Global Game Jam 2013!

1 02 2013

Last weekend was the 4th Global Game Jam I have participated in, and I have to say that it was by a huge margin the best one so far 🙂

This year in Calgary, the event was hosted at the Taylor Family Digital Library on the U of C campus. The facilities were fantastic, and the staff helping with the event were amazing. Big thanks go to Digital Packaging for sponsoring the event and keeping us well fed throughout.

This year,  I ended up in a small group with 2 other programmers, and no artists. We had our work cut out for us. I don’t know if it was because we knew our limitations, or I am just getting better at this, but we managed to pump out an Awesome Game. This was the first year that I didn’t feel stressed or rushed to complete on time, and I was actually happy with the results we had after 48 hours. Also, I managed to get a solid 4 hours of sleep each night! (You would know that’s a lot if you had ever been to one of these :P). I think that maybe I can attribute some of my own personal success this year with a directive I gave myself prior to the Jam: Little Bites

I set an alarm on my phone and told it to repeat every hour while I was working. Basically, this was a reminder to myself to 1) Stop. 2) Look at what I am working on. 3) Decide if I should keep working on it. So many times in the past I have gotten hung up on some feature or cool idea that I wanted to implement, only to hit some kind of roadblock and spin my wheels on it for hours and hours. Next thing I know, it’s the morning of the final day, and I still don’t have my core gameplay down! So this year, when that alarm buzzed in my pocket, I would stop and ask myself “How long have I been working on this feature?”, “How close am I to solving the problem?”, and “Is it really that important?”. If the answer to any of those didn’t look good, it was time to consider a change of direction. It’s hard to do, when you have a cool idea and you are set on doing it, but I found it SO much easier to “give up” on a feature when I had only spent an hour on it, instead of 12.

At any rate, without further ado, I present to you: Heart Attack!

It’s a 3d Tunnel Shooter, based on this years theme of “Heartbeat”, where you are a nanobot flying through veins and arteries toward a heart, attempting to destroy it. Along the way you will be confronted by Blood Cells, Antibodies, Valves, and Bloodclots and must navigate or destroy them, all the while grooving to the beat of Apollo 440’s “Time is Running Out”. The music controls the spawn rate of enemies and obstacles, and they all pulse with the beat.

We made a Unity WebPlayer build so you can play it right in your browser too: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/19282979/Heart%20Attack%20Webplayer.html

Of course, we are still working on it a bit after the fact, so you can expect to see some more weapons, a scoring system, and maybe even a few different tracks to pick from 🙂

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