Global Game Making Fun

Much have happened since my last post, personal and gamedev sides. I couldn’t participate on GameBoy Jam 2 (although my shirt is being constantly used!), but I’m currently working on the idea I originally had for it. I’m really proud of how this game is turning out to be, but I’ll talk about that on a future post, because last weekend I could join this year’s Global Game Jam, YAY!

I was expecting to be all alone on this one, but being there, I teamed up with some nice strangers! They were full of ideas, but lacking a game programmer, so I filled that job. The other programmer we had on the team was fairly good, but as he had little experience with game development (especially with the framework we used, cocos2d-html5), I helped him with the first steps and figuring out the needed concepts. At some point, the team had 8 people, so we thought that splitting and making 2 games would be better and, IMHO, it definitely was.

You can try our game, called The View, here on this link: (Global Game Jam page)
Yeah, you can plug your XBOX360 controller if you’re using Chrome 🙂

Most of the team had never worked on a full game (if I’m not mistaken), but the workflow was surprisingly nice. There were some struggle fixing the sizes of the sprites and some of the animations, but it eventually “clicked”. As many first time jammers, their big mistake was overestimating their work capacity, so when we showed the game to the other jammers there, it was missing a lot of the planned assets. We also finished the game without any sound effects or music, but looking at it, I can clearly see that the guys I worked side by side for 2 entire days loved the work they were doing. I’m looking forward to working with them again.

However, I’m a bit disappointed with one thing about our game: the mechanics. The initial brainstorm was a beautiful thing. However, the first 5 (FIVE!) hours of the jam was spent discussing about the back story and figuring out how to merge all our ideas (argumentum ad temperantiam?), but little was dedicated on evolving the gameplay. We just decided it would be something like a simplified cartoony Streets of Rage, and that was it. I expected some sort of twist, using the theme to create a different way of playing the game, but that never happened. It was a relief and a bummer at the same time: programming wise, the game was a breeze to develop, not at all challenging. Maybe it’s the theme itself that led us that way, but I can’t stop thinking that the game could be better on that matter.

We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are

Yep, that was the theme…

Lastly, I should mention that developing with Javascript was substantially smoother than working with C++, which I used on the other game jams I participated. Maybe that’s because I’m more experienced with Javascript. For an example, I didn’t have bugs that I didn’t know how to solve them at first sight, something that was quite common for me while using C++.

And that’s it! Hope you enjoy The View.

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