Simple Mistakes was my entry in the Rose Valley Game Jam of 2019. It is a small puzzle game about a mama robot having to take care of her junkie little babies as they move through a junkyard. As you control the mama robot, you will need to clear a path by vacuuming trash, and find interactable objects to block off hazards and create paths.
Game Designer/Team Leader
Simple Mistakes was my first gamejam, and my fellow designers and I were still novices when it came to unity development. It was my first slice of coordinating a team, working with our artists to rapidly create the interesting looking scene. We used isometrics to meld 2d sprites with 3d objects, mimicking the famed looks of Supergiant while our gameplay drew from a more far off Lemmings. We would go on to win the Excellence in Art award.
Development on Simple Mistakes was straightforward, with three designers, three artists and two people with no dev experience at all, most of our time was spent just trying to spit out the simplest aspect of our idea. We wanted a robot that would have other smaller robots follow it, which gave us some pretty explicit design goals on both art and programming. Additionally, we wanted the large robot to have a satisfying mechanic of sucking up trash and we worked on a particle system to make sure that it was just that: satisfying.
We wanted to have more in depth puzzle mechanics, however due to our rather novice skills and the sharp turnaround of only 48 hours, we ended up with only a single little level. Though we think it is rather charming, and the assets that we created were certainly good considering it the first approach at the style.
The Jam was brutal, as I tend to be ambitious and have the unfortunate knack of getting people to believe in that ambition. That meant little sleep, lots of unneeded stress and anxiety, and an overambitious prototype which while it worked, was barebones. This pattern is one that is repeated in my work, but I have been steadily making progress against. Out-there, less familiar ideas are compelling to me, but they are also very hard to get your hands around both in design and production. Looking back on this project three years after the fact, I respect that side of myself -- but I know now that its about the happy medium -- what can you do that works? And then how can you subvert it.