I went to the 48hr game jam at QUT which was full of impressive games and people. Here is my top 3, and what they were about:
SOL – I had a blast with this. While the controls were a little difficult the team had taken steps to account for this. Shooting a missile or asteroid at a target did not have to be precise, as these targets had gravity wells that would draw the projectile into the target. This allowed for more fast-paced gameplay, where you would fire and forget about it, immediately moving on to your next strategy before the completion of the last, creating a more chaotic experience. I found it suffered slightly from a slow ramp up in difficulty, which was helpful on the first play but not as much on subsequent plays. The colour choice of red and orange for opposing players was slightly confusing too, however, I was so quickly invested in this game that I threw my arms up in the air when I won.
DUNE RAIDER – From first impressions I was surprised, this game looks complete. The amount of polish is astounding. The idea of the game is to move from the bottom of the screen to the top, grab some gold and move back to the bottom. The first to get enough gold wins. You have the option of how much gold you take, but the more gold you take, the slower you move. There is also the ability to leap forward, which you can use to knock another player around. There are also giant sand worms appearing randomly across the map, which will empty your gold sack if you touch them. Unfortunately, the best strategy to win is to fill your sack to maximum, and leap back to the goal, as you are only slightly slower than max speed at that point. Others can knock you around, but will be most likely focused on trying to win themselves. Still an absolutely brilliant game.
WHERES MY SPACESHIP? – Playing over 4 four screens, fly a spaceship through wormholes to collect the most asteroids. The enjoyment/stress of this game comes from random screen transitions and the fun of trying not to collide with the other players as they franticly sprint around the room trying to locate their ship. Of course, you can steal each others asteroids so I sat at the drop off point and grabbed everyone’s asteroids as they warped in, easily guiding them into my collection port. Figuring that out was immensely fun, but I worry that once this strategy is figured out by players, gameplay may lose its excitement. Still a very impressive display of technology, and a highly enjoyable game.
I did a pitch for my game Clearcutter. In my pitch, I had issues with some of the slide content, where I had chosen to load up the videos on youtube. I should have downloaded them and dropped the files into the slide themselves to avoid loading issues. These videos were also not needed, as they were only showing the main view of the game and the general feel of movement & mechanics. I also drew a picture of the main screen, which was not needed as I ended up starting work on the project itself, which I presented for part of the pitch. This was able to effectively show the main player screen, basic mechanics and movement/game feel. The feedback that I received mainly pointed out that the way I was talking about how the game would work made it very hard to conceptualize the game itself, but the second I showed the prototype, It was instantly understood. I also had an issue with needing to read from a script, which I had set up on my laptop. This meant that instead of talking to the audience, I was talking to my laptop. A simple fix would have been to create small cards to read from and spending more time practicing my pitch, which is a recurring problem that I have.
Strong points that I had were generating interest with an exciting intro, explaining the background and theme of my game, even if it was a little confusing, and actually having a very basic version of my game set up to demonstrate what my game would be.
My plan for my future is after completing my current course, gaining industry experience, and to grow my network. Working in local studios will help with that and taking any programming jobs that have a decent pay, whether they are in the gaming industry or not, will help me save money to either move or help create my own studio. I also plan to take a course in business management.
Another game that was made for our week 1 project was Caffeine Chaos, by Ash Stevens, which had to meet the same brief requirements as my game. You had control over two avatars, Tony and Steve, whom you controlled using the WASD and arrow keys to move them around. Steve controlled normally, but Tony had an inverted Y-axis, which flipped around based on the proximity of the two avatars, and movement was the only control you had over them. Proximity. For having the avatars as close together without touching as possible, players were rewarded with easier controls over the avatars and increased movement speed. The game had a 2-minute time limit, there was no death, and the game was in real time
Through this, the game meets all the limitations set out in the brief. The game has two directional inputs, which is fairly minimalistic as most arcade games have a joystick and six buttons available. The mechanics are strong, but could be explained to the player better, with the inclusion of visual cues to display which state the control scheme is currently in.