Jeff

So this weekend was the Global Game Jam. The jist of it is that game developers all around the world meet up in their respective cities and divide into teams. They’re given a theme (this year’s was “Extinction”) and all the teams have 48 hours to develop a game based on that theme. I’ve done some super short game dev competitions back in my hobby days and they’re always fun because you’re forced to focus on game design and getting to work, no slacking off or slowing down. It’s pretty incredible how much you can get done in a weekend when you’re motivated.

This wolf guy is from the game I was working on. The idea was that you have Beefalo (buffalo that look like giant slabs of meat) and they’d act with swarming behavior, heading toward and away from things on the map, and you have to herd them off the cliffs around the edge of the map by laying down objects that they have to go around, or that attract or scare them. The wolf was an object that would scare them away. Unfortunately we ran into a lot of problems on the programming side (one programmer had to work his normal job for part of the weekend, and we tried doing the game in HTML5 which turned out to be way more complicated than expected) so the end result is more of a little tech demo…but I think the idea itself has potential.

I got to get a lot of animation workflow practice in. I’ve got a pretty solid flow going, and I’ll record my desktop as I animate sometime. I’m always trying to find the fastest way to animate haha My laptop held up awesomely, I put it through quite the workout and it was totally worth the price.

It was interesting working side-by-side with programmers again. We had 2 artists and 2 programmers, and the programmers were doing their thing while the artists were doing theirs and then at the end we just combine everything. I haven’t worked like that in a while since now I’m working on the art ahead of the programming, so it was cool to go back to the old method for a weekend.

Sleeping on the floor and not showering were rough, and it turned out the University’s food courts were closed for the majority of the weekend, so I ended up pretty much living off a tub of gingerbread cookies haha Sunday night I downed a bunch of healthy food, showered, and slept for like 20 hours. I think next year I’ll bring food and an air-mattress…and like, a can of febreeze haha

The Jam itself was pretty cool, if you’re a game developer anywhere in the world, you should consider attending next year. Everyone was friendly and I got to meet some people who’s games or names I recognize. I was recognized as Tsugumo which was fun haha Met a couple guys from Pixelation. I’ll definately be attending the GGJ next year and down the road when I have employees going on, I’ll figure out a way to encourage everyone to attend it. I think short projects like that teach you good things about working efficiently and avoiding feature-creep.

I’ll post some ninja game related stuff next update. It’s the end of the month so it’s time to go over my financials and see if I’m screwed or not so far haha

- Quickdraw

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