Keep the rhythm and save the day…on Mac!
About inbetweengames (twitter: @inbetweengames)
inbetweengames is an indie development team in Berlin founded by 3 former YAGER veterans.
So, we did some user testing (read: watched some let’s plays) and discovered that some players were having trouble with the PUSHING aspect of OSHIYA! PUSH! In our entry, you push people into crowded subway trains by HOLDING the space bar. But first, you have to TAP the space bar to get the passengers to group together. Alternate the two for MAXIMUM POINTS and get a DOOR BONUS when the door closes!
We’ve added a small extra message to try and help new Oshiya learn how to push. As you can see, the Oshiya above has successfully gathered passengers together by the door: they’re much closer to each other than the ones at the next door over. Now it’s time to PUSH! Holding spacebar will more efficiently get the passengers into the train, and once you’re at the door, it will close. Then hold enter to move over to the next door and do it again!
やった YATTA! We did it!
So after our entry last Jam, The Mammoth: A Cave Painting (17th overall, 6th mood), we decided this time around to go for the fun and humour categories. The Mammoth was a little bit on the sad side and we opted out of the humour category completely then. This time around we focused on the gameplay and tried to make it a light-hearted celebration of a certain aesthetic. Let us know what you think by rating OSHIYA! PUSH!
We re-used the crowd AI framework that was used to power the hunters in The Mammoth for the passengers in this game, and also pulled in a rhythm framework that we’ve created for another project. Everything else we did from scratch in the 3 days of the jam using Unreal Engine 4, with a team of 4 full-time developers plus our friend Almut Schwacke, who provided the audio. Check out this timelapse of development from Isaac Ashdown, showing c++ coding and Blueprint and UMG scripting:
We’re starting to get into open development – the NDAs of AAA are a hard habit to break, but we’re trying – The Mammoth already available as an open source project if anyone’s interested in the codebase. Feel free to pass on any development questions you have to @eyesiah or @inbetweengames!
inbetweengames here, we’re very glad to have finished our second Ludum Dare Jam!
We struggled a bit this time, but that just means we can learn more! 😉
You can play our second LD Game OSHIYA! PUSH! here – please also rate and comment so we know what to improve.
We’ll also put up a Post Mortem soon so all your feedback is really valuable to us.
Cheers and thank you,
Our Ludum Dare 33 entry The Mammoth has been chosen by Google to be featured on their showcase for interesting Android content, androidexperiments.com! This is a site not just for finding interesting apps for your phone, but also learning from them: everything there is open-source. So we decided to go for it!
The game was made in the 3 days of the game jam, but we did create some basic frameworks for 2D sprite animation and AI flocking systems beforehand, which we used as a basis for the game (along with Unreal Engine 4, of course). That said, the code isn’t of the highest quality, but hopefully it is interesting to people who aren’t familiar with UE4 and how you can go about making a 2D game in 3 days with the engine. Feel free to hack it up and do whatever you like with it! Alternatively, you can watch the timelapse of the code being written:
We had so much fun making The Mammoth that we decided to keep working together as inbetweengames, and launched as a 3-person studio about a month ago. We’re hard at work on our first non-jam game, but we’ll be back for Ludum Dare 34 in December! In the meantime, check out The Mammoth on PC, OSX, Android, iOS or in your browser, and of course, follow us on twitter.
Played The Mammoth and wished you could’ve had a happier ending? Well it is possible! TechValleyGameSpace managed to get to the end with a baby still around; watch the video at twitch:
SPOILERS! If you haven’t played yet, make sure you play it now: the game is a pretty intense story and you need to experience it for yourself.
Coming soon (after rating ends): a more polished version, including such gems as COOLDOWN ICONS!
like a few other games from Ludum Dare 33 The Mammoth: A Cave Painting recently got featured on Offworld!
The article also has some background on what led to us participating in the jam and why the game might be a tiny bit on the sad side.
we uploaded an uncommented Let’s Play video of our game ‘The Mammoth: A Cave Painting‘.
First video upload of this kind for us so please let us know if you have any feedback!
Please also consider playing and rating our game here if you haven’t done so already:
Thanks a lot,
David here from inbetweengames. After giving everybody a bit of time to may be check out our game ‘The Mammoth: A Cave Painting‘ and reading the awesome comments on the page, I wanted to talk with you guys a bit about the integration of the theme that we decided for. This is going to be somewhat of a spoilerfest so if you want to check out our game with fresh eyes best do it now before reading this. We’ll be waiting here.
Everybody good? Are you ready for a hippie, arty rant? Cool, let’s go.
At first glance it’s not very obvious who the monster really is in the game. There’s no clear Sesame Street or Horror like monster at all. The Mammoth itself seems like the first obvious answer but that.. well is that a monster really? Does the game fulfill the theme at all? We think it does, it’s just when we were brainstorming we took all of our obvious first ideas and threw them away. All of those were good ideas and there are a few games in the jam that went for them and executed them beautifully. We just decided for the oddest one that hopefully has more than one possible answer about who the monster is. So let’s look at some of the possible answers together.
‘YOU ARE THE MONSTER’
A quick excursion into semantics about how we read the theme to begin with. In our minds the sentence ‘You are the Monster’ can mean a great many things.
It can be ‘you’ as the player. It can be ‘you’ as someone else in the world that you’re saying this to – aloud or in your mind.
It can be ‘you’ as the collective you. Everybody. A group of people. etc. So which one did we go with? Basically all of them. Let’s check them out.
