Nemoris Game Jam #2

The next article is about the project development of Totem Little Raider, developed in the Nemoris Game Jam #2 and you can now play it on Wooglie and Kongregate. It will soon be available for Android and iOS.

A couple of weeks ago i started the second version of Nemoris Game Jam. This time the goal was to use augmented reality to create a small game on a 72-hour period and get it ready for launch in the stores of Android and iOS. This objective had 2 utilities: First, launch a game, has been some time since our last game launch and add to our portfolio a game which  contains augmented reality.

In the previous edition i was alone in this event / personal challenge and supported by Victor Velasquez, a great friend and Nemoris Games’ marketing director who would be responsible for posting pictures and progress in our social networks. For this edition we add Diego Iturriaga, 3D modeler, animator and graphic designer from AppArte, he will support all the graphics that we may need.

Thus being 17:00 hrs on Thursday May 1, it has began.

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The first few hours went by quickly and we design a very simple and fun game, a character running on 3D platforms that have to get something. We don’t want that the game depends solely on augmented reality, but it serves as a standard game itself so we design ittaking that into account. The first test of augmented reality worked well, I have much experience in this area, so it was not unknown territory. The database design, PHP interactions with objects in the game and scripts that control their behaviours and the design for the game to get scenes from database to save memory and allow a quick update was also planned in the day 1. With all this on paper and having completed the respective tests the prototype was ready and running the first day. That was awesome!

 

The second day began with the search for the perfect graphic style. Based on the response we got from users in social networks, we select the graphic style for the game and the main character.

  
While the design was defined, I began to do performance testing on Android and iOS, there were many problems that I encountered, because as the scene was formed by many blocks, each with its own collider and a number of vertices, memory and CPU gets overloaded with information and the game ran at 10 FPS on average, which is unacceptable. After applying some optimization techniques to the models and apply the Combine Meshes Utility from Unity, performance improved a lot and was between 30-60 FPS. Much better 😀
Next task was to start creating dynamic objects that we would see in the game. Some switch, thorns and platforms. Here we had a problem because we plan a number of objects and behaviors, but it turned out to give us very little room to give to the game a sufficient feeling that something new in each level. So I had to add new switches, range of platforms, mobile spines, blocks that appear and disappear and leave everything built for possible new future additions.
Friday afternoon came and I managed to have a functional demo, it looks quite well and worked well too, but the control was highlighted as the worst. Some of my friends / testers could barely control the character and ended up hating the game. This control was like this: when you press up on the joystick, the character walked forward, independent of the orientation of the camera. Something like Resident Evil 3. My girlfriend suggested me that if the control dependent on the angle that the camera it gets to be more intuitive and when i try it, it was perfect 😀
  
Day 3 has began and i have to prepare the other screens, the title, scene selection and how these scenes interact with the database. The original design looked ugly, but it was because there’s no  final design implemented yet.
  
After the graphic was starting to get here, the game start to look better
  

Upon completion of the screens came the turn to do the scenes. This is a task that is generally regarded as simple, but there is much work and observation behind the creation of each stage, teach without being obvious, reward and encourage the user to keep playing and be challenging at the same time. The penultimate day was ended and yet this task and icon design and logo for the game was still on the to do list. But fatigue kept me for continue at 4AM so i decided to sleep about 5 hours to reach our goal the last day.

The last day began and was a key element to be determined … The name!  With Victor we investigate the matter, gathering the best possible combination of words that tells users what is the game about and also that is engaging and fun. After a few hours, we got it: Little Raider Totem

After that, I started doing the scenes. It took a little longer than expected , but I managed to have 10 of them on the map to start. The ideal is to deliver 100 scenes and so much fun to users. While i was building, we discussed on the icon of the game. Diego gave us several options :

Using our social networks, the most voted icon was the last one. After refining and some work, this is the result:
The journey doesn’t end here. At the next day we decided to launch it first at web and that desition change a lot of things, but i’ll talk about it in a next article. Thanks for reading!
Finally, this video was recorded in the hour 75 and it shows you the end result:

Play it on:

Wooglie and Kongregate