started. I also wanted to add a stronger link to the comic but I wasn't sure how given the time limit. Maybe in a future update.

The game was always supposed to be a bit barren but it wasn't supposed to be this barren, I just ran out of time. I want to add some more stuff to fly around as well as some stuff in the distance (treeline, clouds, mountains?) and some small stuff on the ground (leaves, grass?) to make the world seem more lived in. I'm working on obstacle detection and a restart button is definitely going in the next version.

It's also on my to-do list to add some simple onscreen hints at the start of the game. I'll probably do that when I add some more control methods.

Thanks for playing!

Very nice! I can't think of anything to add, it's calming as is!

Developer

Thank you!

This is a very cute game! Great choice with the sound effects and music.

Two nit-picky things:

  1. It'd be cool if the bird titled up or down with your mouse as you're flying, to make it seem more "real" (for a cartoon, at least).
  2. The landing feels really finicky, especially with all of the hopping as the bird lands.


It's quite pleasing and relaxing though :) Great job!

Developer (Edited 1 time)

Thanks, I'll be sure to let my brother know you liked the music! 

Originally the bird did tilt up and down but there was a problem with it vibrating when it came to land so I had to take it out. I didn't have enough time to fix it before but I'll give it another go some time this week. Also the navigation system for landing is really janky for many reasons. I'm going to continue working on that though, probably cutting momentum when the bird lands would go a long way towards helping with landing... hmm.

Developer

Progress on flying towards mouse: 

This is approximately what I had before I removed it. What do you think, maybe just improve the way it looks when landing and a few other edge cases (so it doesn't keep face planting)?

(Edited 1 time)

It's certainly better than a flat bird. I think it would look far less abnormal without the skidding, but I'm sure you know that. When I imagined it, I thought of just slight tilting up and down in the direction of flight, but what you have looks good too.


EDIT: I just played it, and I saw that you updated both things. It's much better now :) The only other thing I could think of is to add a few random wing flaps when gliding, as right now the bird just seems flat when doing so.

(Edited 1 time)

This is basically a super sick Bird Simulator. Nothing but love from this sparrow.

Oh yea, constructive feedback... Hmm. You could add navigational aid so you can glide around obstacles when hopping on the ground. Would make it much easier to move around. And maybe different controls for people too lazy to get their mouse?

Developer (Edited 1 time) (+1)

High praise from someone named gastricsparrow!

Part of the challenge I set myself for this jam was making a game where you could move in 3D but with limited 2D controls. While it sorta worked out there were a lot of janky systems involved as well. Navigation is at the top of that list. The way it is coded is that when flapping you will always try to fly past obstacles but when gliding down you will try to land on them, it's what allows landing on rocks and most tree branches even when they are close to the edge of the area. However the obstacle detection is REALLY bad . I'll definitely work on that, hopefully I'll have the time to push an update later this week. 

And originally it used keyboard controls only, I switched to mouse to give greater control. I'd like to add more control schemes; that's what I did for my last rapid prototype as well. 

Really awesome atmosphere and the visual style is endearing. Love the ending too! 

Developer

Thanks! The ending was made in the last 15 mins of the jam, it was almost cut but I'm glad it wasn't.

When I try to run it, an error message pops up saying that "UnityPlayer.dll" is missing.

I'm having the same error.  Could be an issue with the build settings in Unity.

Same

Developer

Uh oh, I'll upload another build. I might try a WebGL build so that you don't need to download anything. 

Developer(+1)

I've uploaded a WebGL build which seems to be happier. Let me know how it goes!