[8 hour Prototype] The 3rd Dimension

edited in Projects
We had an 8 hour jam this weekend. A couple rad games came out of it (I really want @Squidcor to post his dating game, and @BenCrooks critiqued his own work in another forest exploration game, to mention just some of them).

Here's what we did in 8 hours:



We here being:
Evan Greenwood (Programming)
Ivo Sissolak (Music and Foley)
Kevin Gibson (Narration)
(There's some additional art assets that were made by Filip Orekhov, but aren't in this version)

The idea was to create an educational game series. This is really only 1 minute of what *might* be the start of the first episode. It doesn't demonstrate much, and needs to be iterated on, but it's a concept that seems like a lot of fun to explore.

The idea was to make a game a bit like classic educational TV Shows like "Look Around You". And we thought given that physics are so easy to demonstrate in Unity, and Unity can provide a decently simulated 3D environment, that 3rd dimensional physics might be a good subject for the game to cover.

Windows Build: http://www.callofthevoid.com/Builds/The3rdDimension_8Hour.zip
Mac Build: http://www.callofthevoid.com/Builds/The3rdDimension_OSX_8Hour.zip

We'd hope that if this were to be expanded further we could incorporate more cutting edge 3rd dimensional physics. But for now it's just a test for style and tone.


  • I love the visual style of this.
    Also, is Look Around You an actual educational show? I thought it was a parody.
  • They really should teach "The Helvetica Scenario" more :)
    Thanked by 1EvanGreenwood
  • Oh, this is lovely. Style, referencing, voice, this looks like it could be a wonderful project if taken further.

    I anticipate the biggest difficulty would be getting people to internalise the jokey atmosphere and go along with it. Making successful tutorials is nightmarish enough as it is, so I wonder how you'd get the majority of players to "learn" to go left when they've just been told to move right. "Look Around You" could do more bizarre / wrong things because it didn't require the viewer to understand or interact to keep on going.

    Looks like it was a really fun jam! And +1 vote on seeing whatever this mysterious dating game from Squid is about.
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    Thanks for playing everyone!!

    @Nandrew Regarding going forward, there were some good suggestions at the jam that didn't make it into the game. What I think might make an interesting meta-commentary is exposing some of the shortcomings of Unity's physics, like objects pass through each other at fast enough velocities, or hinge-joints that explode when a non-physics movement is introduced, and presenting these shortcomings as facts about the real world. @Aequitas suggested some pretty rad ideas in this vein.

    I'm thinking of the "puzzle" design as following the example of games like Metamorphabet, that the solution space should be small enough that a bit of trial and error is enough to get past (when reasoning fails), and, like Metamorphabet, the payoff isn't in the satisfaction of solving the puzzle, but instead the payoff is that the solution when found is unexpected/perverse.
    Thanked by 1Nandrew
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    For the recent "Deceit" jam Ben Rausch and myself tried prototyping this again... It's quite different this time around...

    There's still the brilliant music that Ivo Sissolak composed for the first jam in there, but also a bunch of other bleeps and tunes that we got from Alex Hitchcock.


    If you want to try it out, you can get it here:


    This was a 16 hour jam, so the experience is pretty rough. It relies on you to play along and listen to all the narration and do what the narrator says. There are no lines for if you do things out of order, and lines of narration will play over each other if you don't wait for the current line to finish.

    Obviously if we took this further we'd try make it feel like the narrator was watching what you were doing and responding (rather than this being essentially a video that waits for you to click on things before progressing). But creating a responsive narrator with lots of alternative lines wasn't our goal for this jam, what we were trying to achieve was to explore the tone and ideas for content for this game.

    What do you think of this direction as a start? Do you think absurdist South-African-science is interesting as a theme? Is this sort of theme coming through in the game, and is there anything you think would make it resonate more?

    If you do play to the end (the Boommaster is the final screen for now, it unlocks the new element on the periodical table but there is no more content to explore) you might get some idea of where we'd like to take this, that as you play it should open up more and more elements to play with and combine, and over time unlock new gadgets to experiment with. I think this might be fun, but it's not tested here.
    Thanked by 1BenJets
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    Appreciate the OSX build ;)

    This feels dead on "Look Around You", which is a good aesthetic, though I feel like as a game, it needs a bit more than just tone and aesthetic to be interesting, I'm not sure how to feedback on this since you say that it's only that at the moment, which is... fine?

    The way I see something like this being interesting would be something like Frog Fractions direction where the unexpected IS the way forward, and that means looking at and exploring unexpected possibilities. Like interacting with the physics of the scene to produce some gameplay (I pushed the microwave mixmaster off its shadow which was slightly lol)
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    @Tuism ... Yeah, I agree, I think if the game begins something like this then the game really needs to have at least another act where some of the rules are broken and the way forward isn't just doing what the narrator asks.

    That's unfortunately not something we've tested in this prototype, but I'm glad the "Look Around You" aesthetic is coming through :)

    Thanks for playing and for some feedback!!! It gives us an idea of what to prioritize next.
  • For me the ball physics version was a bit more fun and unusual - not interacting with buttons but instead with the actual object - I think it also left more room for mystery and discovery with the way the camera was set up. Each time you move off the screen you could potentially change the camera angle to reveal a new perspective or interaction, and guide the ball through an "Obstacle Course of Learning" ..."with Fantastical Surprises"
    Thanked by 1EvanGreenwood
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    @jamotaylor Yeah, I do miss the physics toy gameplay. We have some ideas as to how to bring that back... though if we continue with the current "Periodic Table" approach the physics play is unlikely to be such a central feature.

    Thanks for the feedback! When we have a chance to look at this again we'll see if we can address this.
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