Bodybag (The Cleaners) – our #GGJ15 Criminal Resolution Physics Simulator
Global Game Jam is the 48 hour annual Game Jam that happens all across the world with a unified theme. You can play the game here:
The theme this year was “What do we do now?!”
This was a tough one – the previous Ludum Dare’s theme was, to me, a lot more restrictive, and thus felt more interesting. It’s the old saying of if you tell someone they can do anything, they most likely will end up doing nothing. Restrictions breed creativity.
So we tried to break the theme down into restrictions we can try to apply:
- “We” – “It’s What do we do now?”, so that implies some kind of group game – implying multiplayer, which is my personal favourite. But multiplayer experiences tend to not do as well in jam setting (as we discussed in the previous Ludum Dare blog), and we just did one in our previous LD, we also wanted to stay away from that.
- A sense of being thrust into something unknown – that’s the feeling those words “What do we do now?” elicit. We wanted to make people feel that panic and confusion.
- Not a scripted narrative adventure game – we realised very quickly that the theme lent itself too much to a kind of point & click adventure that would have players solve things by working out contextual puzzles, so we wanted to stay away from that. We wanted to base the game on a mechanic rather than a stream of content.
The deed is done, the mark is now a body. “What do we do now?”
Now, we call the Cleaners.
Bodybag is a game about what happen after the inconsiderate asshole assassins leaves a messy botched job behind. It’s your job to get rid of the body in whatever way necessary.
- It can be played as a 2P game with each controlling a character, or ambidextrously by a single player. This
- It’s a physics-based game which we haven’t really had experience with before – No More Boxes was physics but this had elastic bodies and all that which relied a lot more on physics than wrangled quasi-physics.
- Not sure on the name “The Cleaners” sounds better but a tad generic, “Bodybag” sounds too heavy-handed… But for now this’ll do
- We either overscoped or underestimated the tweaking it takes to wrangle a physics system to do what we want it to do. In any case we had quite a few things that we wanted to include that didn’t get in, which would have been easy to implement, but we were too busy working on wrangling the physics system.
- So we didn’t manage to finish everything we wanted to
- Learnt a bunch about physics bodies in Unity, it made me understand why Chariot (that game I learned about over the weekend) made their design choices (round characters, among others). I feel much better equipped to make more crazy physics games now
- Learnt to do level design. Something I’ve generally stayed the hell away from.
Timelapse – 48 hours in 30 seconds:
- Steven Tu (art and level design)
- Loet Jansen Van Rensburg (code and physics)
- Tim Harbour (Superb score)
Once again, GGJ15 game link:
Thanks for your time, hope you enjoy the game!