The kids in your daycare are running wild! If you don't get them under control, they'll start waking the babies and the whole place will descend into chaos! Give the kids toys to distract them, but know that they won't stay out of trouble for long! Walk over dropped toys to recollect them to use again! Stand near babies to sing them back to sleep!
Switch between two control schemes, standard keyboard or point-and-click.
This was the fourth game I created for Experimental Games, and my personal favorite. I had a really talented artist for a partner; he was on the ball with getting assets to me on time, and we were on the same page with the game's design from the very beginning. This was the first time that we were able to have a solid, complete game after the first week, and could spend the second adding lots of little improvements like random wakeups, animations for sleeping babies, and thorough numbers-tweaking. The starting values and "creep" scale in this game were very important, because we had a lot of moving and interacting parts: the babies' wakeup rate, the matron's singing rate, the kids' distraction rate, the rate that babies affected each other, and more.
The professor was really sold on the idea as well, but offered us two major critiques from the beta version. First, he suggested implementing a round system to give the player a little time to breathe at certain points. This wasn't difficult, as it just involved reloading the main Unity scene with a few static variables updated. The second item came from him getting hung-up on our standard keyboard control scheme. For some reason, he found it unintuitive and advocated for switching to mouse control instead. My partner and I disagreed with the idea, so instead we compromised and added support for mouse alongside the default. In the code, this was done lazily by adding a global variable that was queried every time input was received. In the end, the professor was extremely pleased and gave our game 100%, telling us that it was the only time he had ever done so.
The children are implemented as state machines, including Wander, MoveToTarget, and Stop states. Wander is the default, where the child picks a random direction to move in, switching every few seconds. If the child happens to enter one of the babies' circles, it will switch to MoveToTarget and continue directly towards that baby. There, it will enter Stop and begin to wake the baby up. MoveToTarget is also used to direct the child back to the center of the room after giving it a toy. There is also a random chance in the Wander state that the child will target a specific baby and switch to MoveToTarget without being in range first. This randomness, alongside the chance of a baby waking up on its own and crying babies waking each other, really added to the chaotic, fun feeling of the game. A final quirk is that the child's mass is exponentially increased when in the Stop state. We wanted the player to be able to push kids out of their way when they were running around normally, but didn't want them to be moved out of a baby's circle so easily. The only way to get the stubborn children to leave the babies alone is by giving them a toy.