I’ve taken part in two game jams over the last month: Charged Hearts Jam (#CHJam) and Abertay Game Development Society’s first jam, #AGDSJam. Rather than do a post for each, I thought I’d do a small grouped postmortem.
Charged Hearts Jam was organised in Abertay University’s art gallery during the opening weekend of the Hearts & Minds exhibition. In the presence of the artists, we had to make a game inspired by the exhibition and a game from the 1990s, Charged Hearts. The Space In Between, our game, is quite simple: each player must collect their partner’s hearts to keep them healthy, and stay close to each other to avoid loosing health too quickly.
The jam went well, with Nikola joining us to help on programming and do some audio work. Working inside a gallery, with the developers of the original game and artists explaining their work was great. To my surprise, we won the jam, even though all the games I got to play at the end would have deserved to! The Space In Between is available for download (OS X and Windows) on itch.io, and playable in the Hannah Maclure Centre until Oct. 23rd.
The team was down two artists for AGDSJam. We still had a great time and went for a game a bit simpler to make sure we could still have something more or less finished by the end of the week-end. The theme, Is it broken? — a question that comes up often when playing prototypes — and the optional constraints (five-colour palette, three button input) prompted us to go GameBoy-style, with glitchy art and effects.
The eighteen-something hours of development were a bit more hectic this time, but I am quite proud of the game Abbie, Nikola and I managed to produce. It’s the first time I build a platformer whose controls aren’t awful, and I didn’t think I would manage colour glitch effects without shaders. the mechanics are very simple: you jump up a vertically-scrolling level, avoiding enemies to get to the goal on the topmost platform.
Those two weekends were amazing. Thanks a lot to the organiser for both jams! We hadn’t done any jam since Global Game Jam, and it felt great to make games again with four super good friends and amazing artists. Abbie, Caitlin, Chloë & Nikola, you rock! I also got to try out my new engine, Meteor, which to my surprise did not cause that many roadblocks. On to Global Game Jam 2016!