This is a highly delayed post, mainly because I was waiting on Unity 3 to not be in beta anymore, and then once the full release happened my project crashed when opening. Well that’s all resolved now and I can finally publish UFO No!. This game was produced on the weekend of August 13, 2010 at a game jam hosted by UAT. The theme was “continuous motion” which I thought was a great theme for a game jam, much better than most.
I worked with a partner this time, an student artist from UAT named Arielle. She did some fantastic work and far exceeded my ability to implement features to use the artwork she created. One of our biggest issues was that since Unity was still in beta I couldn’t get a copy for Arielle to use for level design and layout. So a larger portion of my time went into level layout than I would have liked. Which leads me to all easily identifiable mistakes I made:
Mistake #1 – Choosing the wrong tool. Not Unity in general, but the Unity 3 beta. I should have just started the project in Unity 2.6 so we each could have a copy to work from.
Mistake #2 – Building the wrong game. When we developed the general idea for the game it quickly evolved into humans being hunted by a big alien ship. Initially we drew out a 2d design but my eyes being bigger than my (programmer) stomach I bit off a nice big chunk of 3d. Visions of using the detonator framework to make awesome cinematic cutscenes ran roughshod over what would have been a far superior game in 2d. In the end the 3d gameplay made the level design and basic character control much more complex than it needed to be leaving not enough time for creating more level and refining the game.
Mistake #3 – Spending too much time on things that don’t matter. I got distracted by the shiny pebble of awesome cinematic cutscenes when I should have been building more levels or implementing a proper menu system. Those things are not sexy though and so the cutscene won out. This was not a situation where theatrics wins out over weak gameplay.
So that about wraps it up. Not the most successful game jam game I’ve ever done, but not a terrible distaster either. Thanks again to Arielle for putting up with me for 48 hours and building basically any asset I asked for on super short notice.
So I got around to posting the details of my Mini Ludum Dare #20 entry. This was a re-started entry halfway through the competition, so it was really more of a 24 hour game. Even as such I wasn’t really pleased with the design of my entry but I didn’t have anything better (until after the compo) and I figured if you pile on enough effects, maybe the end result won’t be crap.
The theme was greed so my primary mechanic was a “pushing it” type of game. You get exponentially more money the faster you are moving so 60MPH is a lot more money than 30MPH. Of course the faster you go the less reaction time you get. Also, there are no breaks, which means if you accelerate you can’t just decelerate. Well, you can, but it involves driving off the road and damaging your vehicle (and costing you some money too). So that’s a technique that has to be used somewhat sparingly. The last component were gold colored blocks that gave you a nice cash boost but also boosted your speed.
There was a special rule for that said you could only have 1 of any thing in your game. Thus the oddly shaped money and obstacles.
At the end of the race is a mud pit that will slow you down, but if you’re moving too fast you’ll still crash. Max survivable speed is around 85MPH.
Several weeks ago I participated in the Phoenix IGDA’s latest game jam. I never got around to posting the time lapse video I recorded or the game that we created, but that has been remedied.
Introducing Bridge Bots, a single player puzzle game where your goal is to assist the bridge bots in getting from their starting island to the exit island. There are only two levels that are working (under the Chris and Dave islands) due to last minute changes that nuked a bunch of previously created levels.
In the fine spirit of the game jam, and specifically the upcoming Phoenix IGDA game jam, I present to you a documentary about a game jam (not ours). I especially like the part about the jam overlapping with Valentine’s day (oops!). Our jam is quite likely to be less star studded, but guaranteed to be just as much fun.