I just finished working on my project for the 11th Mini Jam game jam, and am now just waiting for my computer to finish downloading support for Unity to build to WebGL. Hopefully it gets submitted on time!
The limitation for this jam was NO TEXT WHATSOEVER, as they described it, and the theme was HARVEST. Along this vein, I decided to make a small farming simulator game that takes place on another planet, where there is no use for English, anyways.
This was my first game jam working alone, and I think it went pretty well. The jam started Friday morning at 12 am and ends tonight at midnight, but I’ve got homework to do so I’m submitting earlier.
For this game, I did all of the art, game design, and programming. The sound effects all come from FreeSound.
The game basically simulates a year with hazards and weather effect. The player has a budget, and chooses seeds to plant and buildings to build before simulating the year and the possible effects that the weather will have on the crops. In order to make it to the next year, you must end with a certain amount of money. Money comes from the profits of the crops that survive the year.
As you can see, different seeds have different costs, and have different effects, and different yields. Only certain combinations will allow the player to make enough profit to advance to the next year.
The most challenging part about this game was programming the simulation of the year. The simulation lasts about 25 seconds, and in that period of time, there are numerous effects that can harm the plants, such as dust storms, freezing temperatures, and if the player hasn’t purchased a water tower, droughts.
Trying to balance this game also was causing me significant problems. In an ideal world, I could have made a spread sheet and calculated and balanced the prices and yields of the seeds and buildings to make the game even, but alas, I did not have time to do this. But after a significant amount of play-testing, I think the balance is at a relatively decent place for a game jam game.
I spent a lot of time making the art for this game because I think that art makes a huge difference when it comes to the polish of the game, even for a jam. I kept the color scheme pretty minimal, to just reds, oranges, browns, and on occasion, green. I made almost all of the art with Piskel.