This blog post is posted as a part of the Hurdles series of work and tell game development. To find out more about Hurdles, please check out our handy FAQ. This blog post was provided by Jeff Wright for his game PizzaQuest.
I had high hopes going into Hurdles that I would at least be capable of formulating the basis of the game that I want to make: a game in which you try to acquire as many pizzas as possible without leaving your couch. There are a lot of things to consider when creating an environment that replicates what it is like to sit on your luxurious, low-poly sofa on a Friday night, watching some random thing on TV, and tricking random people into bringing you pizza.
Most of my initial work revolved around setting the scene. I created some basic living room scenery with a couch, media center, table, and a wall-mounted TV. From there, I set out to make that space somewhat more reactive. The most immediately “incorrect” thing with the room was that playing a movie didn’t change any of the lighting like it would in a real life situation, which felt like an important part of the ambiance of the scene. As such, I set out to do a little dynamic ambiance lighting by reading whatever the “movie” is currently displaying and having a light attached to the TV blast a color of light that is the average of whatever is on the screen.
One of the other major goals I needed to accomplish to get the base game working was a sample character to call and attempt to order pizza from. Every character you call has a chance to give you a pizza if you can figure out the correct way to convince them to do so. In this case, my sample character, a duck, can be convinced to bring you pizza by simply being cordial with him. If you bring up the fact that he’s a duck, he’s going to be really offended and just hang up. All of my actors and the conversations related to them are being drafted in Fungus, a third party software that integrates with Unity to help with things exactly like this. Originally designed for Visual Novels, Fungus works perfectly for what I needed in PizzaQuest.
It was really fun doing Hurdles! It is super motivating to be able to show off what I worked on from week to week and immediately get great feedback from other developers. I do feel like I would have benefited from having already put a little more time into PizzaQuest instead of going into Hurdles with a fairly new project, but I don’t regret getting a good kickstart to a new project either.