Trade your way around the Bakersville Baking Convention in your quest to claim THE GOLDEN MUFFIN!
CLICK on the different BOOTHS to see the muffins they have available, and what they are willing to TRADE them for.
Make your INVENTORY match Chef Jacques’ as quickly as possible to claim THE GOLDEN MUFFIN!
"Onion Capers" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License
Sound effects from zapsplat.com
This is another weekend game jam game. The theme this time was "money", but I went outside the box by deciding to create a game where the main mechanic is trading...in fact, not using any money at all! I was originally going in a completely different direction with the game's theme also, but between the usual artwork restrictions and the game jam's time, that all needed to be simplified. So, we're working with easy-to-draw-and-color-swap muffins.
I assigned each muffin a hidden, underlying numerical value, and made a massive list of every way you could trade one for an equivalent value of others. That's how the whole Trade system works: the new data type I created includes a sellingGroup list and a buyingGroup list of equal value, and each booth in the game displays a few of them. If your current inventory matches or exceeds the buyingGroup, you can make that trade and receive the sellingGroup muffins in return. In this way, the player's inventory will always have the exact same total value, and it will also happen to equal both the value of the Golden Muffin itself and the buyingGroup of the Trade that allows you to get it. Got it? Your goal is to make trades with the other booths to try and transform your inventory into the Golden Muffin's buyingGroup, and to do so as quickly as possible to try and set a high score.
I slid my entry in a few hours late, technically, and I blame that entirely on how slowly Unity takes to make WebGL builds. That version also had a few bugs, and lacked some other additional features that just couldn't make it in in time. I decided to keep working on this one to make it into something really cool. After fixing a bug with the timer and improving performance a bit, the first big improvement was adding A* Pathfinding. Doing so makes the player character's movement feel a little more natural, and stops them from bumping into the booths or getting stuck if an invalid destination position is clicked.
The really big change was to the layout of the booth UI. I heard from more than one person who played that they were confused about which muffins were part of the sellingGroup and which were part of the buyingGroup. Shops in normal games don't have this problem because you're always trading an item for an amount of currency, so it's very obvious which is which. It would even have been hard to demark which was which visually because some trades had more muffins in one group and some had more in the other, and any variation could be together in the same booth. Eventually, I just decided to shake it up entirely and move to a column layout instead. The headings are the sellingGroup, and any muffins underneath a sharp black dividing line are in the buyingGroup. For the most part, Unity's layout groups allowed this to work without too much extra effort from what I had before.
I'm happy with where the game is now, and I'm looking forwatd to interjecting more of these smaller web games in between my normal work in the future.