Who wants to read a holiday card when you can play a holiday card?! We were contracted by Sheridan to design the institutions official holiday card for 2016. Skate around in an absurdly charming pop-up book world as you dart past, and dunk enemies into the frigid pond below!
Every year, Sheridan sends out a holiday card, made by a program at the school (example: Music Theatre, Animation, etc.). In 2016, Sheridan reached out to OddBird as representatives of the Game Design program to help create that year's card. In addition to the game itself, there needed to be social media integration built directly into the game. Additionally, due to the fact that the holiday card would be sent out to an audience with a massive range of gaming literacy, the game was created to be as simple as possible, while still retaining the charm our games are known for.
Gameplay revolves around the player skating around on a small pond, avoiding endless waves of enemy bears. To defend themselves, players can dig their skates into the ice, creating a path that, once connected, will cause the inside chunk of ice to drop to the bottom of the pond, along with any enemies standing on it. However, due to the small play space, players will also have to watch out for the holes they create, at least until the ice freezes back over.
In order to make it seem like the player is slicing through the ice to create holes, we create a 2D within the bounds of the connected cut in the ice. Then, an water image is rendered on said mesh, and any enemies (or the player) that are on that water mesh, have their colliders turned off so they seemingly sink to the bottom of the pond.
Social Media Integration
As mentioned earlier we wanted to allow players to share their scores with their friends and family. Since the audience was largely targeted at school alumni we wanted to encourage sharing so their fellow classmates would also see the holiday card even if they did not happen to check their email. We built Twitter and Facebook sharing directly into the WebGL build, allowing users to post directly to either platform while inside the game.