Work Sleep Repeat was built by a two man team in 48 hours during the 2016 Global Game Jam. The theme of the jam was ‘Ritual’. This concept came about due to some unforeseen circumstances.
Initially, the project was meant to be a 3D horror game in which the player had to survive a summoning ritual. Our original team consisted of six people, which due to logistic and creative differences dwindled down to my team consisting of only myself. While I was flying solo I began work on the concept that would become Work Sleep Repeat as completing the previous game (affectionately known as “The Ritual”) would be an impossible task for a single person to complete at the time.
I challenged the concept of what a ritual was. I refused to reach for the low hanging fruit and decided that the cult-like version of a ritual was out. This helped me narrow my focus and I eventually settled on the idea of the “Morning” ritual. The idea was somewhat of a combination of pop-culture and personal experience. While in high-school I had a pretty amazing group of friends (still do). In our little group there was a running joke about an RPG that caused the player to die no matter what they did. If you moved the character, they would stub their toe and die. If they swung a sword they would somehow chop themselves in half and die. It was purely due to the way that RPG games were fashioned at the time and was a bit of a cynical view of the genre but nonetheless extremely entertaining. I wondered what a player death would be like if the player was facing the challenge of “getting ready to meet the world”. Out of that came this.
Work started halfway through the first day of GGJ16 and mainly consisted of me building a sprite sheet throughout the night. The next day I began work on the game. While I was working one of my previously estranged teammates (Stephen G.) mentioned that they didn’t know what to do. So, I asked him if he would like to work on WSR with me. He had never done any pixel art or 2D game design before so he enthusiastically accepted my offer. I showed him the basics of cutting sprites and creating animations out of them. While he did that I began laying the framework for the game in Unity. We worked together through the night of the second day and successfully finished the game about 10 hours before deadline.
The game is fully functional as a PC game. In its current state the game also runs on Android devices with a few odd bugs. Currently I am making changes to the code and game elements to allow for the game to function perfectly on Android devices. Once that is completed I plan on releasing the game.
The goal of the game is simple. Make it to work alive. The player engages with only a single input. On PC they need only press Spacebar, on Android they can simply tap the screen.
The player needs to complete seemingly mundane daily routines like stopping the alarm clock:
Or, putting on their pants:
But, if the task is performed improperly, the player faces certain failure:
One of the challenges of this game was the single input system. I wanted the game to be easy to play and yet require the player to use their skill alone to complete. I settled on a one button approach that would allow players of all types to challenge themselves by testing out their speed, accuracy, and reaction time without focusing on complex mechanics that typically occur in games that utilize multiple player inputs.
For those curious, the final breakdown of work in this game is as follows:
Me: Lead Programming, Art, Animation, Design, Android Development
Stephen: Lead Sound, Art, Animation, Design