Level 2 Progress

We are now moving on to developing level 2, and have storyboarded the level as a whole to help us decide what assets we will need so we can start working on them asap.

Our plan for this level is that it is the point when things start getting weirder and fleshier, bringing in an initial game idea concept of removing maggots from a doll’s brain. We think that this will work really well here now because of level one introducing the concept of removing the back of the doll’s head without anything unusual happening.

This is also where we can start shifting the focus away from the dolls and to the doctor as a character, and the implications of him being infected, and becoming the next patient (building up for level 3).


The level will feature two main parts, one in which you remove the back of the doll’s head to reveal a swarm of flies and a brain infested with maggots that you must remove with tweezers, and a second in which your character’s right hand has been infected and has bugs/moving lumps you need to squish.

After this, when returning to the table view, the doll will be missing from the table with the sound of footsteps implying the doll is walking away.

We want to create the effect of lots of horrible, annoying flies buzzing around the screen from the moment the doll’s head is removed.

Removing Bugs

This part of the gameplay will be another drag + drop type segment, but code-wise it will combine aspects of several previous segments: the head/eye removal scripts for the basic dragging to a target position, using a tool from the table (like the scraper) to proceed, and requiring a counter to ensure all bugs are removed before the task is marked as complete (like the eye glue dots).

We wanted to make it so that the player has to click + hold (ie drag) the bugs all the way to the tray to deposit them, because realistically to use a pair of tweezers you have to constantly be squeezing them to keep ahold of what’s in them. We are also hoping that this will feel “weirder” for the player (especially once the bugs are animated) because it should feel more like they are actually holding something wriggling and have to actively try not to let go.

Whilst waiting for Sam to make the next needed set of art assets I used more temporary images from the web when setting up the necessary game objects and scripts.

Squishing Bugs

This segment will use the same principles as the applying glue segment, with “spots” that the player will click on that will result in a sprite change + sound effect.

The idea is to make it seem like there are wriggling lumps in the player character’s hand that the player will need to hit to squish and kill. The cursor will be the open hand icon, flipped to represent the character’s left hand, and clicking on these lumps will “squish” them by replacing them with a blood splat.

We will also use animations for the lumps/spots to click on, and I will aim to use what I learned about masks to make sure the blood splats are confined to the edges of the hand sprite.

This segment starts by hiding the player’s cursor and showing a fake cursor of the pointing hand with storage lumps in the centre of the screen. We also increase the strength of our vignette post-processing effect to try and draw extra attention to this in the middle of the screen, and give the effect of the character’s vision focusing on this. The player’s cursor then returns as a separate flipped pointer cursor representing their other hand.

Personally, this segment feels a bit underwhelming to us as it is now, so we will need to think about how to make the feeling of squishing the bugs more immersive to make the discomfort more real.

One feature we could look at is making the screen flash red, combined potentially with some other screen effect to create a stronger sense of feedback.

We should also try sourcing some different sound effects to see if that makes a difference.

Since we already have a colour adjustment effect on our post-processing volume, I can manipulate its values via the bug squish script in the same way I increased the intensity of the vignette. Using the RGB colour values I can adjust the values each frame until they reach the desired colour, then do the same to return them to their start values.

(When implementing this, I ran into a problem caused by our game using HDR colours, which work slightly differently to standard RGB colours. With my current script, although I was achieving the correct RGB colour values, the HDR’s intensity setting was also being increased, with no easy way for me to control/prevent this in my script. However, setting the colour filter’s colour property to use “RGB-1” instead of “RGB-255” easily solved this.)

Next we want to test our second level and see if there are any major issues that need to be fixed or small improvements that can be made. We don’t have much time left until our deadline, however, and we still have our third level to make, so we will have to prioritise. We will be attending Barclay’s Games Frenzy in London on the 16th May, so we are aiming to make any final changes to level 2 before then.

Laura Alford

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