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Dev Diary

Papers Jam – Other days

Game Jams Posted on Tue, April 08, 2014 12:09:23

Okay, so, I kinda fell behind in keeping this diary up to date on a daily basis but a few things came up, I ended up back in Wales for a few days, unable to work on the game. I did however get it finished once I got back so this post is going to go through all the bits I should have been writing about while I was making it.

When I last lost track of keeping this diary up to date, I had just finished putting in the 3D assets for the office for Jim to work in. My next step would be to create an interface and some problems for the player to work through.

Making the interface was fairly simple. I made a new GUI skin in unity with some images that I had created in inkscape. The next part was the most time consuming. The game revolves around decision making. Jim needs to make a call on the decisions places in front of him. These decisions can have consequences reflected in either morale levels or funds. If either of these levels hits zero then it’s game over!

The decisions were the most time consuming part of the development. I sat myself down with my netbook and typed them all out into .txt files. The game then reads from these – a much easier way of doing it than writing the scenarios directly into the scripts. Weightings of these then needed to be decided. I wanted to make the game quite hard but not unbeatable. Generally it will take the player a few tries to get through the game.

The game was fairly simple to plan out, just not terribly quick to make (for a game jam game). Due to this simplicity, I did not really have any bugs of note to deal with. Usually with my projects I have at least 1 crazy bug (just wait until the write up for “Jim’s Night At Work”, crazy images will be included).

There are some parts of the game that I wish to tweak before porting it to a standalone application on various platforms. Overall I’m glad I finished the game and found papers jam to be very fun. Sadly it appears that I was the only one to submit a game in the end for this jam, however what I can take from that is the improvement in my self discipline. Three months ago I would have not likely finished this game so I am very proud of myself and where I am now with my game development.

Papers Jam – day1

Game Jams Posted on Fri, March 28, 2014 21:09:38

So I decided to make a game for the papers jam, a game jam inspired by the work of the popular indie game ‘Papers, Please’. After thinking of three ideas and scrapping them due to the scope being too large, I finally settled on an idea. I would make a small game based on my current larger project ‘Jim’s night at work’ in which the player discovers what Jim does in his job. The idea being to be able to give some more of a back story to Jim.

This took a little while to plan out using my whiteboard. Whiteboards are very good for getting initial design ideas out and thought through.

The game will show Jim at his desk going through papers to approve or deny specific requests. These decisions will have moral and financial implications on Jim and the company so the player needs to think carefully about the decisions they make.

I started building the game by putting the office and contents of the first level of Jim’s night at work into a unity package and exporting. I then imported these assets into a new project. This allowed me to quickly build the office back up exactly how it is in the main game. I set the camera at a good chair height to give the illusion of being sat at his desk.

The next stage will be to start building up the mechanics. I’m quite excited about this mini-project so I hope that it pays off and gives a good end result.