Journey of Onions

Week 3

Pittsburgh Global Game Jam

The studio participated Global Game Jam as a team. The theme of Global Game Jam is What home means to you?

We brainstormed words that describe what home means to us.

We used four categories to narrow down our brainstorm ideas. We mostly debated on what to focus on: the prompt or the mechanics? We tried to combine mechanics and the prompt, but since the prompt is heavily twined with a story, there were a lot of combinations that did not fit together. For example, we had a puzzle mechanic that plays with different angle of the camera; you have to orient the camera in a certain angle to solve the puzzle. At the same time, we had a story about loved ones because home meant where the loved ones are to us. Whenever we tried to combine two ideas, those conflicted each other, resulting diminishing positive elements of both ideas.

We pivoted around to focus on the wow moment of the game. We hung up on the prompt too much that it resulted as an unhelpful constraint rather than a fence that limit us in a safe way. So, we went back to an empty page again. What is the wow moment that we want to build? As we shout out different kinds of ideas, we wanted our game to be comical. The experience that we all enjoyed was making absurd excuses to go home because you want to go to the home that bad. After agreeing on this, we set up two constraints. What is buildable and what excites us to build. Naturally, a lot of storytelling game pitch went outside the window. Instead, we had a simple click and interact mechanism on the table. Wrapping that simple mechanism with a storyline was our strategy.


We split the team into two teams: development and story. Story team came up with the storyboard first as shown above; narrowing down the interactive objects, sequence, and final scene were critical. As story team finalize the storyboard, the development team created basic prototype that shows our core mechanic – navigate and interact. Furthermore, our artist found an office asset package to set up the scene.

For the last stretch, we internally playtested and tweaked some bugs. There were a lot of interactive objects thrown out based on development and story aspects. We narrowed down objects by questioning ourselves does this object serve as a good level design. The key of narrowing down interactive objects was making those objects as a tool for gradual level design from start to finish.

This is the final product. As you can see, it is more event trigger experience with a simple interaction.

Post Mortem

The core of the game we tried to build is this: evoke emotion through comical setting with a twist at the end. After playtest, we found out that we were successful in evoking an emotion that we wanted to give to players.

However, ironically the core we set up aroused a problem. Since the foundation stone of the game is a story, rather than a fantasy or mechanics, playtesters were frustrated with our game mechanics. As a puzzle type interaction, we should have put a negative feedback whenever they are interacting with a wrong object. However, due to time constraints, we did not have any negative feedback. We could have had a negative feedback, but instead we focused on the points and boss’ tolerance meter. Thinking this feature will make people engage more, we spend about a half of a day to implement this feature. However, we found out that feature is a feature, not our selling point.

Overall, we achieved our intention of the game: evoking emotion that we want. However, the mechanics are the thing that we could have worked better on.

More Pitches!

Pitch 07 – click to see the slides

This pitch dives deeper into  the Battle Royale using Heros. The goal is to gather up followers as much as possible within a time. The hero with most followers will survive the last.

Game mechnics are vague, because this pitch only contains game verbs.

Pitch 08 – click to see the slides

Developed from previous pitch, Battleland is a mixture of resource management simulation, customization, and role playing. You will explore the maps to obtain resources

Pitch 09 – click to see the slides

This VR  pitch developed from a previous pitch that had a strongest aesthetics of all. The core mechanism is similar to inside; using other objects to solve a puzzle

Pitch 10 – click to see the slides

This is an asymmetrical co-op game. Using your movement as a constraint, you have to meet each other to be completed.

Pitch 11 – click to see the slides

Developed from a previous aesthetics pitch, this is a game pitch that combined Mario Kart and RPG aspect. This combination is quite challenging but fun at the same time.