Rolly Olly

Olly loves to roll and bounce around! Can you help Olly on his adventure through a bright and charming cartoon world?

Written in Unity. Design and code by me. Graphics by Kenney. Music by Kevin MacLeod.

Made for Jesse Schell's Game Design class, Spring 2019. The assignment was to make any game, as long as it was fun.

This was a project for Jesse Schell's Game Design class at Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center, which I took as part of my Game Design minor. The assignment was to make any game in about a month, and it would be ranked on several criteria including how fun it was. Initially, I wanted to make a game about an odd two-legged creature where you controlled each of his legs separately using a controller's two joysticks. He could flip over to walk, and climb walls or ceilings with his suction cup feet. I prototyped this idea in Unity and found that it was extremely slow and tedious to play. I wanted to make my game as fun as possible, so I decided to try to go in the opposite direction, and create a movement scheme where small inputs would have big results on the character’s movement. I came up with a couple ideas based on that, and the one that seemed the most promising was rolling and jumping. I built a simple prototype and played around with it for a bit. Bouncing around was very fun and it felt like a good toy, so I was happy with it and decided to build it into a full game.

I was the only developer on this game. I did the design and programming, and selected & edited the art and music. Since I wanted to finish by the deadline, I had to find ways to fill the gaps in my skillset with freely available resources. In past solo projects I have had trouble finding enough art and music to fit the style I wanted, so for Rolly Olly, I picked the art first and then designed the rest of the game around that. One artist, Kenney, has a lot of free art in a cartoony style I wanted, so I downloaded several of his packs. When coming up with level themes and mechanics, I looked at these for inspiration and designed the game around them so that I wouldn't be stuck struggling to find art that fit my ideas. For example, the second world is industrial-themed because Kenney has an entire pack of industrial platformer assets. This approach also helped me focus my design ideas and keep them in scope.

I put in a lot of effort to make the game as polished as possible. Visually, I rounded off all the corners on the levels, added decorative scenery, put in a bunch of particle effects, and added a bouncy animation to the player character. This animation was very well received by players, and they enjoyed the bouncy-seeming squash and stretch effect. I also implemented sound effects and music, which in past projects I have tended to neglect. Gameplay-wise, I made a pause menu, credits, and added gamepad support for everything. Most players might not see all these details but I think it was at the very least a good exercise in creating a solid finished project while still under a deadline, and the audiovisual details turned out to be a big factor in the game feeling good to play.

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