First Da Vinci Game Jam – That Heavy Legacy – Post-mortem

Hi everyone!

So I am making a post-mortem, from my point of view, about That Heavy Legacy. This game was made for the first Da Vinci Game Jam that we, me with other professors, organized for students who wanted to make a game during holidays.

First of all, I didn’t have plans to enter the jam. The true is that I officially teamed up with Exequiel a few days before the jam started. This was because I was one of the judges, so my game wasn’t participating for the prize, but mostly because I was going to get extracted a wisdom tooth at the middle of the jam. Finally, I said like, ok, wathever, let’s do it!

It was a really weird team because both of us are programmers and we didn’t have nobody else to do the art. Knowing this, we had to make a game that had solid visuals but with programmer art, which was a huge challenge that I think we solved really well.

Also, when the theme was announced, Legacy, it was maybe too abstract for us in order to come with a good idea. We left three really different ideas behind before starting with this fourth idea, one of those included an alien possesing enemies and taking parts of each one of them. The original idea was from Exequiel and then we expanded. We can say the most important part was his idea: the decisions, the twitter parody and the concept of “leaving a legacy”. Without that concept, the whole game didn’t have much sense with the theme and also we weren’t experimenting too much. In case you didn’t play it yet, after you finish your duty, you can leave your legacy to another player and he will continue with it. I guess this was the “experiment” part of the game and the part that tied us to the theme. So yes, the most important parts where his idea meanwhile I focused more or the interaction part. Since I had to make all the 3D art, I also though of this weird interaction where you are at your desk and can use your seal in order to take decisions. I liked this idea mostly because we escaped from the obvious static background with no interaction and just clicking buttons.

Having all the idea done, my biggest challenge was on making cool art for it. Luckly, Exequiel coded a Post-process pixel shader which makes the art look pixelated. I know it sounds really silly. But believe me, this saved us from my crappy 3D art.

As you can see, click on the image in case you can’t see it clear, the pixelation effect added a really nice detail and feel to the game (and hided all the horrible mistakes I did in art).

Also, we found with more art difficulties about how to make effects. For example, and I am very proud of my bizarre solution, for the effect where the paper flies away first I was going to make it a simply object moving to a side. This was going do to the trick but it wasn’t going to look very well. Then, the other option was to rig a plane and animate it into a paper ball tossing away, but believe me, that wasn’t going to look good if it was going to be animated by me. So I came with this weird idea: I made a plane, with the decree texture and added the cloth component that Unity brings. Then I had to move it somehow up, so I created a sphere, without mesh, and just moved it up! That’s all. The ball that moves it up literally only does this:

void Start () {
      GetComponent<Rigidbody>().velocity = new Vector3(0, 5, 0);

So, I had this prefab where it was the paper with the cloth and this sphere that just went up. This made the effect of the paper going up.

I know this is really a small detail but are these type of details I think that adds a lot to the experience for the user.

All this kind of cheap tricks, and all the source code, it is available on GitHub. You can find it in the public repository under the name of 2017-01-DVGJ (or just click the link). We wanted to share it for everyone who was interested on it. But beware, it was a game made for a game jam so don’t expect a nice coded game, expect more like a big mess.

Other than that, from my side, I don’t have much to say more than I don’t regret at all for participating in the making of this small game. It was really fun and it was nice to make a bit of art after not doing that for so long. Anyway, I am a programmer and I guess it will pass a long time before making art again.

So that’s all, thanks for reading!