THE MAMMOTH IS THE MONSTER
The obvious choice for the answer of who the monster is. You’re the mammoth – so you’re the monster. Kind of an odd choice for a monster though isn’t it? But we thought the way Mammoths (and most animals actually) are displayed in cave paintings like the famous Chauvet Cave gives them monster like qualities. The animals are drawn immensely large in comparison to humans in the pictures in a way that goes beyond a realistic depiction of scale and probably has much more to do with the perception of meaning and power. So scale here is based more on emotional and magical evaluations rather than the ones our modern minds would focus on.
On the other hand when we looked up the term Monster on Wikipedia (of course we did) we found this little perl of a quote:
‘The word “monster” derives from Latin monstrum, an aberrant occurrence, usually biological, that was taken as a sign that something was wrong within the natural order.‘ Wikipedia
The Mammoth in the game is also meant as a totem like representation of all mammoths, THE Mammoth as a whole, as an idea, a shadow on a cave wall – you might have heard that parable before.
So the story of The Mammoth in the game is not really the story of a single mammoth. It’s a legend on a cave wall telling of The Mammoth as a symbol, meaning all mammoths really and how they went away which obviously is what’s wrong with the natural order. The story is told by the hunters whose many hands also mark the borders of the level. In this case you as a player are telling the story by playing in a theatre like performance. Which leads us to..
THE PLAYER IS THE MONSTER
‘Very cathartic to smash up the hunters’ village at the end…though I lost my last baby mammoth in the process. Point made, I suppose?‘ Ryusui
Now since this is a game you as the player are the one driving most actions in the game. So when we heard that the theme was ‘You are the Monster’ we kind of went ‘Oh well we have done this before, let’s just do it again.’ Which was based both on the fact that we did a game called Spec Ops: The Line before in our day jobs at YAGER but also had never done a game jam before. So it seemed like a safe option.
So within the game our goal was to turn you as the player into the monster. We give you something that you care about hopefully and then we construct circumstances that in all likelyhood will take it away from you with a clear culprit to project your negative feelings upon. You will either care and seek revenge, in which case you’re a monster, or you won’t care at all, in which case.. well you get where I’m going with this.
THE HUNTERS ARE THE MONSTER
‘I’m truly upset that the horrible hunters did what they did ‘ TailyILoveYou
‘The only problem is that I (as the mammoth) am not a monster… the monsters are the bad humans who killed my kids!‘ Galvesmash
Now that we have the more obvious answers out of the way it gets a little more interesting. The Hunters in the game are really the ones killing all the Mammoths right?
So they’re kind of the monsters. Which is a comforting thought because we get to shove the blame on these external evil beings that we have no connection to – if it would’nt be for the fact that..
WE ARE ALL THE MONSTER
We are the hunters. We as humans have eradicated more species than anything that came before us including whatever killed the motherflipping Dinosaurs.
It’s quiet possible that we will add ourselves to this list eventually. We are the monsters.
NOBODY IS A MONSTER
‘Really loved the sad story for this although I don’t see how the mammoth was a monster in this case.‘ RougeRogue
Now this can mean that we either missed the theme completely or something a bit more meaningful.
For that second option I’ll just leave this one to some of the commenters on our page who laid it down perfectly in my opinion:
‘Hard to say if you’re the monster or the hunters. I guess, in the end no-one really is, they’re all just trying to survive‘ dickpoelen
‘Oh my god that was so depressing! I don’t think I was the monster here though, I only cared for my progeny. But weren’t the Hunters protecting their children too when they were hunting instead of watching their beloved die from hunger?
Is there really anyone to blame, is there any monster or is the world itself the merciless beast? The story of the Mammoth and the Hunters repeated several times in the past and will happen again, perpetuating the neverending suffering… but I can’t help to wonder, and I cling to that though as it is my last glitter of hope, is there a way to spare one mammoth child and make the herd anew?‘ Hvedrung
Thanks for reading this wall of text and please let us know what YOU think by commenting here or on the game page!
We’ll write a more traditional post-mortem sometime soon but this just kind of started to write itself after thinking about your comments.
Hope everybody is having a relaxed weekend of playing cool jam games!
If you haven’t had the chance yet, please play and rate our little game:
Thanks all and enjoy your weekend! You deserve it!
Want to watch 3 days of coding in 10 minutes? Here’s a timelapse video of inbetweengames’ Isaac Ashdown writing the gameplay and UI code for The Mammoth in Unreal Engine 4:
All of the team currently work at YAGER in their day jobs, where we’ve been using UE4 for several years on a AAA project that was recently cancelled. We thought it would be interesting to see what we could pull off in the engine in just 3 days, which for us is a pretty big change of pace compared to our normal way of working. We’re really happy with how it turned out!
We created the entire game, including the concept, in the 3 days of the jam. Beforehand we did some prep for some of the systems we knew we’d need for the game we wanted to create: a custom 2D flipbook material that allows us to animate sprites similar to Paper2D while giving us the full functionality of Unreal’s material editor; controls for a top-down or “isometric”-style game; and finally a basic framework for flocking/crowd AI. This last system was pretty heavily hacked up to create the AI for the hunters and mammoth babies.
We’ve been relaxing a little since the jam ended, but now we’re ready to start playing and rating some games! We aim to rate every video game that leaves us a comment on our page, so play and rate The Mammoth: A Cave Painting now: http://ludumdare.com/compo/ludum-dare-33/?action=preview&uid=56968
Follow us on twitter: @inbetweengames
inbetweengames is proud to present The Mammoth: A Cave Painting, submitted for the Jam.
In The Mammoth: A Cave Painting you tell the 5 million year story of the mammoth in 5 minutes.
inbetweengames are four devs with day jobs at YAGER. This weekend we decided to JAM!
Isaac Ashdown | Jan David Hassel | Rafal Fedro | Daniel Nordlander
We were joined by our friend Bairbre Bent who delivered a fantastic narration. Follow us on twitter.
Coming soon: coder timelapse video!