Everest is a physics-based co-op platformer where the players attempt to climb to the top of the mountain. The players can hook into the side of the mountain to swing each other to safety as they make their way up. Along the way, players will face challenges such as hunger and cold temperatures that they’ll need to survive by creating warmth and salvaging off the mountain. It is a journey that requires coordination as the mountain only gets more dangerous.
The Game Core
Physics-based cooperative survival: Two players must use their skill and planning to survive the mountain.
Pillar 1: Shared Fate
The fate of the two players is tied both metaphorically and literally; the rope connecting them ensures that they’ll only survive the mountain if they both do.
Pillar 2: Physics Traversal
Walking and jumping will get you pretty far, but the only way to truly climb the mountain will have the player timing swings over high cliffs.
Pillar 3: Progressive Danger
A mountain is a dangerous place that gets more dangerous as you climb, with unsteady snow and harsh wind conditions.
I created it entirely by myself for this project and thus had to do just about everything while learning Unity for the first time. This really expanded my skills as, at the time, I had experience with some scripting and game design but little in the way of art or animation, two areas that would be necessary for the project. It also proved to be an interesting crash course for 2D unity projects, with my decision to have the gameplay largely driven by Unity physics.
The systems work on this project can be broken down into two general categories: survival climbing. The survival systems included hunger, weather, heat, and food sources. This category ensures that the players must continue up the mountain to survive together. The other, climbing, is the obstacle to that journey allowing the user to hook into ice and snow to swing their partner to safety. the two mechanics work together to bring a sense of anxiety to the project, especially as things like blizzards that freeze the player, and snow that has a loose grip become more common as you climb the mountain.
This being a solo project, I found the art side of things especially difficult as it is not my typical area of focus. To better approach this aspect of the project, I leaned into methods I knew might help make things manageable: a simple pixel art style, modular level assets, and four fps animations. While these areas were all difficult, they also taught me about Art pipelines in Unity. This was also my introduction to Anim state machines, which I have since come to really appreciate.