It's been quite a while since my last blog update, and a lot of stuff has happened in the past week or so. Of note, I made a game in 72 hours a few days ago, we redesigned the face shields for faster assembly, we're going to try to get our design clinically reviewed, and we're going to roll out a new recruitment program so that people without printers can help, hopefully reaching a labor force about 3x the size of our core team!
A few days ago, I participated in my first Ludum Dare Jam! The theme was "Keep it Alive," so I drew heavy inspiration from the current coronavirus outbreak. I built the game "Stella-Rosavirus," a shooter-like close combat top down game where you play as a Killer T cell (immune system) trying to kill infected cells with antibodies before they can infect healthy lung cells with viruses.
I learned a lot making this game. I learned the burn from taking too long to settle on an idea because it cuts way too much into production time. I learned the burn from exporting your game too close to the deadline because that's when errors always happen to occur. I learned that it really can be possible to take a game mechanic that's so simple and execute it so poorly.
To be frank, I genuinely do not feel proud of the gameplay. I think the idea is worthy, with the main mechanic being infected cells being able to infected more healthy cells, but it was just terribly executed. And that's to be expected from a game made in 72 hours (at least at my level of experience). It'll take a lot more practice before I can really make a fun game in so little time, but at least I'm learning.
On the positives side, I am really proud of the soundtrack in the game. I knew I wanted a consistency of pad melodies/harmonies with slowed down trap/EDM drums in the back. I also added rhythmic heart beat/pulse monitor sound effects and I think it works really well with the theme of the game. I even made the whole soundtrack in 1 hour, which I'm also proud of.
I also broke out of my comfort zone because I recorded my own voice lines for the game. The volume mixing in the game wasn't the best, and my voice got muffled out sometimes, but it's not really the quality of the product that counted for me in that case; I'm just proud I recorded voice lines at all.
The last cool thing about this was that I learned how to stream an Instagram Live straight from my computer. Not very many people watched, and it slowed down my computer, but it was a cool experience that I can definitely re-use for many applications.
That's enough gamedev for now; it's time to re-focus on the face shields!
We've printed over 600 shields, and by the end of tomorrow, we will have assembled and delivered over 200 shields! The disparity between shields printed and shields assembled indicates a bottleneck in the assembly process. Therefore, we're doing 3 things in the next couple days to hopefully help us speed up assembly.
Thanks for reading and stay safe!