[SA Game Jam 2017] A collection of Moments

I am doing this one alone, not by choice to be honest, but actually I am pretty happy in a way that I got to lock myself in a room and Jam for a weekend :)
- I am actually not sure where I fit with the designations - I am officially a student, and I don't make money from games as such, but it I am partially using games in my postgrad work, and I lead a team of other researchers looking at games a the Serious Games Institute at NWU - I will leave this up to the discretion of the judges :)
- I will make as much of the game assets as I can, but I did get a free classroom pack and furniture/house pack from the unity store (will credit it). Art isn't really my strong point anyway.
- For music I have used open music from an artist called "deceased Superior Technician"

So when I started the jam on friday I was in a pretty dark place. The concept is basically that you are some every day guy, doing every day things, but then you have at the top right in your HUD the elements of your life:
Health, Finance, Social Interaction, Career and Education (I spent way too much time fiddling with the little HUD 5-way slider and its associated effects in the UI layer - mental note for next jam).

As you spend time in different locations (home, Gym, office, club and class), you will be spending life to be there from one of your life sliders, but you have the chance to collect things that are collectable there - so at home you can collect a trophy for watching enough episodes of the simpsons, at work you can win the employee of the year, at gym you can win the meat head trophy etc.

As you get older though, your health deteriorates faster and faster, and ultimately you die (always). My idea at the moment is to then give a summary of your life, with some depressing quotes that I grabbed off of HealthyPlace.com.

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  • Wow I love the idea behind this game. Really like the menu being a room. Maybe add a label above the door saying menu though. Can't wait to play this once your done with it.
  • nice. reminds me of the tamagochi. i like how you handled the leveling system. havent played it. but i like.
  • Wow. So the forum nearly game me a heart attack, but here is my final build :)
    Thank you all for the feedback!
    This was one of my best jams ever - so after a rocky start, I am pretty happy with the end results!
  • For those who don't actually want to download the whole big thing, the basic premise is that your whole life is really just building up to a collection of random things you accomplish, and then you die (Not like depressing or anything).
    You start off in your house and then you start to age. Depending on where you are (home, at work, at the gym, at the club, in the classroom) you will lose stats on one of your guages (Social life, money, career, education/knowledge or health).
    At each of the locations there is stuff you can interact with that will make some guages go up and some go down (so for example, if you work hard at your keyboard, then your money guage goes up, but your health and social life suffer).

    As you age, the health bar goes down quicker and quicker.

    In the end, depending on what you managed to spend your time on, your tombstone will show the collection of experiences and traits you managed to gain over your lifetime, and sums it up as a list. There are 3 different end conditions - Death by illness (if your health drops to zero), Suicide due to depression (if your social meter drops to zero) or Suicide by bancrupcy (if finace drops to zero).

    I was quite proud of how I dealt with the events in the game too - I currently feel like the king of state machines ;) Also, I tried to make it such that the things that happen in your life (that are captured as a number of statuses and strings for awards) would be stated in the past tense on your tombstone by just doing a replacement in code, but that didn't work as well as I had hoped - stupid language!

    Here are some images for those who are keen :)
    Home room
    Main menu
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  • Credits for assets:
    from the unity store:
    Props for the Classroom, VR Free
    Toon Furniture, Elcanetay, Free
    Customizable bedroom 1.0, Night Forest, Free
    Fridge Old and New 1.0, mgsvevo, Free
    kitchen props free 1.0, Jake Sullivan, Free
    bathroom props, Kobra Game studios, Free

    paid assets (gave myself a budget of $10, ended up using $5 - winning!)
    Modular Modern Building, Natropol $1
    Easy Building, Natropol $0.95
    Easy Building 2, Natropol $0.95
    Living room furniture set 1, Robert T. Penick $2

    all sounds from http://www.orangefreesounds.com or freesound.org
    all royalty free music by Deceased Superior Technician
  • Nice. for a 3 day effort. I say good job. I hope you refine the game over some time.
  • I really liked this dude! Poignant concept with interesting experimental execution. Made me thought of Jesse Barksdale/Davey Wreden/William Pugh-type games (which are some of my favourites).

    Was a bit confused when I initially started but once you get the hang of things, the gameplay really does get your point across.

    The inclusion of your diary was pretty cool, found it really interesting to read through it. Really funny how all the prior events are concluded with the forum being down haha. "FUCK THAT NOISE".

    Few issues I encountered:
    Your walk often carries on after button release.
    That party noise quite annoying haha.
    Had to go to the gym way too much. I don't like gyms.
    Wish the top left corner notes were a bit more prominent.
    I wish when you said "two left feet", I would look down and see two left feet.

    Also, sorry you got stood up! But you ended up creating a pretty sick game!

  • Thanks a lot guys :) I feel quite connected to this one.

    That party noise was not the best - it was just the best I could find ;) I was temped at one point to shout "Wooooo shooters!", but my mic was being lame, so got that off freesound ;)

    I like the idea of two left feet - I may add that in...
    Thanked by 1SleepingSafari
  • Hey man pretty cool concept,

    I think what would help with a lot of the confusion would be to maybe make the colour of the labels in the choose where to go room the same as the aspect of your life they affected because until I figured that out it was really confusing, but if you can clear that up I think it'd help a lot.

    I also agree with @SleepingSafari some of the sounds could use some work particularly the club and gym sounds, but other than that it was cool, a nice comment on how difficult it is in life to balance all of the different aspects, let alone excel in any of them or even all of them. But really cool man keep it up :)
  • Well done on completing a solo jam.

    I felt a little confused playing this. I kept dying (maybe I just suck at life :P) and I didn't feel any motivation for any particular activity.
    I feel like exploring would have suited the game better rather than having text telling me where to go or what to do.
    The idea is neat though.

    I didn't get to read through everyone's comments, so don't know if I retread any ground here.
  • Thanx for the feedback @thelangfordian!

    it was a great learning experience in that way - I sorta suck as an artist / designer at points because in my heart I am a programmer ;) The UI would have been very different I 5hi k if I jad an artist's eye. I am at some point I think going to rework some stuff to make it a full game and explore the concept I wanted to - but was at a conference this week so it will have to be future Japie's problem :D

    I do think I will keep some of the exploration mechanic, but agree it needs to be more clear what you need to do.

    I will upload a new one when I get there :)
    Thanked by 1Thelangfordian
  • edited
    I'm a little confused as to how to play this. I keep dying of ill health after 30 seconds or so. I can't see any health bar?

    Is that the message of the game? That not everybody gets to do much with their lives?

    [Edit] Figured out the health bar. Damn, it's tough being alive.
  • I think both are true - But I definitely learned a lot about UI design in this jam. In my head the colours were clear, but apparently that was only in my head.

    I wanted there to be a bit of an element of working out where you are supposed to go, but in the end I think thay gave way to confusion rather than curiosity. I will definitely work on that.

    Thanks for all the feedback though guys - I feel like I learned a lot from this jam on many fronts :)
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