Drifter: The Snow Plow Game

Drifter: The Snow Plow Game

  • JacksmackDave
  • 4 months ago
  • Disqualified

Description

In Drifter, you earn money by plowing snow during the winter. You earn money by piling snow up on grassy areas, keeping the roadway and parking lots clear and by making larger and larger snow piles in the same place.

F3 Key: zoom screen larger
F4 Key: Fullscreen toggle ESC: Quit game

Keyboard Input:

WASD: Move
Q: Tilt plow left
E: Tilt plow right
SHIFT WHILE MOVING: lay salt on ground to melt snow
SPACE: Lift plow to move faster, or drop plow to scrape snow

Controller Input:

LEFT STICK: move
LEFT TRIGGER: Tilt plow left
RIGHT TRIGGER: Tilt plow right
HOLD B BUTTON WHILE MOVING: lay salt on ground to melt snow
A BUTTON: Lift plow to move faster, or drop plow to scrape snow

Feedback
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  • baku
    baku baku Level 40 Patron

    Today I learned that if an idiot driver crashes into a pile of snow, and then another idiot crashes into the first guy, snow plow man apparently pays the bill 🤔

    Interesting game! I like these sort of "pseudo-simulator" style games (just look at my bad bicycle game), but like so many others it was a bit frustrating to play, when cars would appear on front of you at the edge of the screen giving you little to no time to react before crashing, snow piling up everywhere, cars crashing into everything and eachother, etc... xD

    Theme usage was great. You're collecting money, sure, but then there's also the snow that collects on the ground and in piles. Clever!

  • TobyMoby
    TobyMoby TobyMoby Level 15

    This is so cool and works incredibly well :D Had a lot of fun playing, and don't have something so really complain about, haha

    Neat concept, executed very good...keep it up! :)

  • kbjwes77
    kbjwes77 kbjwes77 Level 14

    Plowed snow through 3 snow storms and made $14, I think we need a snow plow union! Cool mechanic, a lot of the money I earned got stuck in the ice chunks on the side of the road. Would have liked to see an upgrade system or something, but I enjoyed the game nonetheless. Quite a unique game.

    • JacksmackDave JacksmackDave
      Level 5

      I've been toying with the idea of expanding on this one. Not sure if it should be a single player roguelike with upgrades or a 4 player party game.

  • Vojaz
    Vojaz Vojaz Level 7

    Really fun game :-) All the controls were a bit difficult to remember. Was fun collecting all the snow on the side. Even if it goes wrong, crashing cars still feels fun.

  • Jason Newman
    Jason Newman Jason Newman Level 4

    First of all, I love the theme!

    A lot of effort was clearly put into this. The gameplay is fairly intricate for a game jam, and it also has controller support which is also impressive for a game jam. There are so many wonderful details like the fact that it randomly snows harder, and that you can crash into cars lol.

    Artwork is totally awesome and cute.

    Sound is on point as well.

    This game is all around fantastic and where this game jam decided by judges it would have a sure shot of winning!

    Amazing job!

  • John Axelsson

    I liked this one! And I'd like to see a proper game out of it, preferably without a time constraint, cause it feels like it could be a very relaxing game in a way.

    • JacksmackDave JacksmackDave
      Level 5

      The time constraint was added to simply "gamify" it a bit. I had other ideas for ways to do this, but the timer was the only way I could see to do it in the game jam dev window.

      I'll kick around the idea for a bit and see if this might make sense to work on as a month long project or something.

  • Jaspo
    Jaspo Jaspo Level 4

    Probably my favorite game of the ones I've played so far (admittedly less than 20 of them), and certainly the most innovative. A rather different interpretation of the theme too which is nice.

  • The Secret Game Developer

    It's a fun little game. I think it looks very good for a game jam, and I could not find any sort of instability. Well done

  • Oke_oku
    Oke_oku Oke_oku Level 2

    This is a really well polished and executed game. I really enjoyed it

    • JacksmackDave JacksmackDave
      Level 5

      Thank you so much for the complement! I could see this becoming something a bit more robust. It has a very... "bubble wrap" kinda feel to it when you plow the roads.

Post-mortem

I made this game solo over a weekend for GM48 33. The theme was collect, and I usually try to come at a theme from an unexpected angle. So my process started with thinking about different ways the term COLLECT could be read.

You can walk around and pick up things, you can take up a collection at church, snow falls and accumulates then gets collected into ENORMOUS piles in Wal-Mart parking lots. I hadn't ever played a snow plow game so I thought it might be interesting to try to tackle.

Since I was making the game on my own I had to set very strict limits on the art. The tile size is 16x16 and all the art is very small. I wanted to learn how to do some new stuff, like having very intricate snow that you drove through. However I also wanted to get the game DONE so I again set limits for myself.

I've done a lot of game jams over the years and I find that limits are key. Don't get to grand with your vision. Tackle something simple and unique if possible. I really just wanted to have fun and not beat my head off of the programming on a deadline. That is always super stressful.

Whenever I start a project it always feels weird... The first few things you put in a game feel kinda lackluster... "Oh I have a scribbly truck that slides around and a tile map... look at me I'm a game designer!" But nothing is made all at once, ever game is made one pixel, and one line of code at a time.

The first tricky bit was getting the snow to behave properly. I didn't like the idea of pushing the snow forward and clearing everything, so I had to make piles happen to stop you from doing that. I didn't like how the piles were kinda buggy when you made them though... so I made the plow have a maximum amount of snow it can move in a pass.

I made the snow by creating a matrix of objects for the snow cover layer, and a ds_grid for the locations of piles if they are created. I also added an array of acceptable pile locations to allow for piles to spawn money when they are made in the right places.

I did a lot more with particles in this game than I have before. I have snow falling and plowing effects. It took a while to get those dialed in. And I still don't know exactly how they work. I just fiddled with them until they looked good.

I tied the snow fall to a weather property, and that weather property also changes the randomized speed of cars on the road. So when the weather is poor and a car spawns, it will CRAWL down the road. Eventually another car might spawn and zip along when the weather improves. I laughed so hard when the slow car got rear-ended by the fast one that I left it in. It's not a bug, it's a feature!

Overall I'm glad I was able to plow through this game jam. I added sound as I developed to try to give myself a better idea of how the game will feel when it was done. That helps with motivation for me. If I can see and hear how things will come together early on, I am usually motivated to follow through.

Result

Disqualified

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