Ludum Dare Part 2 - week 12
Updated: May 14
Ludum Dare has been going for 48 hours so far and we have an idea, some assets and level designers as well as programmers putting the game together. The theme is 'Deeeper and Deeper' for the game jam and we have an idea where a janitor forgets his keys inside of a scientific base and it is your job to get your keys but you may discover some secrets along the way.
Today was spent creating assets and changing them from FBX files into prefab files (fig.1) to transfer onto the GitHub repository, so they were easier to place into The final build. The reason prefabs make workflow faster is because, "Prefabs are a special type of component that allows fully configured GameObjects to be saved in the Project for reuse. These assets can then be shared between scenes, or even other projects without having to be configured again." (Technologies, 2019) This method was very unique to me as I had never heard of doing this and it saved us so much time in the end which was great for game jam purposes! We also imported all of the animations and characters into the game, which did not go to plan as I exported the character with the mesh connected to the rig buttons, instead of the original meta rig which wasted over an hour of my time as I tried to figure it out. This was a great learning point for me to keep in mind for next time. The other problem with the character to fix next time was merging the mirrored mesh in blender as there was a clear visible hole in the neck of the main character.
After some of these failures, I did find myself consumed with imposter syndrome during the game jam as I looked at other peoples work and thought that I was not good enough to be apart for this team. I found myself reverting back to previous work from my rapid ideation projects to confirm that I was able to do this work.
Tuesday only comprised of two hours due to the game Jam finishing at 2am so this time was spent merging all of the branches of the repository into main, and texturing the level that was designed. I realised that one of my biggest weaknesses was texturing and my understanding of PBR's, which I will work on over the coming weeks. In fig.2 you will see a screenshot from the game that we managed to hand in. We found ourselves very rushed and the level had no enemies or obstacles for the player to avoid. This was due to the team not being able to implement the enemies in time. I was able to see weaknesses within myself and this has helped me develop my smart goals to strive towards within the course itself.
"Receiving feedback on prototypes is key to all three elements. Game professionals use feedback to iterate their designs, to discover the nature of the experience they have created, and to align a range of stakeholders within interdisciplinary teams." (Cook, 2019)
Feedback was an important part of the Game Jam process as this allows other people to play your game and give you their honest thoughts, so far we have only had two reviews of our game, both stating the same feedback of how slow the player moved for the size of the game level as you can see in fig.3. We had hoped to have implemented a running feature and a crouching feature to the game, but we know now how important those elements are to how fun the game will be. I believe that the animations should be implemented into Unity earlier rather than later to allow time for the programmers to get the animations ready for the game.
In reflection on the past two days and last week of my first module I believe I have room for improvement in various aspects of my art especially in 3d from how this game jam went. I hope to also improve communication in a team as I believe this game jam suffered due to break down in communication, so I think scheduled meetings and catch ups is vital in a project like this. I also think private meetings between artists and programmers allows games to come out with a better artistic style and polish to the game. The creation of deadlines could have helped us keep to more of a timed environment and not get distracted by the small details.
Fig.1 Luke Morrisby. 2021. Turning 3d objects into prefabs
Fig.2 Luke Morrisby. 2021. Gameplay screenshot
Fig.3 Luke Morrisby. 2021. Reviews of Game Jam
Technologies, U., 2019. Prefabs - Unity Learn. [online] Unity Learn. Available at: <https://learn.unity.com/tutorial/prefabs-e> [Accessed 14 May 2021].
Cook, A., 2019. https://storage.googleapis.com/wzukusers/user-34065638/documents/5cdc55a83662aHOFZKLa/09-IBMJ%20Vol1%20Issue4%2009.pdf. IJARKE Business & Management Journal, 1(4).