Up with the Sub!
Up with the Sub is a couch co-op game in which four players work together as the crew of a submarine to escape an underwater cave, before they succumb to the hostile inhabitants of the ocean. The crew has four characters to choose from, Captain, Diver, Gunner and Engineer, each with their own individual tasks.
Up with the Sub!
Up with the Sub! is a 4 player couch co-op game. Try it and look further into our development process here: https://jarnebeaufays.itch.io/gameprojects
We worked on this project with 4 people:
Charlotte Eisfeld - Artist - Voice Diver
Joran Potze - Artist - Voice Captain
Robin Dehullu - Programmer - Voice Gunner
Jarne Beaufays - Programmer - Voice Engineer
Our team was formed during the Game Projects course at Howest Digital Arts and Entertainment, with the task to create a couch co-op game. After pitching about 20 ideas in total, one stuck in everyone’s mind: this concept of a submarine crew of four different characters, kind of like our own team, all with different tasks and skills, but all essential for success. We made a first sketch containing some ideas for main mechanic , of which surprisingly many remained in our final product.
The Core Concept
The main philosophy of our game is a focus on teamwork and codependency between the four different roles. All characters have their own individually tasks, but without the others doing theirs, it becomes impossible to do your own. This interactive cycle is something we brought back in each aspect of the game. With this in mind, each character has a specific focus:
Captain: Level Navigation
Diver: Resource Collection
Engineering: Ship Maintenance.
Despite this, each character is able to support the others or are even required in completing other crew member's their tasks. Captain helps Diver by finding resources and Gunner by finding enemies on the sonar. Diver’s collected resources are required for Engineer’s crafting and she can help Gunner by killing sharks in his blind spots. Gunner helps Captain by clearing passages blocked with mines and Engineer by moving and using items in the ship. Finally, Engineer helps Captain by refueling the submarine and Gunner by reloading guns.
The crew finds itself in a strange underwater environment, almost alien in nature. The main inhabitants are hostile sharks that try to hunt down the crew, but upon further inspection, more creatures seem to be hiding in the depths. In the background, mysterious plants can be seen, as well as structures that appear to be built by an underwater civilization. If the submarine lingers in these waters for too long, they will discover something even more frightening is hiding in the darkness, as the surroundings start turning purple and the sounds of tentacles can be heard in the distance.
In designing Up with the Sub, we tried to create this mood that is a balance between fun and fear, mystery and chaos, exploration and urgency. This is reflected as well in both the cartoony but eyeless character designs and upbeat but pressuring soundtrack.
The Future of our Game
Although or project is over for now, we still have plenty of ideas to improve and expand our game in the future. We already have several unused enemy designs that were cut, which could return in a later instalment. We also want to expand the game with more levels with different types of environments, such as a polluted area or a cave in complete darkness. This would also include an added progression system, in which the characters collect treasure and experience along their journey, which they can use to gain new abilities, upgrade the ship and buy cosmetics. In addition, we want to tackle one of the main shortcomings of our game, namely the limitation of only being playable by 4 players, by introducing some sort of single player options or implement player AI.
When it comes to improvements in development, there is a lot of mileage we can still make by restructuring some of our code to make it more future proof, and by refining our performance. All in all, we are proud of what we have accomplished already and we hope you will enjoy Up with the Sub! just as much as we did.