Global Game Jam 2017

Last weekend was the first time I had ever participated in a game jam, so you can imagine how nervous I was! I was lucky enough to have a great team consisting of my talented classmates Ashley, Alan and Samantha. There was a lot of buzz and excitement in the games lab leading up to the announcement of the theme, which could not be talked about publicly until Hawaii had their chance to find out what it is. The keynotes were great and I was really surprised to see Extra Credits as a part of them, as I had heard the keynotes in the past weren’t great.

 

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Awesome GGJ17 merch provided by Brunel !

The theme was revealed to be ‘waves’ and we were free to interpret this how we wanted. We started off with an initial brainstorming session and we each had a chance to suggest ideas. It was interesting to see how we all wanted to portray waves in the game, from beach waves to waves of enemies, waving goodbye and sound waves. Eventually, after trying to develop other ideas further without success, we decided to go with the idea of sound waves.

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Ideas, notes and sketches !

 

The game we all agreed to develop would involve feeding a monster sound waves (a brilliant idea by Ashley). We were assigned a role as part of the development, two programmers, one artist and myself who would act as producer, narrative creator and overall helper! Under the advice of our Game Jam organiser, we made a plan for our development and started working on putting our initial ideas together. One of the diversifiers for the jam was ‘lost library card’, which required all sounds and music in the game to be made during the jam. We were fortunate enough to have Ashley in our group, who is musically trained and extremely talented and also Alan who is an excellent thespian.

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Making sound waves!

Our amazing artist Samantha worked on a pixel art aesthetic for our game, which we loved. Upon being told the description of the monsters by Samantha, I worked on developing their rather tragic backstories and their reasons for being fed musical notes. I decided that the monsters were all part of an orphanage and had been abandoned in one way or another. I also worked on comical lines the monsters would say when fed correct or incorrect notes.

 

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Meet Snuggles! (Outstanding artwork by Samantha)

 

On the last day of development, our two hardworking coders had done a fantastic job of putting everything together. I made a trailer for our game on YouTube and managed to get some play testers to find bugs and let us know any improvements that could be made, which I then passed on to the team.

Here’s the YouTube trailer:

 

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We really learned the importance of playtesting

The last push was pretty intense, you could feel the tension in the room as all teams were scrambling to get their game finished in time for uploading. This was made more difficult with issues with the GGJ website.

 

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Preparations for the final push

When it was all finished and uploaded, we could finally breathe a sigh of relief. What an experience it was, to produce a game in just 48 hours! We got to show our game to the rest of the groups participating in the jam and it was really interesting to see everyone’s games. Some serious, some funny and some very artistic, we have some very talented and creative students at Brunel!

I wish to thank the creators of the GGJ17 and their supporters, I also would like to thank all of the staff at Brunel, especially Chris Cox for their support through the game jam and finally to my group members, Ashley, Alan and Samantha for their hardwork and general awesomeness !

 

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Team Goobs!

 

Click here to download Monster Orphanage!

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