Event & My Role
The Indie Game Dev Game Jam was held from December 25th to December 31st 2022 with a theme of "Nostalgia". I joined a team as the UI Designer and helped bring the visual idea together with the artists. Collaborating with the programmers, I started to learn more about working in Unity and how to implement UI into the game engine.
Things I worked on directly:
Moodboard, color palette and font selection
Main menu design, "Haunted" game over design and credits
Logo creation from font choice - name was group vote
Implementing UI design into Unity - alone and with programmer
Asset gathering with sorting by license use
Assisting on level design - creating parallax background with asset found
Our team quickly agreed to use 'Ghibli' movies as the art style inspiration for our game, referring to it as nostalgic with its childlike charm. Our artists and programmers were the most comfortable working with 2D since we did not have an environment artist or level designer. Unfortunately our background artist became ill, so we chose to stick to a side scroller with free assets.
For our story, we chose to make a dark, dangerous twist on "Little Red Riding Hood", having our player navigate the dark forest and the ghosts that haunt it on the way to see their nana.
Our team first started with making a moodboard including screenshots of their favorite Ghibli movies. This gave the artist a foundation to create the character art and for myself to build color pairing options for the UI. I wanted to build off of a really spooky dark forest parallax background asset that I found. Font choices were related to vines and the color palette for the UI had to be brighter to provide contrast.
Continuing to play off of the background art, I brought a few of the layers into the background for the main menu to pull focus to the white text and icons. As the game evolved a dark mood, choosing any color other than blue for UI felt out of place especially since the character already wears a red cape that was a stark contrast against the dark background.
Design & Development
I implemented the UI into Unity while teaching the programmer the steps I was taking. Along the way, we encountered merge errors within Github that we believe were caused by FMOD errors. So, I gave our programmer my assets to rebuild the UI following my design.
While the programmer was working on this, I learned how to implement the parallax background in Unity. I also studied a tutorial for the script that makes the background layers move with the main camera and give the background that 3D effect, which the programmer sourced.
Our team was successful in developing a working game to submit for our game jam and we got quite a lot of great feedback for the art. Our biggest challenge as a team was once again trying to learn how to properly manage Github merges because most of our merges were causing errors and it put all the pressure onto our programmer to finish everything by themselves.
My greatest success was building my UI into Unity even though it was unable to be merged. Also learning how to make a parallax background and visually scripting it as well as copying code into a script for the programmer was really satisfying to see in action.