We participate in game jams when silly things like “real-life responsibilties” aren’t getting in the way. Here’s a journal of all our days of incredibly unhealthy sleep patterns.
Ludum Dare 37 - December 2016
Participants: Andrew, David
We successfully finished the Ludum Dare 37 Jam (theme: One Room), creating a first-person platformer with a time travel mechanic similar to Titanfall 2.
Our first jam was much more hectic than stressful than we were expecting, and we were already expecting stress. The game only came together right at the end, having gone through a couple of different structures for the level. Our first idea involved a longer but graphically simpler series of areas, but the player could only be in one version of each room at a time. This proved to be too difficult to design and was time consuming to make, so we went for a more streamlined idea that was more true to the theme. In the end, a single, larger room was more mechanically interesting too, as it allowed interesting interactions between the two timelines.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get time for much testing, so most of our feedback informed us the level was too difficult. If there was one part we could have improved on, it was the readability of the level design and the path up the room.
The original, slightly delirious from sleep deprivation postmortem of the game’s development can be found at the Ludum Dare blog.
Ludum Dare 38 - April 2017
Participants: Andrew, David, with advice from Wisley
We followed up our first jam right away with Ludum Dare 38 (theme: Small World) by creating a turn-based multiplayer strategy game. It had the ridiculous name of Imperative Righteousness Planetoid Domination Plan (IRPDP), matching the equally silly names and abilities available in the game.
Our second jam went more smoothly than the first, as is to be expected. We were both happy with the game we made, but the complexity of making a strategy game on a non-uniform grid let us down - the game turned out to be rather buggy. Despite this, the randomly generated names were entertaining, and the game idea has a fair bit of potential as a casual, couch-based game or something similar.
The original postmortem/post-crunch ramble can be found at the Ludum Dare blog.
Weekly Game Jam 30 - February 2018
Participants: Andrew, Wisley and some work from David
After an absurdly traumatic 2017, we finally has time to make another game by participating in the Weekly Game Jam 30, with the theme of “Not The Hero”. The final result was a top-down shooter called Elite Cleansing Squad, a game in which you deliver justice and liberty to those who don’t even know they need it.
This jam went at a far more relaxed pace (apart from having to upload the final build at 2am) than the two previous Ludum Dares owing to its longer development time of 5 days. It also had a much more reasonable scope and we were able to make our most complete game yet because of it. Even though we didn’t finish the art, the game is still quite impressive in terms of visual spectacle. We must have improved since our last two games as well, since we ended up winning the jam on gameplay. Must be all that camera shake.
It’s also our first game with a story! Andrew was happy.
Ludum Dare 41 - April 2018
Participants: Andrew, Wisley, QA testing by David
We worked up the courage to do another Ludum Dare, this time with the theme “Combine two incompatible genres”. We made an incremental puzzle/hacking game called Citizenship++ in which you cause an accidental Communist uprising by hacking people’s bank accounts.
This jam was also quite relaxed, especially compared to the other Ludum Dare jams we did. We once again had a much better scope than the first two game jams we did.
You can read more about it in our postmortem on the game on ldjam.com