We’re doing a climate game jam for Earth day!

Wednesday is Earth day, and the final day of the IndieCade Climate Jam (https://www.indiecade.com/climate-jam/). Here at Explorasaurus HQ, we’re working hard to finish our game before the deadline. 

As team “WigeonWit”, we are participating in the jam along with our friend Tim Handley of Mindful Mammoth (https://mindfulmammoth.com/). The environment is a subject that is important to us as a studio, and as Indiecade alumni we were thrilled to hear about this opportunity. At the very least, it gives us a chance to collaborate, try some new things (like controller support!)

We had quite a few ideas for projects, but in the end narrowed it down to one that would be slightly more action-oriented and fun. Our games in the past have primarily been rather slow-paced, systems-heavy, and strategic, so we wanted to mix that up a little. So we’re making “10.5 Cows”, a little game about being an adorable pangolin (the world’s most endangered animal), freeing people from their dependency on methane-belching beef invaders, and reclaiming land for other endangered wildlife in the process. It’s silly, yes, but cows now make up 60% of the mammals on Earth, and we find that sad and honestly, a bit boring. Who wants to live in a world without adorable grumpy wildcats, amazing lemurs, or jumping jerboas?

So, over the past two days, we crunched out a simple design and started on the art and programming. As of this morning, we have a gorgeous pangolin model, complete with cow-miniaturization tool and bovine storage pack ™

We will be adding the pangolin, cow, and human models soon, replacing the placeholders currently in the game. One of the features we got working yesterday was player movement. Like other third-person games, we used standard WASD keyboard controls, and added gamepad support, too.

We have a rudimentary hoovering mechanic for collecting cows, as demonstrated in the gif below, which isn’t incredibly impressive at the moment, but with some particle and sound effects, we hope, will be pretty fun and ridiculous.

We will also be working on adding more variety of ugly suburban houses to our game blocks (shown below), which are programmed to spawn in random configurations, generating a procedural map that’s different every time you start a game. 

More items on our to-do list include music (if Erica finishes the environment art!), main menu artwork, user interface elements like menu buttons and a cow-counter display, and more visual polish/optimization to ensure the game works on slower systems and isn’t too enormous to download.

We’ll be posting an update next Monday on the final results of the jam, and a link to the (hopefully!) finished game, so if you’re curious to know how it went, be sure to check it out! In the meantime, wish us luck 🙂