Our team members Marc, David and a friend from Bitendian recently attended this year’s Nordic Game Jam. This was the events 10th anniversary, which is held every year in Copenhagen at the Aalborg University.
A game jam is an event where participants form groups with the aim of creating a game within a timeframe. The first day is devoted to forming the groups and attending conferences presented by guests and sponsors. Later in the evening (and having formed groups) it’s time to find a suitable space where you can work for the next two days. There are around 1000 participants forming between 200-300 groups, so you need to be quick to find a spot!
Once we found a place to work, we began thinking about the theme that was proposed by the organizers, which this year was: LEAK. After a little brainstorming, we came up with some ideas to start developing. The chosen concept was a 2D platform game consisting of an anthropomorphic drop of water that needs to leak it’s way through a map in order to reach the exit. It’s method of doing that, was by splitting itself into smaller sized droplets to navigate through the map, later re-joining to complete the level.
Whilst it was our first game ever, we all have quite a few hours of experience programming and managing software projects, so we got up and running pretty quickly. Earlier in the day, Blizzard had given an inspiring presentation about fast prototyping. We used some of the key concepts from that talk being:
- Crazy Brainstorming, don’t discard stupid ideas, they may be genius with a small change of perspective.
- Enjoy the process, have fun! You want the ideas to be exciting so you can work with energy for as many hours as needed with a smile on your face.
- Always have a working prototype. Develop features little by little, don’t go too far and try to make something huge work in just two days.
- Decide what defines your game idea and focus on that. If your game concept is to split and join your character, have that working first, don’t worry about anything else.
And so we began, Marc forked a 2D platform game he had just started on a Unity course and started to develop the splitting functionality straight away. Meanwhile, David started designing Splitty, our main character. Our friend spent some time researching into great music and sound fx for the game.
In less than two hours we were testing a primitive version of the idea, we could already split our character and move around. Yes, our character in that moment was a 6×6 pixel ninja and the level just a couple of ugly boxes, but we had a great time building that.
By the end of that day (4am), the ninja disappeared and we had a lovely and fat drop of water walking, jumping and splitting with nice animations, popping sounds and music.
On the second day, we focused on adding new functionalities for the level design; doors with switches and powerful fans. Each of us designed a level and wrapped it all together, and by the end of the second day (also 4am), we were quite pleased with our first game ever.
On Sunday, the last day, we had to deliver the game and prepare a presentation – basically a game demo showing how it works. Each group was assigned into a room. There were 16 rooms in total and each room had between 7-25 groups. One finalist was chosen by voting from each room after all groups had performed their presentations. You can take a look at the final result of our game here.
The 16 finalists presented again that evening in the Imperial, a magnificent theater in the city center. The winner was chosen, alongside other prizes awarded by the jury. Unfortunately, we did not make it to the final this year, but looking at what we achieved at our first attempt, who knows what will happen next year 😀
At Mobile Jazz, we believe in ideas and we will help you develop them. We strive to be at the top of what’s happening in technology, digital marketing and design. We continuously educate ourselves, and experiment with the latest trends to stay ahead of everyone else. That’s why we’re able to give you a competitive advantage in the market. Simply drop us a line and we’ll take your project one step ahead!
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