The inspiration behind the game comes from the quantum physics theory and the phrase "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are". Finally, the idea of dividing the screen in 2 horizontally came along and I built the story around the core mechanic.
How it works
The game starts with one person looking the skyline of the sea from the higher part of a cliff. Next, you have the main menu, and the sound of the sea and the seagulls in the brackground. When you press the start button, the real game starts.
In the game, you first control a white character in a side-scrolling view. The character is always going from left to right, so you just need to jump. However, the screen below is totally dark and in order to light it, you need to allocate "light markers" in the world of braveness that will turn into light in the world of darkness (the screen below).
After you play with the white character, you play in the second division of the screen, that represents a darker reflection of the first screen. If you put properly all the markers, you will be able to remember the way and to see the platforms in the bottom screen.
But, the player will be asking: "What is connection between this two characters and the person on the cliff?" Well, if the player reach the middle of the game, he will be able to see a cutscene that shows the reality. The person on the cliff is not admiring the view.
He wants to throw himself and commit suicide.
Then, what you are playing is the visual representation of the feelings of the character. In the upper screen, the "braveness" of keep living and fight the problems he could be facing. In the bottom one, a dark and depressive reflection of the first one where you play the "cowardice" of ending with everything and choosing the easy option.
Every level you complete makes the bottom screen darker and darker, reaching a point where the darkness reach the screen above. That represents the weight of the cowardice in the balance, the bad feelings winning the fight in the interior of the mind. The braveness has a light that can illuminate the way, but in the last level it can even fail. However, if you notice properly, there is one blue dot hide in every level that you can adquire playing with the cowardice. That represents the will of fighting the problems and keep going on and is called "brave point"
Finally, there are two endings in the game (the person on the cliff kills himself or not) and depending on the number of "brave points" you have collected through the adventure, you unlock one or the other.
Challenges I ran into
Leading a complete team was a big but exciting challenge. They were not properly controlling Unity and I needed to balance the amount of work to distribute and with who. Also, building the storytelling and the narrative in a way that we could show everything with only 48h of work was a big challenge for me as a scriptwriter. The programming was not that challenging, but the trick with the camera was. Lastly, designing the levels trying to get an user-friendly learning curve was a challenge to myself.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
We managed to finish the game with 6 levels, 4 cutscenes and 2 endings. The levels followed an incremental learning curve, introducing one new mechanic every level.
Thanks to all the work done, Braveness&Cowardice won the Honour prize and the Accesibility prize at the Madrid's Global Game Jam 2014.
What I learned
I learned more deeply how Unity was working and how to manage an unkown team where I knew nothing about the people.
What's next for Braveness&Cowardice
After the competition, we were offered a deal with a spanish indie publisher to finish the game. However, 4 months later the team was dissolved due to lack of motivation and implication. The publisher is still interested in releasing the game, so there might be a possibility of retaking the development with a new name wnd new ideas.