About participating in GamesJamGAMM: Project "Heartbeat"

    On the night of Sunday to Monday, acceptance of work at GamesJamGAMM has ended . It was a weekly game jam, where it was necessary to develop a game on the theme of “phobia”.

    In this article we will talk about how we did our project for him.

    We already have experience in participating in such events. We participated in the weekly game jam from NextCastle (as already written on Habré ), and in the monthly festival from Kanobu ( series of articles on Habré ).

    Each time we started from absolute zero, used different technologies and tried to implement different ideas.

    So, let's start from the very beginning. The topic was announced on Monday night ... (By the way, we must not forget that we still have the main work and we could not spend 100% of the time on the project for jam). Almost the entire 1st day we spent thinking about the concept. At first, nothing was born. Then the idea began to crystallize. Moreover, if we did both of the previous projects “from the gameplay”, then this project was thought up precisely from the idea, and the gameplay was born later.

    The idea was that you play as some kind of terrible creature that feeds on the fears of others. At the same time, I wanted to convey to the player a sense of omnipotence, so that he would gladly kill “pathetic little people”, etc.

    Gradually, an equally funny idea came up - that our monster also has fear. He is afraid of those who are not afraid of him.

    Start of implementation

    Next, we started thinking about art. I wanted to make the picture some “not like that”. I wanted to convey the feeling that our creature sees the whole world in a slightly different way. (Yes, it should be noted that ideas with 3D were not taken into account, because with him we have no experience and it would be unlikely that we could get a good picture in 3D for such a time).

    It was thought that montsr does not particularly see the body, but sees only the circulatory system and, most importantly, the heart. At the same moment, the name was born - Heartbeat and the beginnings of gameplay began to appear. For example, the idea is that we cannot determine how hostile a person is in his appearance. That is, at the space station where we ended up, there are civilians and military, but for us they look exactly the same. And you can only distinguish them by their reaction and heart rate.

    With the help of juggling brightness-contrast and color dodge blends, we managed to implement such a shader: the

    artist sat down to draw a concept, and we (two programmers) started picking all kinds of shaders, lighting technologies, etc. in free time.

    For technology - everything is simple. We took the Unity known to us, but a bunch of technologies unknown to us - such as dynamic light, shadows, cunning blends of applying post-effects, etc. (the artist constantly asked to realize the blends from Photoshop in the build).

    Somewhere by Thursday, we realized that there was less time left, and there was still no game. There is some art and there are a couple of interesting shaders.

    For example, 2D Volumetric Lights were taken, but the artist did not like the fact that there the lighting goes only in the direction of dimming. I had to pervert with rendering in texture and blending hands.

    And noise was also hung on this light texture. It turned out as if dust was hanging in the air.

    The monster himself did not want to portray, but to make him a kind of obscure creature, but at the same time frightening. The artist twisted all kinds of particles.

    At the same time, Andrey droo knocked on us and offered his help with sound. We joyfully agreed and tried to convey to him those feelings that we want to cause.

    All week there were blockages in the main work (the build was not going to), so that in programming it was not possible to allocate as much time as we would like. We came home and rushed to code. We slept for 6 hours.

    When is the playtest?

    By Saturday, I felt a little uneasy. Sunday ends the deadline, but there’s no game. And in general it is not clear how it will be played. But there were still two days off ahead. We spent both days off in the office, leaving home closer to night to continue from home.

    It was a time of peak productivity, but we succeeded.

    The design of the station and the writing of the logic of the behavior of the station team members took half of the time. Of course, we did not succeed in artificial intelligence for a week. But with the help of a bunch of different rules and a waypoint, they managed to achieve acceptable behavior of the team members - civilians flee to the shelters, and the guards go to check the sources of suspicious noise.

    Not to say that we managed to do everything we planned ... but anyway - we are pleased with the result. It turned out gloomy and beautiful. The sound also did not disappoint (for which many thanks!).

    Deployed build we are in a wild rush. We left the office on Sunday at 0:20. My head was spinning a little from unrealistic tension. We were in prostration and did not quite understand what was happening in the real world.

    But it was interesting. Results will come later.

    Team: programmer, game designer, artist and sound engineer.

    You can learn more about the project and play here .

    The project, of course, is completely free and does not pretend to any monetization.

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