Indigestible is a 2D Platformer about a corn kernel (named Cornelius) who’s trying to make their way through different digestive systems. The idea for the game came from a game jam where the theme was PASSAGE, and I thought that it would be fun to make a fast-paced game about trying not to be digested. This project is currently a work in progress.
The First Build
The first build of the project I made by myself over a weekend in GameMaker Studio 2. Here is a GIF of this very rough build of the game. All the animations were done in GameMaker. The level was designed in a tile-based system where I put all of the visual assets in one layer, and had all the collisions exist in another.
Transition to Unity
Once my first playable prototype for the game was completed and the game jam had ended, I thought more about what I wanted this game to be and how I could make it better. While GameMaker was great for getting my first build out the door, I felt that using Unity and it’s tools would be a better fit for where I wanted to take this project. Additionally, my brother Jonathan joined the project as a game & sound designer, so I knew we could definitely take this game to the next level!
The first obstacle of transitioning over to a new game engine was getting the basic functionality working. Once we had our basic collisions and movement setup, we could spend more time looking at the parts of the game that we wanted to revamp. Things like the art style, UI, and sound were all things we wanted to improve upon. As the artist and designer for the project, I took care of the visual aesthetics and user experience side of the project.
I started off by sketching some ideas for what the different UI in the game would look like. I knew that I wanted to incorporate different characteristics of corn into my designs, so I started off experimenting with that.
The first menu I worked on was a title screen menu. I thought that it would be interesting to incorporate a person eating some corn, and having the options rotate with the piece of corn. Next, I wanted to create a level select menu that used a combination of cards with a carousel effect.
Here are a couple of videos showing initial prototypes for these two menus:
One thing that I thought would make the experience of playing this game a bit more enjoyable was if I created a custom controller for it. I worked with an artist friend of mine named Colleen Jennings to create The Corn-troller! Since it’s a basic 2D platformer, we designed a controller with only a few inputs in order to make the experience more accessible to players who are not avid gamers. Below are some images showing images of the model we used, along with the finished product.
On February 2020, I had the opportunity to demo the game in downtown Santa Cruz and get feedback from people in the street! While the first build of the game was still a bit buggy, it was great seeing young children to elderly folks go through the demo and give me their first impressions of the game. Some of the key take aways were:
- Many players didn’t realize there was a double-jump ability and missed certain platforms by only jumping once.
- The lack of immediate feedback from holding a button to increase your run speed confused players and they thought that the button didn’t have a function.
Role: Artist & Designer
Date: Dec 2019 – Present