Shoo, Box! In Progress

Oh, are you approaching me?

You’re a shoebox who loves your owner, but one day, they leave you behind in a hotel. You’ll do anything to reunite, even if that means growing legs and walking out the door! Use special abilities from shoes you find to solve puzzles in this heartwarming adventure.

Development Log

January 2020

Our team loved the idea of a shoebox with legs running around with different shoe powerups. Originally the game was going to be a competitive multiplayer, but we switched gears (shoes?) to a single-player game with a storyline.

We came up with our paper prototype for the first level area in the hotel.

As the UI artist for the team, I sketched out rough ideas for the HUD and menus. The game over screen idea was later scrapped, but imagine a cutscene of a shoebox with legs dangling around while being held by a grumpy maid. I still think it’s funny.

February 2020

Game jam! Awkwardly coinciding with Global Game Jam, we still managed to put together a pretty polished version of our paper prototype. However…it was a little too polished. Our professor would’ve rather seen a broad overview of all of our levels, not just one good-looking room. Whoops.

I came up with this cool powerup indicator though! There will be a tag for each shoe type, and for no shoes at all. Changing it makes fun swish sounds.

Our first two sprints, proof of tech and proof of design, gave us our maid AI and a more fleshed out layout for the hotel. Featuring some boxy menus and buttons.

And our third sprint was our first playable! The team was very grateful for the industry professionals who visited to give us feedback on our first level. This build also included a tutorial, with lots of button animations from yours truly. Our next sprint is when my personal challenge began: storyboarding cutscenes!

March 2020

With the onset of the pandemic, we transitioned from to remote meetings, work, and playtests. Our larger class set up on Discord for sprint reviews, to more easily facilitate streaming and communication. With my team’s internal communications already on our own server, the rest of my semester was conducted not by a bell, but by the iconic two-toned ba-beep.

Creating the cutscenes proved to be a bigger challenge than I initially thought. When drawing storyboards I put in too many small moving parts and had to cut down my ideas for each scene. Thankfully during a team meeting we decided to cut the junkyard level, due to concerns about project scope. While sad to lose my story ideas it ultimately turned out for the best, as I could focus on improving the other 3 sections.

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