Jam! 2015 Edition

26 01 2015

Global Game Jam 2015 is over, and for me, it was a great success. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you:

SpaceShip SuperStar Maintenance Ltd.

The theme this year was “What do we do now?”, which was much easier to work with than last years theme. My small group of 3 chose to make a somewhat silly game about being essentially a Space Tech Support guy who gets called in to fix the silliest of problems by the stupidest of people. You are dumped in the middle of a recently abandoned space station to solve an unknown problem that will cause the station to explode in 5 minutes. The scenarios can range from the serious (“An asteroid is about to smash into us”) to the stupid (“The toilet is backed up”). The space station is randomly generated each game, so you have to quickly get your bearings and try to work out what is wrong and how to fix it.

We got in a lot of cool effects and visual elements that I think really made it stand out. We modeled/rigged/animated an arm so you could pick up things and press buttons. You walk around in a cool looking space-helmet that has some reflection on it as you pass under the lights (not really proper “reflection”, just a cheap trick, but it looks cool enough). The environment has a 70’s retro-future campy look to it, and all of the panels and monitors on the walls are randomized so the rooms never look quite the same. We had a fun time with it.

The best part of this jam was that I never really felt too rushed or under pressure. I learned a lot of lessons from last year and took it to heart this year, so things went smoothly. The version we demoed at the end only had 1 working scenario, but it was enough to prove the concept. I’ll be tweaking it over the next little bit to polish it up, add a front-end and some more UI elements, and a few more scenarios. But on the whole I was quite proud to show it off.

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