Hello, I am just sending a message to all the people who have submitted a game for this game development challenge. As a YouTuber and game developer I was asked to judge your entry and I understand how much fun and stressful developing a game can be especially if you are relatively new to it. I will be going through all these games and will leave feedback on my experience. I wish you luck in your entry and hope to have lots of fun :)
Under a Starry Night's Sea
A downloadable game for Windows
Under a Starry Night's Sea is my entry into the 2018 Sumo Digital Rising Star Competition. It's a game about fishing, sailing, and gazing long into the horizon... it's not nearly as finished as I would like, but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.
The game was designed with a mouse and keyboard in mind, but limited gamepad support is available. All of the controls shown can be rebound through the launcher
Keyboard and Mouse:
Left/Right or A/D - Steer Ship
Up/W - Accelerate Ship
Left Click - Cast or reel the lure at the mouse cursor
Right Click (Hold) - Use telescope
Scroll Wheel (While using telescope) - Zoom in and out
Escape - Quit
I couldn’t make a credits screen in time, but I have the following people and organisations to thank:
- Dan and the rest of the Aardvark Swift Team
- The 'Grads in Games' Discord
- The Game Developer's League
- Unity Technologies
- Sounds, music and ambience not playing (there aren't any)
- Fish will appear to chase you if you reel in your lure early
- Title fades from white to dark too quickly towards the end of its entrance animation
- Fish appearing above the water (translucent shader issue)
The game was developed in Unity and C#, with Blender and Krita being used to create most of the art assets.
The competition was to see who could make the best game from some base code, which I tried to build a concept around initially by incorporating a third person perspective, but over time the example code was phased out as my ideas spun off in their own direction.
Originally codenamed Project: Double Star, Under a Starry Night's Sea was originally going to be a classical survival horror game about staying warm in a fictional northern wasteland. Though I did have a lot of interesting ideas for this, the amount of assets and design effort needed was just too much for the time I had.
It also seemed a bit too risqué for the target audience, and after recently finishing a much bigger and more stressful project for my university course, I realised that I wanted to make something more soothing. Something a little more accessible and a little less bloodthirsty.
"A spot of fishing would be nice", I thought. And I set to work.
Development only truly started a week before I was due to submit due to the copious amounts of work from my university, which put me at a disadvantage, but the actual sailing and fishing mechanics came together rather quickly.
What took the most time was the game's ship. After researching, sketching, modelling, simulating, and unwrapping that ship, only to realise that I wouldn't have time to make textures, I looked at the clock and realised that one and a half days had passed, and that the deadline was looming.
I decided to keep the ability to look through a telescope in first-person, as this added a sense of immersion to the game's world and made me feel like a hardened seafarer type. I forwent any kind of sound design in favour of an animated title screen and wrote some quick code to spawn in a bunch of random fish to catch.
And there you have it. One finished prototype available for you to download at your leisure.
If I have one regret about the game's initial release, it would be the lack of the 'chum' system. The idea was that fish you caught on your hook could be ground up into bait to catch even bigger, rarer fish. In this way, you could take the head of a tuna, mix it in with some krill and spill it overboard to make a basking shark appear. Though this might have been a little graphic for some tastes...
To install the game, extract the game folder from the archive to a suitable location on your computer. Ensure that the 'UnderAStarryNightsSky_Data' folder is directly adjacent to the executable and run it.
Be sure to let me know what you thought in the comments afterward.