Fungus Among Us is the glorious creation by four students from the FH-Salzburg. I was part of this group and will detail my implementation part and experience from the game jam. The jam topic was "crowd licking" and the duration was 48 hours. Obviously we had to have something that licks stuff, so after the first hour we had the idea to replicate the SpongeBob episode "fungus among us" where the snake Gary licks an infection off of people.
I started to experiment with Unity joints to create some sort of tentacle that would pull the player. First staring with spring joints and then switching over to the customizable joints, which looked super intimidating, but are actually quite manageable. A super flexible tongue was born! Our super mega awesome artist created a tongue rig for us which could deform and stretch all over.
I then started to create the movement for the player, I wanted him to get pulled by the tongue and not move on its own, so I created some procedural leg movements, which I over engineered 150% and could be set up for basically any amount of legs for a creature. We opted for 4 legged critters. I never told them to move anywhere, I just told them how to move their legs IF they where moved. My collegue implemented nav mesh agents and a system how npcs would move randomly across the map with block art. We plugged both together and did some spaghetti code magic and ploop, a working npc with leg movement popped out.
Another participant created a particle and infection system that could be removed with colliders. He then adjusted the tongue so that it could lick particles, more art assets came and a mood system was quickly thrown together while the first build was getting pushed out. We got the mood system working to turn creatures more and more green the sicker they get, and they are able to swap out their face texture to a more appropriate representation of their current health state. The main menu was licked to the correct test scene, an end screen was created and added to the build, everyone pushed and the final build was done! - (we submitted 1 second before the deadline btw) So yes, it escalated in the end, and we ran out of time massively but it worked out pretty well in the end!
We got the feedback that the game was not playable with keyboard and mouse and I quickly threw together a keyboard build one hour after which is also available.
Please reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get in touch.