So, this is it, the final, really final, final final post. There’s nothing more left to do, everyone has worked to get to this point. The point where we can safely say that we have delivered a game that looks like a game. We started from scratch and managed to build something that is truly ours. While our path towards this was everything but straight, the things we had to discard ultimately learned us a few lessons.
Today, we can present a performant Unity WebGL build (that, on its own, is already an achievement) everyone can test, with controller or without. Controls and overall feel have greatly improved over the last few days, as has consistency and level design.
We can be proud in a way because we have done everything we wanted and even more. Along with the actual production of the game also comes the post-production or what happens after the game. We made a promotional trailer and informative artwork along with it. That makes presenting our project so much more fun.
Thanks to everyone for following this project! And don’t forget to play:
As the deadline nears and actual work gets sparser, we try to add some new things here and there while primarily focusing on bug fixing, finalizing art and level design. Right now, the game is in a great state, with very little more to happen to the core mechanics (content-wise, we can’t get much further).
These past weeks have been hard on most of us due to the lack of time, time that might as well be spent on another course. However, we still managed to squeeze out 3 new levels, some basic things like the trees’ colors, optimizations here and there and better sound effects. Along with that an options menu to control the sound levels and a new map visual for the level selection.
You can find the latest near-final build here.
In the last weeks, I’ve been working on a new level, refining the previous one and ironing out some bugs. Along with that I’ve made a script that changes the trees’ colors based on your progress in the game. Near the end the winter nears.
They also vary in between their own little forests. While not really visible all the time, lighting reveals their colors.
This week I’ve been primarily focused on reworking the tutorials in a more coherent experience. They are short paths that can easily be finished by any new player but offer some of the necessary knowhow for our game. It’s not an easy game and requires a couple of retries but in the end every level can definitely be finished with some exercise. Even without getting hit a single time.
Torches are now in the game, they guide the player in a certain direction and are meant to replace the fireflies as a warning. My level has been dressed with them and they do matter a lot (even for me who designed it). I’ve worked on some particle effects as well, both enhancing the performance wise and making them nicer to look at. In front of the boat there are some very small fog particles which enhance the eerie feeling of the game.
Lots of work on the level design
Our levels have finally reached the point where they are production-ready; that means neither too hard nor too easy. More indicative pieces have been added to guide the player like torches and particles that indicate water currents.
While challenging, the levels are certainly more rewarding as well. They flow more naturally too, which is always a big bonus. Now we just need more levels. We plan to finish around 12 by June.
Something else to note is that the boat now has a spotlight instead of a lantern (made more sense) so you’ll spot things farther ahead of you.
The welding of the plane vertices has proved to severely impact loading times. However, this week a lot of work on the script has made the loading times way shorter and it’s mostly unnoticeable when you compare it with week 8.
While the previous name did not fit our vision over the game anymore, the character fits even less. So we’ve come up with a grim reaper like character that’ll control the boat. Along with it we’ve actually rebranded the game as “The Grim River”. Something that was pretty important since the change in theme a couple of months ago, we just never came around to it.
You can test the new build here.
Working on the user interface
This week, some more work has been done to assure a consistent, yet usable interface that is production-worthy. While more work is needed, the UI has taken a nice turn from here.
Many models have been revamped to fit better or just to look nicer overall. This includes all of the river parts, those look nicer and slightly more realistic now, and the squid (that was actually an octopus) was also changed up this more-so because of the animation/rigging of the model. A new addition to the river parts is a narrower part, where the river shrinks and speeds up.
Along with that, a couple of changes in the effects around the boat have been made as well.
Another seemingly minor change is the welding of the river parts (the water planes). It’s not noticeable at first but it saves a lot of headaches for the programmers as well as the artists.
Before and after
You can test the build here.
This week I’ve been focusing on making the trail more fitting in the theme. While it seems simple, fitting such particles in this game is a challenge. However, it’s much better than the previous FX. Along with that, I’ve also made a fire effect and a splashing effect. Both of which need some more work.
The splashing effect will take the place of the fireflies, which we were told were too confusing, and looked more like pickups. They will still be used as decorative elements though.