What is Bad Egg?
Bad Egg! is a minimalistic exploration game where you take the role of the babysitter of a sassy and sinister egg demon, living inside of a twisted house of horrors. With gameplay inspired by various pet simulators, with an additional theme around an idea of "look, don't touch", the player's only method of interaction with the game's is to use the keyboard's four directional arrow keys to tilt their head. Directional inputs that are pressed and held result in staring at an object, which can prompt several pieces of dialogue, and may come with questions that require alternating directions to answer "yes or no" nonverbally.
This short project was designed during my Junior year at Champlain College as a title for players who are primarily motivated by narrative and exploration. The game's story, design, and art was done by entirely by yours truly, as well as the vast majority of the game's scripting, which was done in Unity 2D. The game's limited color palette was inspired by the low resolution LCD screens of Tamagotchi toys and the original Gameboy system, using occasional hints of red and blue to highlight objects and characters of particular interest.
Bad Egg! was developed in a short three-week period while juggling classes during an already-hectic semester that would soon be made even more hectic by a global pandemic. This project is a mechanical prototype: a proof of concept, rather than a complete narrative experience. With what is playable, Bad Egg! was able to achieve many of the goals that were established during the initial design process in 2020: creating a unique atmosphere alongside a unique and unconventional control scheme that players use to engage with the world.
Looking back on this project several years later, the main thing that could be improved with this project is the game's UI and UX. Bad Egg! was developed well before any of the projects on my portfolio where I dedicated myself more wholly to UI and UX, such as in projects like Junkpunk Arena and Urchin's Fall, and at the time, I was unaccustomed to working with tools like Figma for arranging mockups. Large swaths of the game window go unused, serving as little more than a solid gray texture.
Were I to revisit this project today, my top priority would be a complete UI overhaul, more specifically, implementing audiovisual assets that would better help to communicate to the player that they are tilting their head to stare. I would want to do this with a reticle that slowly fills up over time and/or a disembodied head asset on the game's outer fringes, which would tilt in tandem with the player's directional inputs to represent their gaze.