Shelf Life

Shelf Life is an original 3D game about a gnome who lives inside of a refrigerator. When the door is closed, he must move food towards the front where it can be removed before it spoils. If food spoils before it is removed, it will come to life as mold monsters which can only be eliminated by leading them to the front when the door is opened. The player plays as the gnome pushing food, and climbing to keep the fridge from being overwhelmed.

Points are only awarded when the fridge is opened. The player is rewarded for food removed and penalized for monsters that are in the fridge but too far from the front to be removed. To score the most points—and to stay alive—the player must get as much food out as they can.

Main Menu
Design Document Visit wiki

The design document was developed and maintained using HeatherWiki. The final design document is mostly true to the game as it was kept live during development. I wrote most of the content and maintained the wiki with input from my teammates.

The wiki design document contains information including: game overview, control schemes, game logic, description of game units, screen flow and interface layout, and data on the fridge contents for reference.

Playable Demo Download

It is highly recommended you use an XBox 360 game pad when playing this game. However, it can be played without one by using the keyboard. Please see the controls section on the wiki. Controls for the gamepad can be found on second page of the help menu in the game.

Source code is available on request.

Ingame screenshot
My Contributions & Experience

The original concept was mine, inspired by many thoughts being thrown around during a brainstorming session. I designed most of the mechanics with lots of input from my team. I developed most of the details of the mechanics, adapting them to limitations we came upon during development. I wrote most of the design document as well as maintained it. I also designed the layout of the fridge, the properties of the food and the scoring system.

I did almost all of the balancing of this game. Balancing was done through extensive gameplay by myself and by testers I observed and questioned. Factors balanced include player speed, enemy speed, damage, healing, door open timer, layout of fridge, how close food/enemies must be to the front to be removed, stun time, and unspoil rate. While not perfect, the balance of this game improved greatly from when I started. I spent a lot of time playing and trying to play with different styles and goals to tweak the user's experience.

I created several art assets including models for egg carton, jelly jars, pickle jar, milk, wine, soda can, and mayonnaise. I skinned the cake, mayo, wine, soda, and jelly jars. I also created a lot of the "programmer art".

I did a lot of programming including: fridge population, aspects of the gnome's behavior, scoring, health and regeneration, and fridge layout.

Finally, I maintained the project wiki and managed a lot of the documentation. Shelf Life's wiki is the current main wiki for information related to Game Project Wiki: HeatherWiki.

Ingame screenshot
Video and more

More information about Shelf Life can be found on RIT's Department of Interactive Games and Media website. This includes links to some game play videos and a link to the documentation of our source code. Source code is currently unavailable except by request.

Ingame screenshot

Shelf Life was designed and developed by myself, Kelley Piering, Michael Ey, and Joseph Pietruch. It was designed and built in 10 weeks using Michael's "Sven" engine in C++.

Game over screen