Global Game Jam: Jan 20–22

Your’s truly is the one throwing up the horns in the center.

This is my second time attending Global Game Jam and it was definitely a great experience. Although I was waylaid by protesters, family obligations, and a university basketball game, I was still able to contribute what I could to help make our game a success.

Day 1 started off with a keynote speech by Tom Fulp, co-owner of The Behemoth (creators of Castle Crashers) and co-owner of Newgrounds. It was awesome to meet him, get his insider take on the game industry, and ask any questions we may have had. I asked what advice he would give to someone who has tried to create a game during a game jam and failed repeatedly. He response was to make a game that is personal and reflects my experience with game jams. So in the near future I’m probably going to create a Twine game about a character that constantly fails at creating games during game jams. And I’m going to make it very personal. Here’s hoping I don’t anger anyone when I create the other characters in my game and they represent people in real life.

Me and Tom Fulp. Scratch one more off the bucket list.

Day 1 continued with the announcement of this year’s theme: “Waves” and all of us breaking out into groups and start brainstorming what kind of game we could create around the theme. My group came up with the idea of using tapping for a mobile game to create waves in a river to move a paper boat to a goal. The story we came up with was the paper boat traveling from a pond, down a river to a castle in a moat, then through the castle sewer, and finally saving the prince at the end.

Our thought board during the game jam. Yes all those scribbles mean something and are important.

Days 2 and 3 involved getting the framework of the game going, making the needed assets, downloading any software we would need to create/run the game, and assigning roles.

My Game Jam group. This was taken shortly before we finished our game “Maiden Voyage.”

I was in charge or level design, and came up with 3 levels for the game. I made some sketches to get a general idea down of what I wanted to do and would expand as needed once I got started. I used Tiled to create the actual game level layouts using sprites our artist created. I also thought of using ducks, cattails, and rats on driftwood as obstacles in the level and sewer grates to cause the boat to slow down in different areas of the sewer.

My sketches for the levels.
The guides used to create all the levels. All were made in Tiled.

Overall, the game is really fun with a decent difficulty level and all of us on the team are very proud of the end result. It’s set up for desktop and mobile, so feel free to visit our Game Jam group’s site and try it out!

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