NOTE: Just like in last week, this post is coming almost a month after finishing the game. The lessons learned from this week are a bit clearer in my head since I didn’t start a new project right away (thus giving my grain some time to absorb some insights from the week), but apologies in advance if this isn’t quite up to snuff.
As this was my last Game a Week game for the year, and there were a bunch of organized jams occurring this week, I decided that it would be a super fun idea to make a game for both ProcJam and 7DFPS. Procedural generation is something that I’ve always had an interest in (but not the knowledge base), and FPS are something that I tend to avoid. So, what better way to end a year long project than to work on something WAY over your head?
I started out trying to think of ideas that would fit in both jams, but it became apparent SUPER fast just how hard that would be. As I had more ideas for first person games, I decided to focus more on that and hope that I could throw some procedural generation in later (yeah, right). I started out by deconstructing a bit about what makes an FPS and FPS and ultimately landed on the vision aspect of it. I decided that I wanted to make a game that played around with limiting your vision in unusual ways.
Eventually I concluded that lenses which only allowed you to see certain colors sounded like a really interesting idea to play around with. I then went into the week with only knowing the mechanic I wanted to play around with (and with no actually game idea). Basically, I wanted to make a game where you would have two lenses (one for each eye), and you could see items only of the color of the lens (and the colors of both lenses in the middle where the vision overlapped).
What went right
I successfully made a shader! I knew that I wanted to/had to use shaders to achieve the effect I was going for, but I also knew that I knew approximately zero things about shaders. So, I reached out for some help from people who knew shaders and learned a bunch about shaders. I’m sure my shader code is not super great, but it did the thing I wanted it to do, and that makes me proud 🙂
What went wrong
I spent a lot of time learning shaders and went into the process of making the game without having a game idea. This means that I spent a lot of time playing with the shader and almost no time actually creating a game idea. After jotting down a bunch of overly ambitious games, I ended up shoe-horning an infinite runner game where you simply had to avoid obstacles and collect stars. It was generic, not well thought out, and didn’t do my fancy shaders justice. Also, I didn’t do ANYTHING for ProcJam 🙁
What I learned
A BUNCH about shaders. Here’s my shader (please don’t laugh).