Week 5 - Marble and Glass

(Revised) Made in two weeks for Vapor Jam.


I decided to look at other jams for this one. VaporJam stood out among the many ongoing. I've been a fan of vaporwave mixtapes for a while now, so it seemed like a good fit.

The jam timeline was June 25th to July 11th. Unfortunately it took me a week longer than planned. But it shipped within the window for the jam.

The Idea

The theme was open-ended: “make a vaporwave-themed game”. With the ongoing lockdown in England, I've been feeling nostalgic of better times. I decided that for this game it would be fun to centre a game around a particularly nostalgic period of my life.

While musing on the theme, I was re-watching some George Carlin specials. His “Shopping and Eating” routine for some reason sat at the forefront of my mind. So I decided that this would be a super-chill exploration of the late 90's through the lens of a shopping mall.

The idea requires me to recall details of particular things I was exploring or doing at the time. As I age, I'm noticing that these things are becoming more like vague recollections. In some circumstances, I have to correct myself. So there's an aspect to the game where a voice breaks in to correct or provide more context.

You are to populate your inventory with one of each type of item at the mall. A game, a music cd, a film and so on. Some memories are accurate, some have been misrecalled and are of things I encountered later in life.

It's a strange one, but I hope it makes sense and triggers some nostalgic feelings.

What went well

  • It uses Unity's new input system. Full controller support!
  • Text renders in real-time throughout.
  • There is many in-game BGMs.
  • To address a player's loud audio concern, there's a content warning.
  • CC attributions are a dedicated menu item.
  • A dialog system with optional outcomes.
  • It's more expansive than prior efforts and as such I've included a mini-map.

What went wrong

This one really suffered from scope creep. An extra week was required to make it playable.

What I learned

With each of these “game a week” games, I've aimed to learn at least one new thing. With this game however, there were too many of those things.

For future weeklies, I'll make sure to limit it to one significant new thing each week.

What's Next

Since I'm out of sync somewhat, I've decided to consider these games as “round one” and take a break to recoupe.

The Game Design & Development Specialization capstone is next on my agenda. It'll be nice to have that fully wrapped up before continuing.

Perhaps after that I will continue with a second round of weekly games.

Thanks for playing them 🙂