Lonely Planets is a game that I created in the last 5 days as part of the Unreal Spring Jam 2020. I flew solo on this project, meaning that I did all the 3D modelling, texturing, blueprinting, level/mechanic/narrative design, everything that needed to be achieved to make this game possible.
Overall, the development on this game was relatively smooth, especially compared to some of the jams that I have worked on in the past. I would say that Vampire Dinner Party was probably slightly smoother, but that was because I was working with a great team. I put together a little gameplay trailer for the submission, check it out below.
As I knew that I was going to have to do quite a few assets by myself, I went for a very simple low poly art style with solid colours that I could create using the vector parameter in the material editor. This saved a whole bunch of time, I created over 20 assets for this game, of which probably took less than 20% of my time, which was essential due to the complicated physics system.
The way that the Mario Galaxy/Outer Wilds style gravity works in Lonely Planets is that, depending on which planet actor you are closest to, the z and x coordinates of your little guy you are controlling are always being aimed at the center of that actor. The initial system wasn't actually too difficult to set up, but blueprinting the checks and making sure the array worked as intended for hopping between planets took an extra 9 hours than was previously allocated for that task. However, it was essential to set the groundwork for the multi-planetary platformer that I want to create in the future.
The reason that I partake in game jams is for a few reasons, but one stands out above the rest. For this particular one, I was drawn in by the prize for solo developer, as it would be a considerable upgrade to my ancient computer, but I was also drawn to it because I put a lot of value in awards, and receiving one from Epic Games would be very good for my portfolio. However, like I said, one reason stands above the rest, and this is true for almost all game jams that I have taken part in, which is to start a project at a sprint. Because of the harsh time constraints, as well as the way the game jam is structured, it really encourages me to work flat out to make the game the best it can be. The progress that I have made so far on this project that I want to pursue in the future is leaps and bounds above the progress I would have made if it was just a standard week in the office.
Anyway, that's the blog post for the time being, like I mentioned just then, I really want to carry on working on this project and add a lot of cool physics mechanics that work well with the gravity system I have, so expect more blog posts in the future, goodbye!
Hello, my name is Niall Crabtree, and this is my comprehensive blog showcasing all of my game development endeavors and successes, as well as essays on game design.
Receive an email every two weeks with all the articles I produce so you never miss one!