Cutoff is a puzzle game made in 48 hours for the 2021 Global Game Jam by a team of 2.
After an additional 3 months of dev time with an expanded team of 3, it was licensed to Cool Math Games.
I owned our game concept, puzzle design, visual direction, 2D art, and co-owned our gameplay design.
The software I used included Unity, Photoshop, Google Docs, Jira, and Trello.
I'm a big sucker for jam themes. They're usually what I draw inspiration from when participating, but the story for Cutoff goes a bit different. Instead of the theme, I was inspired by the reveal video!
Starting at 12:40, there's a brief, 5-second animation of a flashlight that directly inspired Cutoff. After pitching the "flashlight game" concept to my teammate, it was time to get designing.
Being able to drop and pick up the flashlight was cut almost immediately, since it didn't bring anything interesting to the table. To make it worthwhile, it would've required even more design work to make it worthwhile—work we didn't have time for.
We ended up axing the "goal in the shadows" gimmick too, since Unity's 2D lighting did not want to play nice.
So we pivoted!
Introducing the "thing that has to be lit" mechanic. Not only was it wayyy easier to program than my previous idea, it also makes for better puzzles. And once we added a "thing that has to be in the dark," we really hit our stride.
Eventually, levels completed once all the "things" were lit, no goal required.
After the jam was over, I was contacted by a recruiter from Cool Math Games who was interested in hosting Cutoff on their legendary site, coolmathgames.com.
But in order to get Cutoff online, we needed more levels. The original jam build only had 5, so I went about designing 15 more. Here's a comparison for 3 of those level concepts with their current in-game iteration.