Cool - I have a specific workflow I want to try out. :-)
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Well, that didn't exactly go according to plan ...
Had promised myself I would focus completely on gameplay this time but ended up doing everything but that. At 48 hours in I decided to scrap everything I'd made up to that point and create something much smaller, which again turned out really weak in terms of gameplay.
What went wrong:
- Didn't keep the focus on gameplay as planned.
- Created a really boring game.
- Building a generalised layout system for PICO-8 would have saved me a lot of time during those last frantic hours.
What went right:
- Actually finished a game, even if was rushed through design and development in the last 24 hours.
- Built a reasonably well-designed state machine in Lua for PICO-8. I'm beginning to come to terms with it as a programming language.
- Built a complete UI library for Unity, which I'll probably be using for future jams.
- Built (most of) a cool (if I do say so myself) 3D combat robot in Blender that I'll probably be using in a proper project at some point.
I basically started out with the idea of focusing much more on gameplay this time, then found myself drifting off into creating a general UI library for Unity and building a really complex 3D robot which deserves more polish than there's time for. Then I decided to put it aside and create a really small and completely different game in PICO-8, just for the sake of finishing something.
Well, at least that UI library is going to be useful for other projects ... :-D
According to the rules, free assets are allowed. What about licensed assets? Specifically, I might be interested in using SFX from a sound library I own, and in fact I used some of those in the last jam without noticing this rule.
Also, I might be interested in using some substance materials from Allegorithmic's Substance Source library, which I have access to as part of my subscription there. I'm thinking about doing something in a more realistic style this time, so this would be a huge time saver.
I'll of course follow the rules either way, but just wanted to get this straight before the jam starts.
Thanks for taking the time to give feedback - much appreciated!
I agree completely with all the points you bring up, and in fact, everything mentioned is stuff that ended up on my "nice to have" list and thus didn't make it into the game.
The scope of the project was definitely too ambitious for the time available, but to put a positive spin on this: it was a really good learning experience in terms of prioritising features! :-D
12 hours left and I'm beginning to painfully realise I probably tried to create too big a game. It's just not possible to actually playtest to any meaningful degree within the timeframe, and I'm at this point not even sure if the game as such is actually any fun. Also, there are some really annoying glitches and bugs that I'll probably just have to leave in there.
Will now try to catch a couple of hours sleep and see if it looks better when I return for the final hectic effort.
Two thirds in, and it's definitely starting to look like a game - but getting even more paranoid about backups and test builds now!
And of course the weather here is fantastic. I really should be out enjoying a few beers with friends instead of grinding away on this stupid game ...
32 hours and counting ... still quite smooth running. Doing very frequent backups in case I mess something up. There's no way I'll be able to include everything I'd like, so tomorrow it's going to be lots of hard decisions - but still adding new stuff to my TO DO list!
EDIT: Now doing an end-of-the-day build to check for performance and memory issues - I think I might have gone a bit overboard with the scene size ....
8 hours in and I'm calling it a day. I have my concept together, a fully working project setup and very very basic gameplay running with placeholders. I should be able to deliver a working game with 30 mins notice from now on, it's just a matter of how much polish I have time to apply before the deadline! :-D
Thanks for organising this! The 48 hour duration with a theme announced at the start of the jam is my favourite format. You don't really have enough time to change your mind about anything, and it only messes up a single weekend. :-D
Now playing and rating the other entries. I have a definite favourite so far, and it's not my own humble effort.
Let's do this again soon!
Oh dear ... it seems that everything looked, sounded and worked better 9 hours ago ... tomorrow is really going to be the day of hard decisions. Hope the rest of you are having fun too! :-D
OK, 12 hours in and I have basic gameplay working. Now I just need to strike a balance between adding content and polish while keeping the project in a state where it can be built at any time over the next 36 hours - this is fun!
Currently adding tasks to my Trello board about twice as fast as I remove them when they're done ...
I'm interested in teaming up with other people for the jam, as I find the collaboration part a very inspiring aspect of game jams.
I do basically everything (at different levels of proficiency) in Unity, Unreal Engine 4, GameMaker Studio and PICO-8, including programming, modelling, texturing, music and design.
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Drop me an email (snebjorn at spectralstar dot com) if you're up for creating something with a complete stranger! :-)
I a way I wish I'd seen your post earlier. I'm not much of an artist but know my way around Blender and Unity fairly well, so could provide packages ready for import.
In the meantime, I've decided on a rough idea for the type of game I want to do (theme permitting) as a solo project, and it's going to require all the time available for polishing - but some other time maybe?
I'd prefer it kept short and focused. Have another jam running in the background with four weeks of development time, and it's starting to feel like a real project which is not really what a game jam is supposed to be in my mind. Stick with the five hour limit, even if it doesn't work for some time zones.
I have a basic idea for a game with unlikely inspiration - now looking for a 2D artist for collaboration for this jam. If possible also someone to do music and/or sound design. I do code and can edit art and audio reasonably well, but would really love to work with someone who could focus on creative input in these areas and the game design in general. A good writer would also be more than welcome.
Drop me at line if interested: snebjorn at spectralstar dot com
This is interesting. Working on algorithms for the procedural content, and I have absolutely NO idea if the game is actually going to be fun to play when it's finished - and there won't be time to change it or tweak it much before the deadline! :-)