so last weekend we had the Global Game Jam! And now, after we slept and came back to our senses, we can share some of our experience with GGJ15, and how we came about to making our little adventure, Wild Night Show :)
Surviving the wild takes effort
We jammed in our hometown, at the university lab where we first met, and that has supported us since ever. And since this was the only jam site around we could gather pretty much all the local developers in one place, which is always fun.
This time we couldn’t have the entire team available all the time, which forced us to work smarter, and manage our time and scope better. Which is good, that’s what jams are for, right?!
We took till Saturday morning (10am-ish) to brainstorm and set an idea for the game. This is what we settled upon:
“A short adventure with text based mechanics about filming and directing a survival tv show.”
In the game you’d have to go through a whole night in the woods. It looks like your everyday graphic adventure, but played like old text adventures, like Zork, where you type in commands (“take book”, “use key”) to do stuff.
Some of the reasons we went with this concept:
–Very simple development (allowing to focus on design)
–Animations are optional
So basically, we could make a prototype very quickly and work our asses till the last minute making it better, instead of trying to make something complex just work.
Having a general scope we jumped into prototyping in Unity, sketching out the story and plot lines, and making as much placeholder art as we could. So by 8pm we had the whole game functioning. Ugly and buggy, but functioning.
Ugly and Buggy
From that stage on it was mostly a matter of polishing and smoothing the rough edges.
We worked a lot on expanding the game’s vocabulary. First with synonims for the words used on the main plot line, so that you’ll get the same result when you type “get”,”take” or “grab” for example. Then we added some actions that actually diverge from the game progression, but have some comic value. Stuff like “pee on fire”, “slap face”… Improvisation is a big part of adventure games, and one aspect that we really wanted to leverage. And of course we could have done more, but hey, game jam!
As far as art goes, we had plenty of time to redo the placeholder assets properly, and draw some cool game over screens. Since we had close to zero animations, we were exporting from Photoshop straight into Unity, without having to worry about separating assets parts for animation, or rigging or whatever.
First Sketches vs Final Assets
Sir Sketchalot and Mr. Fancy Coffeecup
We like to make our jam games as accessible as we can, that’s why they’re usually web based (just one click away, right) and since the last Ludum Dare we’re publishing our games on itch.io. Seriously, itch.io is awesome. You can get your game published in minutes, already with a nice custom land page, and even put up a payment widget for no cost, if you need one.
So that’s it! That was GGJ15 for us. If you wanna check the game out, here you go:
Wild Night Show on Itch.io
PS: We made this for you, so tell us what you think, okay? Bye!