ok - I'm supposed to be serious dad here, but I laughed my @$$ off at this!
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So, my first ever game jam is DONE.
The Playmaker Game Jam was an interesting way to try new things, practice skills and see just how much I could punish myself by being glued to a desk like I haven’t done in years.
I’ve never done a jam before, so I went in with zero expectations – Friday came and it was announced that the themes would be:
Last Resort – or – Not a Hero
OK – now what the #$%^ do I do with THAT?
First thing that popped into my head was to do a pun or play on words with ‘last resort’ – some sort of oasis at the end of the world kinda tickled the back of my brain. (and apparently every other person in the jam felt similarly too) So, in that spirit, I was drawn to the idea of ‘its the Last Resort in a world gone to ruin’. I didn’t want to delve into a backstory too much, just give the idea that the world went to shit and the player was pretty much one of the last people.
So, in that spirit, I fired up Oculus Medium and started sculpting out an island on which to set the stage. I kinda liked the idea that the center was this insurmountable mountain that would force the player to run around it, either from enemies or to complete tasks. I decided to carve out a cave in case I wanted something creepy, or have a hidden place to have the player discover.
While I had Medium open, I also made a couple of ‘palm’ trees. The pre-made stamps are pretty awesome at getting something prototyped quickly. While I was looking through the stamps, I saw a rat skull one an decided ‘THIS is my monster head!’ So a slapped a couple of arms (also stamps) and exported it as a .fbx into Blender, added a quick rig and had the thing crawling relatively quick. So went my first day – which was still mostly filled with my normal day-to-day routine of taking care of the boys, feeding a household and refraining from strangling my neurotic, overly needy cat.
The second day was a mad dash of getting the kids thru swim lessons and packed up so they could spend the night with mommy at grandma’s house, leaving me to strap myself down to my desk and crank out a game. I braced myself with a shot of Jamesons – which helped get in a certain creative mood while recording dialogue.
Once that was done, I started slapping things together, throwing a basic 1st person character controller on my island and taking a walk around. Once I see my ‘set’, I can start decorating and planning out how I want it to look. I start making simple trigger areas to set bits of dialogue into play and and added sound FX. At this point its late in the afternoon, stomach is growling and I have a hankering for Thai an a cold ale. The rest of my day is spent trying to get the timings right, making sure that triggering one voice-over zone doesn’t allow for a second one to start playing.
The next day is sheer crunch time: my monster spawning isn’t working the way I want. I thought I’d use an action called ‘get random vector 3 inside a sphere’ to get a location to spawn a monster in an area define over my level, wait and repeat. Since there’s no way to kill them, the player would need to keep on their toes to avoid the critters until they overran the island. Sadly I kept getting obscure errors about my prefab monsters and problems with nav mesh navigation. Grr. I hastily slap a static spawn point on the level and on to the next problem – PEOPLE.
I originally got into game dev because I wanted to create stories with believable characters and of course dove into it head first without the slightest clue about animation systems, an it was right when Unity was switching from legacy animation to the Mecanim system – always a fun time to learn something new. At least it gave me the basic knowledge to slap a character into the scene and give it a idle animation…
And the rest of my time is spent in sheer panic mode: when they say ‘keep your scope small’ – they ain’t kiding. I didn’t even get half of what I wanted done, especially the parts I had thought up to challenge myself and learn something new. It did provide a nice break from my current project and give me new directions to move towards – it also confirmed that I need to spend some of my time just soaking up game design theory and hone my Playmaker skills.
All in all – I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
Nice polish based on the brief amount of time to work on it. Felt like the enemies were pretty tough (I have yet to beat it) Control scheme could benefit from being changeable. Also liked the audio!
I'm not sure if its me or if the game has no audio. I like the visual style and scale, it looked like large distances to be tackled by the player. Like Irnir, it feels like the old Atari Missile Command, and I could see this being expanded with projectiles or shields or other mechanics.
Like others have said, perhaps a bit better description of the mechanics - I too like the paper people (it fits with the VR game I'm working on) and I was unsure what happens when the 'play' drops the bottle and you start moving the bottle. I like the club and the colors used, it had a nice disco feel to it.
Good solid gameplay - had a real 'Robotron' feel to it - wish I had twin sticks to play it! The music had a nice cyber punky feel, the mechanic of 'last resort' was both a good 'punishment' rewarding staying alive vs dying for the score. Like Serial said - the additions of powerups or weapons could make this a solid game. The one thing it lacked was a 'cooldown' period so the player could regroup - it was constant pressure ramped up arcade style until the player loses.
Like others have mentioned - it took a while to load. You definitely get major points for having a 'sandbox' portion that you can move / interact with before you play. I played a couple of times, trying to figure out how to 'trap' the zombies in - only to be delighted when they started smashing the walls! I also like the hunger mechanic - forcing the player to move is good game design. Things that could be improved on are mere 'polish' elements, like better sound, better hit determination and the animations look like they could be a little off. Still, a damn fine job!
Neat exectution - had troubles with using the wheelchair, I could not get the wheels to turn, had to switch to teleport) thought the background noise could be more involved, only heard one low droning hum, felt like there should be odd random creaks or sounds off in the distance. The nurse model was pretty darn creepy, as well as her attack sounds. A good start- want to see what you do with this!
Hi! I’m a stay at home dad to 2 boys, my eldest is on the autism spectrum with a talent for drawing – so I’m making a game based on his drawings (it’ll be a platformer with puzzles and exploration) I made a demo & showed it at GDEX back in Sept. and got some feedback and want to push it even further.
If it takes off in any decent way, part of the proceeds will go to autism awareness and if it really takes off, I’d like to develop a side app that allow parents to use their smartphone to take a picture of their own kid’s drawings, have it rigged and animated so a kid could play their own drawings in game.
I’ve uploaded the demo here. Feel free to leave feedback, what works / doesn’t work – bugs, critiques or anything else that comes to mind, I really want to make this the best game I can possibly make. Thank you!