Now that I’ve had some time to rest, I hope to be able to write coherently about the dev process for TT:TTT!
I’m happy to say that the release is a complete experience. The gameplay is simple, and many of the elements are simpler than I would like (the shooting in particular), but the meat of the game is the tree/weed/tentacle monster and that came out as well as I had hoped.
The first piece I tackled was the tentacle mesh. It’s simple enough, each node is a conic-section. The base of each node is a circle of vertices, with a given radius, orthogonal to it’s length, and the top is a circle orthogonal to the next node’s length. Or more simply, it’s made up of increasingly smaller circles pointed at random angles connected together with straight sides. The final node gets a point, and it’s done.
Creating a tentacle in real time is a simple matter of traversing the node list and increasing the size and length of each over time. When the length exceeds a certain value, a new node is created with a random orientation and zero length and radius. Only the final node in any tree has it’s length increased, but their widths continue to increase always. Over time it becomes a big lump of a monster.
I finished them off by adding a sine wave input to the radius to create the pulsing effect, and colored them based on the node size.
I spent all of Sunday unsuccessfully trying to get the fallen pieces to be a connected rigidbody chain, but couldn’t get it to work out well. Sunday night I ditched that effort, and had each node break off separately. I should have let go of the chain physics earlier, because it left too little time to complete the gameplay.
The biggest missing piece is effects, and it’s hard to tell when the gun is firing and what if anything it’s hitting. I’m using a new renderer in my engine and my old particle effects system doesn’t work with it yet. I had been trying to think of ways to convey hits and firing better, but ran out of time and ended up making a mad sprint just getting the gameplay rules and minimal UI in place.
I hope those that play it enjoy the experience. I would consider this my most fun game jam game yet, and am seriously considering further work on it.
Thanks for checking it out!