Global Game Jam is 48h on site game creation marathon.

Rules:

  • Create Fully Functional Game in less than 48h
  • All code and Assets done on-site
  • Game must be related to the Game Jam Theme
  • To raise the bar you may use the Gama Jam Diversifiers

Theme of Global Game Jam 2016: Ritual

Announced: 5 PM CET, Friday 29.01.2016

Deadline: 5 AM CET, Saturday 31.01.2016

Tech used:

  • Unity 5.3,
  • Gimp, Krita,
  • HG Source Control + BitBucket online repository,
  • Google Docs,

Status: Successful (game is completed and working)

Links:

Code Repository:

What was ok:

  • We had a very innovative idea and the game we made has a potential
  • That was first Jam where “we took it easy”
  • I and Łukasz worked well in a team
  • I liked the dedication of Sebastian and Magda
  • Sebastian did his best to provide whatever he could with music (Big +)

What was not ok:

  • We could do better with the design of Player 1 challenges.
  • We were not noticed by Jury
  • Sebastian needs to work on practical skills
  • Bigger team = more communication issues
  • Not sleeping is not a good idea for Game Jams
  • I tend to get too nervous near the deadline

 

Preparation:

This was my 5th Game Jam and Second with Łukasz. We quickly found two other team members – Magda and Sebastian on site. We used to work with Łukasz on previous Game Jam so we knew our habits and skills. He knew I am clumsy with code. I knew he sometimes tries to find the proper but tougher way. Sebastian and Magda were new to the team. They both have great energy and that was the main character feature I liked.

When things go south you better have someone with positive attitude.

Execution:

After forming the team and learning the theme we went to eat a pizza and used this time to discuss about the concept. We told others about diversifiers and came up with the game about Bunny Priest performing miracles to calm the Bunny worshippers. The game was supposed to use a microphone.

We quickly made a list of GFX assets so Magda could work while we were coding. We left the Library building at around 11. Trams were not working so we walked on foot (around 20 minutes on foot)

We went to sleep and went back to Library in the morning around 10 am. We found out that Sebastian took a very little sleep and Magda did not sleep at all. After 7 hours during we were gone we saw some pretty nice hand drawn concept arts. However nothing tangible in digital format. We had to work on placeholders to sort out the gameplay.

Sebastian was still gone as he went back to his dorm to get some rest.

After a while when I saw that Magda is taking a lot of time on the background I spoke with her about the progress. Unfortunately she went in totally different way from the direction we expected her to go. I explained the vision once again but the hours were wasted.

I also took a backup oldschool MacBook G4 so Sebastian could work with us in the same room since he did not have his own machine. Unfortunately the computer I brought was not good enough to help with the development so Sebastian went back to the Computer Lab to help us from that place.

Throughout the day I found it very distracting to be constantly asked to give interviews, pose to photos and talk about the game that has  not been finished yet.

I saw the speed was not good enough so I decided to jump in create some of the graphic assets myself. I made some minor pixel art bunnies and prepared the Title Screen.

I also coded the game flow so we had a clear division for stages and could see what is needed. Łukasz was focused on the main level gameplay. During this time we brainstormed about the Player 1 cast spelling and Łukasz was figuring out how to measure the Microphone Loudness. By the end of that day we had a fully working gameplay but lacking some quality polish, quite a few graphical assets. Sebastian did a great job with learning the chiptune music however we were running out of time.

We went back home to get some sleep and decided to come back to the site next day for the last run. I woke up pretty early but Łukasz needed more rest since he took long coding hours earlier and he needed to get back to Poznan the same day.

I saw Magda even though she was very optimistic, she started to lose energy and focus since she was up without sleeping for a long time. She managed to do some cool artwork for Carrot Monster and made some end screens but the time was running out. We had no User Interface, No Points, No menu. I admit I started to lose patience. Fortunately Łukasz managed to get a grip on the debugging process and we delivered the working build for presentation.

Summary:

Even though I found it hard to accept that the Jury decided to score games before they were ready and presented but we got a very positive feedback and the response from public. We will stick to the concept of party game but we need to get back to the drawing board with the gameplay design.

Lessons took:

  1. Innovation is cool!
  2. Make a game for yourself and your fans, not the critics
  3. Team Communication is very important
  4. Long working hours does not mean effective hours
  5. Commit, Push, Pull, Update and less talk 🙂