Hello everyone, we are Angry Squirrels , a french game maker team based in Bordeaux. We've mainly worked for game jams, our best games probably are Tree House Quest and Kim's Party (both made with Unity), but we're also working on several mobile games.
We heard about this contest a bit late but decided to enter anyway as we couldn't participate in the last Ludum Dare which was earlier this month.
The game we would like to present for this contest is "A Matter Of Light".
Some years ago, we worked on a prototype of a mobile puzzle game where the player had to rotate colored beams of light to cross them to send a new beam of a certain color into a receptor. This prototype was left aside but we took it back a bit after to merge the light puzzle mechanic with a platformer. We added some special effects to each lasers and we got our very first prototype of "A Matter Of Light".
Since then, we've always wanted to make a full game out of this prototype but we didn't have the occasion. But when we heard about this contest we thought it might be a good opportunity to try to make a new version.
About the game
"A Matter Of Light" is a Metroidvania where the hero has to collaborate with a laser beam firing robot head in order to find his friends. He has to manipulate the light in order to solve puzzles and reach new area. Along the game, the robot will eventually get new kind of lasers, unlocking the access to new areas.
Unity 2D in action
Making this game was for us the occasion to try a bunch of new 2D tools provided by Unity. And they were really helpful, allowing us to iterate quickly during level design.
2D Sprite Shape: the level design killer
We learnt how to use 2D Sprite Shape during the creation of the game and we were amazed by the possibilities it offers. With this tool, the creation of a level with its terrain, platforms and decorations is done in a blink of an eye.
My level may be horrible to look at, but this video demonstrate how sprite shape allowed me to iterate and easyly make a basic level. All I knew when starting was that I wanted to make a level exploiting the shrinking laser. I initialy wanted to make a small hole with a button in it so the player had to find a way to shrink the box to activate the button. But as I realized it wouldn't work, I simply added a cave with a very small entrance so the player had to shrink himself.
- Tasteless developer
We also had the opportunity to build tools upon 2D Sprite Shape. With our game's fake perspective, we wanted some elements of the ground to be on the background and some other on the foreground. To do this, we were forced to duplicate the sprites of our platforms and thus to use 2 different 2D Sprite Shape profiles. In order to help with the integration of these 2 profiles, we created a small tool allowing one shape to be the child of another one.
Cinemachine + Timeline: dynamic camera and cutscenes made simple
We know that Cinemachine has been around for a while in the Unity ecosystem. But this was the first time we used it in our game. And what a blast! Whether it is the dynamic 2D camera fully configurable or the integration combo with Timeline, it sure gives any game a serious boost! We had a lot of fun, playing with Timeline and Cinemachine to create the little cutscenes in "A Matter Of Light".
2D IK and 2D Animations: give life to your sprites
We love the new bone animation tool. We used to animate using sprite sheets but it limited us in the number of frames and the size of animated sprite. Now our animator can get wild with this new process and animate just as he is used to when animating 3D models. On the top of that, this process allows us to blend animations smoothly between the different animation states.