I came across a commission post in the UCSC games discord on a student needing an animator and rigger. After exchanging contact info, the game lead showed me the ceramic and clay figurines they made. Looking at those and then looking at the file for the character, I knew it was a good idea to pick up this project.
Once the character's mesh was slightly adjusted, it was quickly rigged up and then came the challenging part. The character has a very simplistice design and needed to convey lots of motions and expressions, especially with the game's emphasis on social relationships. There were a few different rough drafts along the way but the animations were being steadily added to the game.
Unfortunately, it was drawing towards the end of the quarter so not only were finals coming up but I was busy moving stuff out of my dorm. The last of the animations would be sent over and we chatted over a nice serving of burgers to celebrate.
Later on when the game was finished, I got to play it. I knew the project was gonna be about the player's relationship with their digital pet but I didn't know the ending and almost cried.
I told some of my classmates about this game and in a strange way it became a heartfelt farewell for many of us as we had to stay home for the pandemic.
I'm glad other people across the internet also had a similar apprication for the game as we did.