Exhausted Man crawls onto PS5 and PS4 July 25 – full details on movement mechanics

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Exhausted Man crawls onto PS5 and PS4 July 25 – full details on movement mechanics

Let's meet the most exhausted game character ever with development details beginning from the game’s inception.

Hello! I’m one of the developers who made Exhausted Man, an absurd sitcom depicting an exhausted life coming to PS5 and PS4 on July 25. In this game, the protagonist can only crawl and does everything while lying down. You can see that in the teaser trailer below.

Exhausted Man crawls onto PS5 and PS4 July 25 – full details on movement mechanics

Today, I want to tell you how I designed such weird characters.

Origin

It all started with a phrase: running out of energy, which became the theme of a respective game jam. I like to participate in such events, as making a game from scratch in 48 hours is a great way to relax.

Based on the theme, I came up with the idea of “people running out of energy” and built a simple character who was slumped on a couch. I posted a screenshot of it and got a lot of likes – not because of my modeling skills, but due to the resonance of exhaustion the character exuded.

I decided to make a game with this exhausted character – so he couldn’t just stay slumped on the couch, he needed to move. We’re all familiar with how our bodies feel when we’re extremely tired, standing up was not an option, so I made him crawl on the floor.

This crawling animation got even more likes. I tested the crawling maneuver on the ground in real life and it hurt all over. But since people liked it, I kept it.

Crawling like a bug

To crawl, especially on walls, humans need to learn from bugs. First, we made a ladybug that can crawl on any surface in a 3D environment.

The character’s head could copy the way the ladybug moves, but there was still a long body behind the head to account for. What bug is like that? Caterpillars. So, we implemented a feature named caterpillar bones, responsible for anchoring the body to the environment based on the head’s position. So, when you see a person crawling in the game, it’s actually based on the inner workings of a crawling caterpillar.

Soft as noodles

For a long time, the character’s body was like a normal person’s, with bendy arms and legs split in two. Although he could only crawl, he was at least somewhat human. Until our artist drew some promo art.

We liked the art so much that we thought it was okay even if it wasn’t so human-like – after all, he’s exhausted, right? So, we broke each bone into small pieces, giving the character’s limbs a noodle-like flexibility. 

Variable energy states

The protagonist needs to complete various events to achieve the goal of the night, and his energy state will change accordingly. For example, eating something raises energy. After eating, the character’s head will shine gold and they’ll gain more speed and strength. On the other hand, when the character fixes a game bug it takes on the opposite effect. The character’s face will become haggard and start to yawn a lot. Yawn bubbles will also knock the character to sleep.

But no matter the energy state of the character, they’ll never stand up! Exhausted Man launches July 25 on PS5 and PS4. Can you help the poor sleepy protagonist make it through the night?

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