Global Game Jam 2015 and ‘Low Resolution’ 2-Week Challenge

Ever since doing Ludum Dare 31, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the next 48 hour competition or jam. Thankfully I didn’t have to wait that long, as Global Game Jam happened at the end of January. Games submitted for Global Game Jam aren’t rated like those for Ludum Dare, but the rest of the event is structured similarly – you turn up, get given a theme to work into your game, and you have 48 hours to create and submit something. The nice thing is that start and end times are based on time zones rather than a global start time, and the theme isn’t voted on by participants, so you tend to get less terrible themes. You’re encouraged to work in a team, and so I worked with Tom for this one.

Team Photo

Our team photo. The cat represents team spirit. And meowing.

Due to the time constraints, we firstly decided 2D was a must. Then, We decided on a pixel art style, like above. The theme for the event was ‘What do we do now?’, so our original idea for the game was to make a platformer with levels that branch off each other based on the challenges presented to the player, but we didn’t get enough levels completed so that didn’t work out. We managed to have different outcomes to levels though, so our plan did come to life in some respect.

press

We should totally focus on pixel art more often.

The protagonist, Nathan, starts off the game by getting fired from ACME Plumb Inc., and is thrown out the window of the 5th floor, falling into the first level. From there, he needs to do tasks for people in the city to get to the next level. We focused on the humour elements of this game more than we have in previous ones, such as the second level where someone has lost their cat, and instead of handing it to her, you can throw it in the fire and watch her get angry.

game-screenshot-02Poor Mittens, doesn’t know what’s about to hit her.

The gameplay mechanics are straightforward – the challenges are generally ‘move x to y’, or ‘pick up x, give it to y’, so nothing too strenuous. We were pretty happy to actually have something done by the end, because at the end of Friday, we really didn’t have that much except some (awesome) pixel art, mainly drawn by Tom.

Since GGJ2015, we’ve done a little bit of work on the game for the Warwick Game Design two-week challenge, with the theme of ‘low resolution’. There were a few collision issues (such as a really cool infinite jump bug and totally unhelpful sticking-on-sides-of-things bug) that have been fixed, plus a bit of level rejigging. Most awesomely, we’ve managed to get it working on Android! It’s pretty much exactly like the GGJ version, minus those bugs, because we haven’t had the time to add any levels. We’re hoping to continue work on it in the future, and port it to other platforms, because we find the simple and humourous gameplay, coupled with the pixel art style, has potential for becoming a fully-fledged game.

You can find the download on the Global Game Jam website.

A Completely Random Post #2, Plus a Free Game Reveal

Again I have found myself in the deep, dark pit of boredom. So, I’m gonna go ahead and defile the sanctity of the Internet with my random words about random things.

So, what are you gonna be talking about today, good sir?

To start off, here’s a picture of me from last Saturday, wearing cat ears:

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When I give you this look, you know you’re coming home with me.

In less than a month, this guy is apparently going to uni. He’s about as surprised as you are. Yup, some guy with way too much of a smirk and sexy cat ears is on his way to Warwick to do all things Computer Science-y, and as such he’s clearly taken steps to up his maturity level. But since I’ll be doing a computer science course, that SHOULD mean that my work will go through the roof in terms of quality. In the meantime, I still have the rest of the month, pretty much, to get my game upto scratch. And that brings me to my next piece of news – my new game!

New game? What? Why? Where? How? This is new!

Boom! Right out of the blue! Well, the grey really. Time for the reveal of my brand new game, Four By Eight!

4x8-01

Well, well, well. A shiny new game, huh? I wanna play!

The basic idea of the game is that the world exists as a 4×8 array of tiles, as seen above. You control the white tile, and you’re only able to move up and down on the leftmost column in discrete steps. The goal? Avoid the grey tiles that move towards you at  increasing speeds from the right. Simple, huh? When I add a couple more features on top of that (don’t worry, I’m chock full of them) then I’ll put out a version for you guys to play.

The idea with this game is to keep the art style as minimalist as possible, while keeping enough stuff happening on the screen to keep players interested. Then, on top of that I’ll try keeping the game addictive, so there’s that ‘one more try’ factor, like all arcade-style games need to have. I guess that’s all I have to say right now about this exciting new project, so until next time!