2019 Global Game Jam: 2 Weeks Later

Exactly two weeks after submitting to the 2019 Global Game Jam, we presented the latest version of our game today at the Seattle Indies Show & Tell and Global Game Jam Showcase. Despite the snow that’s kept much of Seattle home this weekend, we still had a decent number of people able to stop by, and we’re very grateful to those that did! On display we had both Else Return Home and our previous game Good Night Rowan, for which we got both positive reception and good feedback on things we can focus on to improve. To that end, here are some of the things we’ve been working on over the past week:

LEVEL DESIGN

  • Update Home environment with new 3D models for fireplace, floor, and furniture
  • Update City environment with new 3D models for trees, fences, street signs, and various additional decorations
  • Add new landmarks in the City scene to assist with player navigation
  • Block off some more areas unintended for the player to reach
  • Replace colliders of some objects for more realistic rain drop collisions

SOUND DESIGN

  • Rebalance audio mixing, especially to make voice overs more audible
  • Sync up Door sound effects to better align with scene loading

PLAYER

  • Gradually reduce player speed when walking into park pond to give more realistic impression of wading into water
  • Prevent the player from walking all the way into the deep end of the water
  • Automatically show photo after bringing back an objective item to reiterate the game objectives and demonstrate progress
  • Fix bug to allow interaction with Dorg while holding an item

AI

  • Refactor AI of robot pet Dorg to operate on a Behavior Tree system to allow greater flexibility in adding and modifying behaviors
  • Make robot pet Dorg occasionally run ahead of player to make Dorg more dynamic and appear on screen more often
  • As the player collects more objective items, make Dorg run ahead further and more often to help the player feel increasingly more comfortable in the City and reinforce the feeling of the player gradually establishing their home
  • Prevent Dorg from running to “nearby” locations on the other side of a fence or unreachable areas that would produce either invalid or overly long paths
  • Make Dorg run around objective items but not avoid them while held by player (otherwise produces buggy behavior)

BACKEND

  • Refactor various chunks of code to enhance developers’ ease of use and facilitate new features and content
  • Add in editor visualizations to assist in debugging

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