Krillbite Studio | In Case of Emergency
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In Case of Emergency

We’re just a little over a week away from Global Game Jam 2017, but at Krillbite we have already participated in a game jam.

Norwegian Gameplay Championship

Here in Norway we just had our yearly Gameplay Championship (first week of January). This year’s theme was fear, and we made two games actually! One of them is a rather silly game about doing the best out of a horrible situation.

The game is called In Case of Emergency and you play as a rotten luck violinist trapped on a sinking ship. Fortunately, you manage to keep a cool head – a sharp contrast to the other passengers in full panic. You must aid them by playing your violin and keeping them calm so that they can reach the upper decks and feel the freedom of the air one last time.

Creative flow

Doing creative work on one project over long periods of time is exhausting and one of the things we like to do to help fight this fatigue is doing game jams. At a game jam, we can work on something new and different for a limited time period and be done with it.

Getting something done is good for morale in general and it may work positively for the long-term project. You can even create something that can become your next long-term project! Or it is just as great to make something small and feel accomplished.

The game design

How did the game come to life?

Martin Kvale, our sound designer explains his decisions.

I chose this music because the vibe is elegant and dramatic. Also, it contains just string players. I liked the idea of a certain elegance that is kept when the job is well done.

Bjørnar Frøyse, our technical artist, and Karoline Aske, our artist, elaborate.

We went for a simple but expressive style to be able to create as much as possible in a short amount of time. We communicate the panic through body language and sounds instead of facial expressions, which are more complicated to do in a short amount of time. The flailing of the arms are rather comical, and we chose this because we went for a cartoon-y style with dark humour mixed up in a tragedy.

“Oh, brother.”

We tested the game with colliders on the characters at first, resulting in pileups of people blocking exits, but this made the game more frustrating than fun, so we removed the colliders and noticed a more free playing style right away. Small things like this often make a big difference to game feel, so don’t be afraid to tweak!

We made a (very) simple randomization system for the NPCs that ended up working really well. There are ~5 different types of hair styles, hair colours, skin colours and clothes, plus a couple of accessory items. That was probably the most fun part of the process for me, says Bjørnar.

Our lovely NPCs

All animation in the game is driven by code. The arms are a bit silly, but in the end, they were pretty good at showing the three things we needed: characters being calm, characters panicking, and violin playing.

Our game designer Anders Ugland talks about how we didn’t want to create a point system for saving those in panic.

We decided not to count points for either people saved or lost, and instead focus the experience around the build up towards the inevitable end, where the ship sinks regardless, and the player is left with playing one final song for the remaining crowd.

This game was made by under a week, and it is not fully polished or been through QA. It is still fun and playable. You can find the game here on our page, free of charge. We hope you enjoy and would love it if you gave us feedback!

*sad violin music in the distance*

We will present the other game we made next week!

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