I started my jam by grabbing episode names from Panzorfork's generator. The ideas that jumped out:
Esophagus Sarcophagus - You play as words trying to escape from someone's mouth. You must "navigate this maze".
Space Boss: Lord of Space - Space citizens come to your court and plead their case. Two buttons, one for "FINE" and one for "WHATEVER"
Don't Look at Me, I'm Hideo - MGS knockoff. Play as Hideo hiding from the Konami hitmen hired to kill him.
You, Fisher - You're a fishermen working under Lambert's supervision. Ridiculous mistakes are likely, Lambert will give you shit for it.
Choosing "You Fisher" was pretty arbitrary - looking back, I'd kinda like to make Esophagus Sarcophagus still. But my idea for "You Fisher" was a little more mechanically and systemically driven, and that's what I was looking to practice. So yeah. I started researching. I watched a lot of Splinter Cell videos and gathered up quotes that fit. One of them mentioned Myanmar, so I decided to place the game there (why not?) and then watched a lot of youtube videos about Burmese fishermen. They have a really cool method of paddling using their legs which inspired me to focus on a paddling mechanic, but I decided to avoid the headache of animating a dude/dudette's legs. I focused the game idea down to a boat, other boats floating around as obstacles, and a lake with good fishing spots and bad fishing spots. The lake and its boats are generated on the fly every time you play. There is a 2d array that spans the width/height of the level, and it is filled with "yield" numbers. Higher yield means the player is more likely to catch a fish there. I visualize this in game by tinting the water a bit red, but I never actually explain that in-game (oops). I came up with the yield numbers by first randomly assigning a number to each cell, then taking a second pass where I "smooth" everything out by average an cell's value with its neighbors. The boats are spawned where there is high yield using a kind of neat system: For each cell, three die are rolled. If that die is less than the cell's yield, that boat is placed. Meaning a maximum of three boats are possible at any cell, and the higher the yield the more likely all three boats will show up. But it's also possible for three boats to show up at a bad spot, or vice versa, which is the kind of unpredictable spread I wanted. The boat moves using GameMaker's 2DBox-physics-engine-system thingy, which I learned for this jam. At first it was a little tricky adapting to all the new variables, but the game's simplicity helped. Mouse press will tell a variable to start counting how long you've clicked for. If you release before ~1.5 seconds, a pushing force will be created behind you that is relative to how long you held the mouse button. If you hold the mouse button beyond 1.5 seconds, the boat's linear damping increases (read: it slows down... this is what i had to deal with) and a slight amount of torque is applied in that direction. Releasing the mouse at this point won't push you. Art and sound came together in the last few hours of the jam. I do love working on those but it just wasn't my focus with this one. Getting the feel right was. And I'm real happy with how the paddling came out — the combo of braking, small pushes, and big pushes? There's something to it. At least, more to it than 99% of the other prototypes I've made, ha. The fishing honestly kinda sucks though, and by the end I was wishing I'd created some sort of checkpoint race game using my paddling mechanic. Get to hot fishing spots quickly, while avoiding others? Could be fun. Maybe some other time. I had a lot of fun doing the jam, much love to fellow jammers and to your creations. I've played maybe ten so far, they're all out of control.