Got nothing done for day 6, so I just knuckled down on the final day when I could. :'D
a. Cormorant asset
Animation for cormorant done for now I suppose, it has some clipping issues but there wasn't much sense spending any more time on it at this point. I was trying to animate at the appropriate size and angle on screen for what it'd be looking like in-engine, but zooming in to it at a closer range with any camera wider than a 50mm (such as the gif below) it looks odd and I was worried that it'd look much too goofy in the game to work okay and would be better off dropping it having any animation at all with the limited timeframe left.
But in the end, at the correct small scale in the game, I was pleased to see that it doesn't work too badly for a rushed one for a jam (I hope so anyway). I know I need to have better trust in things working out according to their initial design and purpose, especially when working in 3D with a time limit where it is so easy to just spin the thing around to some ridiculous angle it will never be seen at anyway and think oh god this doesn't work at all. I think it's a confidence that will come over time, the more times I go through the process (especially when being able to experiment and see a range of results).
b. Fish assets integrated in-game
Got the fish integrated okay, spawning random types of them at different locations in the level. At this point was tossing up whether it'd be worthwhile to have ambient ones that were differently coloured/lit that the player couldn't pick up. I left it with the one type and then decided that surfacing after the first dive should spawn multiple fish so the player doesn't have to spend quiiiite as much much time hunting them down one at a time (I still need to learn rearrangement of arrays to better solve this issue). There's of course issues with the current solution, especially the fact that catching new fish overwrites the old which leads to frustration for the player if they already have the next fish they want to surface with. If I ever found time to go back and work on this game more, that would be the first thing to focus on fixing, as well as redesigning the air pockets and how they work as they definitely need to be more visible (thank you Studio Tectorum for the feedback, it's been super helpful!).
They're finally set up to change speed at random (and animations matching speed) as well, which I tried figuring out for each type of fish (wasn't real smart making completely different bodytypes and separate rigs for the fish instead of just using different textures on the one :P), which really would benefit from a lot more tweaking.
c. Scripting everything else, testing, and trying to bring it all together
At this point I switched the colours up for better clarity, and went over the textures a couple of times. I also remembered to make a particle system for the cormorant's swimming around, which I hope isn't too heavy on parts (I'm still new to particle development and need to learn how to best optimise them). There's a lot missing in the build still; I ran out of time to try composing any music/sound effects sadly, and I would've loved the chance to make some more fun stuff for it such as developing a shader for making parts of the rock textures react to the camera position, building a more interesting lighting setup, more particle sets (such as a burst of bubbles for when the player hits a wall), as well as just having it be more of a game in general. Though that's going to be a regret with every project I guess, wishing there was more time. :'D
I'm so glad to have participated in Fishing Jam, it really was a ton of fun and I'm stoked to have been able to meet so many lovely people over the course of the week! I'm still going through playing all the entries, but everyone's done such a stellar job and should be so proud of the great works they've made! Thank you everyone for making this such a fun and inspiring week and thank you very much to Sophie for organising the awesome event!