Releasing our First Monthly Game on Itch.io
I recently found Itch.io after searching the internet for different places to release our monthly games. So this game is getting released right before the actual release of our 3rd game in the monthly series.
Phase Drop was originally an idea from a friend who remembered a falling flash game way back in the day where you collected snowflakes. With these monthly games, especially early on, I really wasn't trying to do too much with each game, so I kept it simple. Phase drop was very simple.
The idea was that you controlled a single player who slowly sped up as they fell down faster and faster. The idea was to stay alive as long as you could and to collect points by both staying alive and by collecting things.
I added in 2 core features that kept the game interesting. The first was the Phase, which the game is named after, and that basically is a break. I added this honestly because I wasn't good at controlling the level creation and sometimes impossible situations would come up and I wanted a way the player could survive and becoming invincible for a small amount of time is a good way to make that happen.
The second ability was the dash. This was to help the player collect coins that were just out of reach or to quickly go back and forth when the level had a zig-zag pattern.
I honestly found dashing way more fun than phasing, but phasing was still needed for the really sticky situations. I also found that players got less mad about anything that was unfair when they had a phase that could've helped them.
When I originally created it on codepen it didn't even have a skin.
This was the original creation that I made in ReactJS. (if anyone is curious about making games in ReactJS let me know and I will write a tutorial on it.)
As you can see the play is very close to the Phase Drop that I released here with the primary changes coming in the graphics department.
We chose to remake one of the old monthly react games in Unity so we would have a good starting off point for a game we could make in just a single month. For the graphics we decided that going "cute" was probably a good idea as it always makes games easier to relate too.
I create a little cloud friend that my girlfriend promptly decided to name "Blorg."
This little guy was automatically a hit and I really liked him. I decided that instead of collecting coins he was going to collect little blobs of food to sustain himself. He would fall out of the sky and drift down as he ate more and more. The initial mock-ups were good enough that we decided to go in this direction.
One of the real challenges in this game for me was creating all the animations, as I really hadn't done much with animations before. I went about creating a sprite sheet and kind of just winged it. I kept it really simple and focused on getting the main idea across. In game I like most of the animations, but I especially like the eating animation. It is so cute!
Once we had all the animations in the game felt totally different to play and because way more fun. I wish we could have added in more juice like some camera shake or maybe some noise, but 31 days is not very long to make a game. Especially when you are learning a pretty brand new tool like unity.
The game play itself remained mostly the same, with the only change being that we added in a super fruit that you could pick up for even more points.
There are a lot of things that we didn't do very well during the creation of this game that led to it not being quite as good as it could have been. If people are interested I would like to write a Postmortem on this game and discuss how we used what we did wrong in this game to improve for the July game.
If you have any questions about my process or anything else that went into creating this game please let me know!
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