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Yerra and the Search for the Centre of the Universe

Yerra and the Search for the Centre of the Universe


Yerra is a platformer in space where instead of jumping over obstacles you sling yourself from orbit to orbit using the power of gravity to move around. Setting the game in space creates new and unique platforming gameplay where i've tried to translate the fun of games like Ori and the Blind Forest and Mario to an environment where you can move in any direction and can never stand still. Here i present my prototype where i have tried to do just this, make moving around in the vast emptiness of space fun and satisfying. From this  foundation i plan on building this game out into a platformer RPG with a narrative about science and friendship.


Keep scrolling to see todays events, gameplay and learn more about the inner workings of the game.




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Events!

Schedule

The Math & Physics of Yerra | 16:00-16:20

Yerra Q&A | 16:20 - 16:35

The Math & Physics of Yerra | 18:40-19:00

Yerra Q&A | 19:15 - 19:30




Follow Yerra on instagram!




Movement

Dashing

Your dash is like a jump, dashing in any direction will launch you in that direction. While aiming your dash time slows down and an arrow indicates that direction and strength of your dash. You can dash three times before needing to recharge it, you can recharge your dash by entering orbit or colliding with a different object in space.

Moving

You can move in any direction however movement will never allow to go faster than the movement speed. When already moving fast movement can be used to change your direction. Movement is indicated by an arrow like dash but the arrow is shorter because movement is much slower but constant.

Orbiting

You enter orbit either by hitting a planet or by getting close to the planet at which point you will be prompted to press E to enter orbit. You will then enter orbit at that distance from the planet. Once in orbit you can use S and W to respectively go into lower and higher orbits. Lower orbits increase your speed allowing you to gain speed by orbiting.




Yerra

Yerra is our protagonist a small moon who gained consciousness under mysterious circumstances. Yerra wants to find out why they exist and how they came to be so they set out on a grand journey through the galaxy in search of the meaning of life. Yerra has been brought to life by a combination of animation and sound. All animation have been made using math and programming which i'll talk more about during my talk The Math and Physics. Yerra is a very innocent character and you are supposed to want to keep them safe during the game so they respond to your actions as a player. When aiming a dash they will strain, their eyes will follow your mouse while their face will follow the direction of their movement, when you hit your head they will be dizzy and when you go at amazing speed they will be amazed.  I hope you will fall in love with Yerra just like i have.




Maths & Physics

Science is central to Yerra in both gameplay and story but for now we will focus on the gameplay. First of all i have used real physics calculations to simulate orbits, calculate things like planet radius, density, circumference and more. However Yerra is not simply a perfect simulation, it's a game so i have taken liberties to ignore real physics where i can make interesting and fun mechanics. The goal is to give an impression of how these physics basically work while also making a satisfying platformer where the player can explore outer space freely. As previously mentioned all animations have also been made using maths and i have also been working on mechanics relating to planetery impacts and mass that are currently finished enough to be in this prototype. So in short Yerra is not a physics simulator but uses physics as a starting place for creating fun and interesting gameplay.

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