Thales Grilo


Hover Bear

I recently got together with joloppo and Chris to build Hover Bear, the world’s #1 best rock-breaking, ironing board-surfing bear simulator. This was my first experience coding in Godot - a truly amazing framework for game development.

I have limited exposure to the world of gamedev, developing Umbra with a team of classmates. It won second place best game in uni 🥈 The focus in that class was more about coding game engines than games themselves. Most of the term went into creating a singleton gameloop, tilemap support, basic collision, actors, sprites, etc. Plus it all done with C and SDL - blazing fast but nowhere near productive.

In Godot, that (and a whole lot more) is given out of the box in a neatly organized structure. It’s very easy to organize and connect the elements of the game. You can get skeleton-based inverse kinematic animation (like Hover Bear 😎) with relative low effort.

Day 0

Before the game jam officially started, we had to settle on a them. The theme was “Momentum”. Every idea was an option: from orbital newton’s cradles to swinging tarzan babies. Eventually we agreed on a hoverboard of some kind. Chris already had a working prototype of a hoverboard scene in Godot - we decided to build from there.

How does momentum kick in? Well, we decided that something had to be breakable - faster means more momentum, which means break bigger rock.

Day 1

My first task was improving camera handling. Chris and Joloppo were fixing hoverboard collision. Once that was done, we needed assets. I spent a few hours looking for good map and character assets. They were fixing glitches with maneuverability and camera. We ended the day with a bear on a yellow flying brick in a red street. He sometimes got tangled in the boughs of red trees. But you could indeed control him with a gamepad 👌🏻

Day 2

The second day was about polishing the game, adding animation and sounds. There were still glitches allowing the bear to clip through the ground. I looked into the main theme and SFX while they fixed that. This recording of a pair of drummers in central London just seemed the perfect fit. A few cuts revealed a super nice 2-min clip which worked as the BGM. I had tried animating the bear the day before but it looked quite crappy. Chris gave it a go and made it look fantastic. All along we’ve been discussing realism in animation and drifting mechanics.

The day ended with basically the playable version you can find here. Give it a go yourself and tell us what you think 😉