#GGJ15 Post-Mortem

BigGodLogo

So last weekend I had the pleasure of helping run the Lincoln site for Global Game Jam 2015. I worked with Kieran and we made a really odd game called “Big God, What Do?” which is about a tribal god and his little villagers. Here’s the little blurb taken directly from our submission on the GGJ website:

“Big God, What Do?” cry the tribes-people of a small, jungle village. The idol in the center of town stirs to life and an ethereal voice echoes around the near vicinity: “Okay, guys, you need to bring me some pigs and throw them in the fire.”

BGWD? is an experimental multiplayer game where one player assumes the role of an ever-present deity whose belief is slowly dwindling. This player has to yell orders to his followers in game through the shrine in the middle of the map, then the other players must go forth and collect the items he needs. There is a catch, however: the villagers can only hear their god when they are very close to the shrine, and the things that the god needs are constantly changing.

The game was really fun to make, it was quite a challenge to get audio streaming across a network clearly – the final result was still rather choppy which was a shame. Unfortunately we could only get the game working on local area networks, so the game only really worked in the computer labs.

FinalScreenBGWD

I learnt how to 3D model using a free package called Wings3D, I’ve never done 3D modelling before so I was very interested in trying it out. I don’t think I did an awful job either; apparently I went against a tonne of 3D modelling conventions, but I was bound to make some mistakes on the first attempt!

I think that after a few hours I had a reasonably good-looking low-poly art style going. I actually really love how the game looks, and I definitely want to use this kind of style again in the near future!

Oh… and I also managed to get a photo of me and Kieran where he’s not pulling a silly face:

KieranAndMe

It was very refreshing to work with Kieran on something other than Hashtag Dungeon. Working on a project for too long without a break can get kind of stale; I think this jam was exactly what I needed to remind myself that I love making games and that I can work on whatever I want, whenever I want.

It was definitely a great jam and I had a tonne of fun! Roll on the next game jam I’m hosting in March!

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#1GAM January Post-Mortem

So my game “The Food Chain” has been published and I like to think that its gone down pretty well. We did a few play-tests of it in the university’s computer labs and everyone seemed to really enjoy playing it. I even had my lecturers playing it (one of them said that they think it could be quite addictive) along with the students.

Playtesting

If you want to play my game with friends you’ll need to set up a LAN network – you can also get a feel for it by playing it yourself on two screens (but that’s hardly very fun…). Here is a link to the game in action: Play “The Food Chain” Here!

Some cool things I learnt:

  •  Oliver is a gaming troll and he intentionally would get bitten in order to lure the shark towards where other people were hiding their fish. (Not gonna lie… clever tactic – but a little mean.)
  • Unity networking isn’t too hard – but I’m still only able to run things on a  LAN network… which is a real shame. But i’ll definitely look into getting it working over the internet as soon as I have a spare couple of days.
  • My laptop is a trooper and can run a good few copies of the same game at once for testing.
  • SCRUM development methods go out of the window when it’s just me working on a project. Whoops.
  • Amelia and Kirt are both awesome 3D Modellers – and I really want to work with them in the future!
  • It’s surprisingly cheap to get some assets from the Unity Store… and they can be really good quality.

And lo: January turns to February and game number is about to rear its ugly head! Working alongside first-year games computing student Alex Saye, we are developing a game named:

HideousLogo

I’ll post up more information about this delightful little game as soon as we have something to show!

#1GAM First Game Update

So I decided to be completely insane and use the short time I have to make this months #1GAM game a mulitplayer game. This might not seem like a big thing… but I’ve never really do any networking before in my life, so its been a real uphill struggle getting it all working properly!

ScenePicture

Luckily my friend Martin pointed me in the direction of a really nice little tutorial for networking in Unity3D. So now I’ve got a decent-ish LAN multiplayer game that can have a hefty amount of players attached to it!

The idea behind my game (based on the theme from the first meet-up) is a deadly match of hide-and-seek between a rather hungry shark and some very tasty little fish. One player assumes the role of the enormous shark, their job is to hunt down and eat the other players in the underwater environment around them. The other players who assume the roles of the little fish can hide the plant-life, caves and rocks around the level.

Evil Sharky!

The game works quite well at the moment, I’ve got a great deal of things I want to tweak before I call it completed. I went to the university’s computer labs yesterday and we managed to get about five people all playing the game at once which was pretty cool. I got a really nice quote from one of the second-years who had a go:

Scariest six minutes of my life – I kept seeing you swimming past my hiding spot.

The best thing about that was I hadn’t even added in the death mechanic to the game yet! Since we play-tested it I’ve added a health variable to the little fish in the scene and when it gets too low the fish starts to leave a blood trail in the water – leaving them open for easy-hunting!

If you want to play a current build of the game… it’ll be at this link here.

(Special thanks to my friends Amelia and Kirt who are working on 3D Models for the game!)