Global Games Jam

In case you've never heard of it, Global games jam is an annual games programming competition where you have just one weekend to create a game. Hosted by hundreds of sites worldwide I've been taking part in the one hosted at Birmingham City University.

Every year a theme is introduced at the start which you have to incorporate into your game. This year the theme is the Ouroboros image of a snake eating it's own tail.

Friday 21:00 (2 Hours)

Introduction speeches have been completed and teams have started to form. We've got together quite a varied group of people, there are 3 developers and 5 artists of various types on the team. We got started by just discussing a few ideas and coming up with a concept centring around the idea of two players competing with opposite goals of creation and destruction.

Saturday 06:00 (11 Hours)

I've been rapidly learning unity to get the basic game running. Our idea has evolved into a side scrolling dodge the obstacles game, with a bit of a storyline to fit the theme. We have movement and physics going, and are starting to get some art assets into the game.

Saturday 07:46


Saturday 09:15 (14.25 Hours)

We've just finished a major team debugging session. We've now got the level loading and cycling working. This was a bit of a challenge as we needed to load the terrain components and stitch them together in real time while recycling the old ones after the player had passed over them.

Saturday 12:45 (17.75 Hours)

Our first bits of of the terrain map are ready. One good one bad for the opposing halves of the level.

Saturday 13:45 (18.75 Hours)

Lots of terrain, now actually in the game and ready to start running along. We just need a character to do the running.

Saturday 17:30 (22.5 Hours)

We've got several in game effects going now. Lighting has been added. Some neat little particle effects. In general the game is going pretty well, but the animators are hitting some really problems with exporting their model rigs and animation. Everyone seems pretty stumped which could leave us lacking a pretty crucial element. I've posted a question on StackExchange, but I'm not particularly hopefully as it seems pretty specific.

Saturday 18:15 (23.25 Hours)

Problem solved.

Saturday 23:50 (28.8 Hours

We've now been coding for well over 28 hours and the game is coming along really nicely, although we're still lacking a name (or at least one that's repeatable).

Sunday 01:10 (30.15 Hours)

The 'Creative crew' have cleared off to 'generate' some audio effects for us, so it's time to get down to some serious coding to fix the level generation and get all the new art assets and animation into the engine.

Sunday 07:00 (37 Hours)

We've got to a stage where pretty much everything is in place. The player character models and animations have now been added. We've still got a few guys building some extra art assets and terrain to add to the variety, but you can check out a video of the largely complete game. We've lost quite a few people to sleep now, most of the teams are down to just a few members, although ours seems to be fairing particularly well.

Sunday 07:44

Sunrise (number 2).

Sunday 09:45 (39.75 Hours)

It's about time I grabbed a few hours sleep. It's been about over 38 hours of coding and 49 hours since I got out of bed on Friday morning before work.

Sunday 10:30 (40.50 Hours)

That's enough sleep. We have a pretty serious issue with the terrain being loaded slightly out of sync, so it doesn't line up. After a few hurried reworks we get it going properly again.

Sunday 13:45 (42.75 Hours)

Squeezing in the final assets, quick check that everything works (fix the scenery object that was behaving like a collectable). Build and start uploading.

Sunday 14:00 (43 Hours)

And it's all over.

Please check out the final game; "Skitz".

I'll do a bit of a more detailed write up once I've had chance to catch up on some sleep.