Peng's Last Stand centers around a penguin as the main protagonist and hero of a shrinking ice land. The game centered around the theme of climate change, pitting the player against the test of time to save as many little penguins as possible before all the ice melted from under their little penguin feet.
We started out with a few ideas of what our penguins could look like. We wanted something cute to draw empathy from players, but also a simplistic style that would represent simple gameplay.
I decided I liked the look of the floating body since it would lend more attention to the feet which we could take advantage of in the animation to draw eyes to.
The final designs were rendered in Adobe Illustrator and in 9 different isometric directions. These were used as the base when hopping into animation.
Wow this part was challenging. There is an unbelievable amount of patience needed when you have a computer that lags at every new keyframe you input. Below are a couple animations I made for the gameplay.
I set out to find a team for this game jam with a goal in mind. I wanted to bring together people with different skill sets and goals so that we could all have responsibility over a certain aspect of the final product. Of course, there would be overlaps and we would need to collaborate on a lot of parts. However I have found when a team lacks clear distinction between roles, it can be difficult to move forward and make decisions.
Collaborating and listening
We worked alongside developers who were familiar with Unity, but the rest of us (designers) had no idea what was capable and what was just our imagination running wild. I had actually spent some time with another designer on the team brainstorming the game metrics and writing up an entire game doc, but we realized that we were way over our heads when we got together with the developers and actually talked about what was feasible in the time frame we were offered.
Different styles of communication
Some people work better in real-time together while others enjoy working independently. It's important to respect everyone's individual style of collaboration, but also keep everyone on the same page. We used Slack as our main mode of communication, but I also resorted to Discord or email when I needed to reach people I knew weren't comfortable with the tool.
Game design is fun!
This jam definitely inspired me to continue down the path of game creation, whether it stays as a hobby or grows into a career. I was really lucky to meet such awesome people and play a role in creating something neat.