Tuesday, July 16, 2013

iamagamer game jam: Blood

I didn't actually do much development for Bad Things this week, instead I was focused on finishing up at Intel, and then there was the iamagamer.ca game jam this weekend. Along with two other people, I produced a game in 48 hours. The link to download it is here http://jam.iamagamer.ca/submissions/53-blood, though I'll probably put up a download on this blog on an 'other projects' page.

Blood!

The topic was "Strong female protagonist", and my first idea was to take the concept literally and make a game about a female body builder. After some discussion among my friends, I decided to pitch a game about bleeding. One person put their name on it (someone I knew already), then I put my name on it, and we got a third person. Luckily for us, none of us had ever done a game jam before, and I was the only one with game development experience.

We settled on an action platformer where your blood is both your life and your ability to attack. Each weapon or spell you use would remove some of your blood, and on top of bleeding constantly, that makes for a very interesting decision process. You can't wait around too long because you'll bleed to death and you can't attack without planning or you'll bleed to death.

The initial scope was waaay too big, as it always is, but we finished with two enemies, a level, a blood sword, running, attacking and idle animations, and some sound effects stolen from Kirby Super Star put in during the last 20 minutes. It turns out that the particle effects used in the game became too intense for mere laptops so we had to demo the thing on my PC. Yes, I brought my tower to a game jam... I've since optimized the game by turning down the physics frame rate and changing the world particle collisions to planar particle collisions. I expect it will run on most computers now.

Game jams are crazy

It was 48 hours of intense, exhausting effort, and I think we built something that we can be proud of. It feels like we were one of the teams that got the most done, and I believe it's impressive that we got so much done considering our team size and experience. I don't know if I'll do another game jam any time soon, or at least until I forget how exhausting it was. Not to say it wasn't fun, but it didn't exactly achieve the goal of showing other people what I could do on a team, or networking very well (because I already knew one of the team members, and the other quit half way through and tried as hard as possible to remain completely anonymous, including making up new emails for the event and then deleting the accounts after it was over).

The boston scene

The boston scene is a lot stronger than I expected. There's a ton of people and they're all really cool. It's really fun to meet other game developers; my current social circles do not contain very many creative types, and game devs are the same intersection of technical/creative that I pathologically exhibit. I've met a ton of audio guys, some artists, some modelers and a bunch of engine guys. I'm not usually super extroverted, but I can power up my social abilities when faced with the consequences of network or die. I've spent the last 4 days traveling back and forth to boston every day, so it will certainly be more convenient when I move there.

Normal development of Bad Things should resume this week. Here's some level editor progress to smooth things over.