GGJ’20: Aoris Space Ship Repair Shop
I’ve joined the global game jam for the second time and – just as expected – it was a great event. This year’s topic ‘repair’ was announced Friday at 5 pm and from then on you had 48 hours finding a team, brainstorming your idea, designing the game and developing it. At my place, we were approximately 124 game enthusiasts and the second-largest GGJ jam site. This time, I found myself in a group of four coders and three artists with a very mixed level of experience. Diverse groups are challenging since you need to teach others while doing your job but at the same time you force yourself to organize better and produce more quality content.
Also managing your code repository having four coders working on a small project at the same time is super mandatory. I have done jams alone or with up to two other coders, but a group of four people needs organization to constantly getting stuff done and not running into merge conflicts all over. But it worked out and I am super happy with the team I had.
We came up with a game called Aoris Spaceship Repair Shop where you repair broken space ships of different factions. Every connection to a known IP we do not own is of course only possible by chance…
Enjoy the game, it is worth some minutes playing 🙂
Running a Game Dev Meetup
have you ever wondered whether there are any local game devs around your local town? Especially smaller indie teams are nearly invisible and hard to find.
In early 2018 I’ve tried exactly that, and the result was underwhelming: The only thing I have found was a Meetup page of people trying to find a team to start an indie studio. ‘Why not’ I said to myself and joined the group. Without ever seeing or really communicating with anyone, the group got disbanded within a few weeks and I got an mail telling me that Meetup will delete the group within 24 hours since the owner has left the platform.
So I took the opportunity and offered myself as the new owner. At least there are 30 or so people in the group from around interested in game development. So I’ve changed the name, topic and description of the group.
Meanwhile, the ‘Game Dev Darmstadt’ Meetup page has about 200 members with regular monthly meetings. Sure – the core exists of around 4 members that regularly show up, but it has turned into a nice evening talking about our hobby or job.
If you ever are close to Darmstadt, come around and join us for a glass of beer or anything you like 🙂
Day of Goyo
Wow, that was a good one.
I have done some game jams in the past and this one was somehow special. Last weekend I have joined the Game Jam! Rhein-Main 2019 in a cozy coworking space in Mainz. It was very similar to the Global Game Jam but in summer. I didn’t think so at first, but this makes a big difference to me. Brainstorming your game while enjoying a cold drink in the sun and watching the river rhine flow by is amazing.
After the first brainstorming and pitching phase, I have found myself in a team of five motivated people trying to ignore the wise comment of a Ubisoft BlueByte mentor telling us not to create a city building game with production chains.
May I introduce you to the Day of Goyo, a city building game with production chains where you build your asian city to applease you local water god Goyo. You do so by identifying your gods wishes and shift your production chain to have the correct offering prepared at the summer solstice feast.
The game is quite polished for a 48h game and we also won the first place, wohoo!
If you want to test it, you can download it right here. I want to point out that you can change the game speed and pacing in the main menu and I personally like the speed-up version more (but I know the game – haha)
7LDR: Rogue 2048
There is another game jam entry of mine for yet another jam I have never participated at: 7DRL, the 7 Day Roguelike Challenge where you can pick seven days to create a roguelike.
I did team up with Martin who found me on a Discord game dev server and we tried our best with the very limited time we had in those seven days.
I do like our idea of mixing the well-known movement of the Android game 2048 with a dungeon crawler. It was quite innovative I guess, but we did not find time to really polish it.
It’s by far not my best product, but here it is: Rogue 2048:
GGJ: Sofa King Good
Hi and welcome!
This time it’s something special: After several Ludum Dares, I finally have participated in a Global Game Jam. That’s something completely different – at least if Game Jams are something usually for you. For LD, I prepare my desk, invite friends, go shopping and do not interact with anyone for a weekend, where a GGJ forces you to meet with others at some place and stay there for the jam. So, I pack a bag in good-old lan party style and leave home for a weekend.
And it was such a good idea to do so! Without knowing most of the people I quickly made new friends and found a nice group of people to create a game with.
The topic was ‘what home means to you’. First, we had a hard time to find a nice idea, but then we came up with Couchsurfing. That’s sleeping at other peoples homes who are so nice to share their couches (or ground) with strangers. Instead of taking the original theme literally, we instead took Couchsurfing literally and created a game where you surf on a couch down the road to your new home. You are limited in time and can collect smartphones to send flimsy excuses of why you are coming late to your host for this night.
It sounds strange, it is strange, and definitely also fun!
We laughed so much this weekend and all had much fun.
Thanks Global Game Jam for this wonderful experience!
This was so fucking good (So-fa–King Good)
LD 43: One For Another
Sacrifices must be made! That’s a fact – at least for everyone playing Ludum Dare 43 games since that’s the theme of the jam this time.
It’s not the first game jam for me, but still this time its something special: No friend of mine had sufficient time to join me this weekend. So, I took three strangers from the internet as substitutions of friends for this weekend.
In fact, that was much fun! It was much fun to create a game with Trollface, a permanently name-changing US-American who did game design, 2D art, balancing and jokes and Jeikobu, our 3D low poly artist from Greece.
The good thing was: I had no one looking at my code, so I could hack every part that I did not want to put much effort into. The bad thing was: I had a lot to do. Why? Well, here comes the game:
You control a group of heroes (Why again heroes?): The fighter, the barbarian, the mage, the rogue, the bard and the ranger. It’s a classical D&D like party.
The game is grid and turn-based fantasy fighter, where you have to find good positioning and tactics to trade off health, action points and permanent buffs to be able to survive the goblins and orcs to reach the last stage: The final boss: a big bad demon.
There is a lot to implement and make and do. But it worked out very well I would say. Even the UI is responsive and finally intuitive (I would say – at least in comparison with all the other UI’s I’ve made in LDs before).
The one thing that I am really proud of is the music in the game, which I created in 40 minutes at Sunday morning. Taking some music instruments and my common mic I recorded multiple tracks, put them on top of each other using audacity (where I was not proficient with) and it worked! Wow – I even created the voice of the little fairy – the quest giver and tutorial help by sliding very high tones on the guitar. It sounds really nice!
Take some time and test: One for Another, a tactical combat game.
Today I want to introduce Epic Space, a mobile two-button lander.
Originally, this project started as a demo project of mine to show friends of mine how to create games with unity.
I’m super happy that this demo project did well and developed into a real game that actually is fun to play!
For those of you unfamiliar with ‘landers’, the concept of the game is navigating a spaceship and landing it at a target platform without crashing.
The game is set in a nice 2D sidescrolling world heavily supported by the awesome assets by Kenney (see Kenne.nl/asstes).
The mobile version has sadly been removed from the stores (due to not updating it to 64bit I guess). Maybe I will reupload it in time 🙂
This is TapTrixx, my one and only Android puzzle game 🙂
I’ve originally developed the idea with a friend back then in the first semesters of my computer science studies. Sadly, lectures made us never really publish the game.
A few years later I took some time and reimplemented it from scratch with my new favorite engine: Unity.
After much more time than I initially thought, I managed to publish a ‘good enough’ version of it on the Android Play Store.
TapTrixx has a nice mechanic using touch to delete a linear neighborhood of equally tinted stones in a grid-based board. There is Tetris-like gravity and using rotation (swipes), one can manipulate the board to remove as many stones in one touch as possible (what maximizes the score).
TapTrixx is definitely fun. But I miss a vision for continuing the project. Currently, it was removed from the Play Store, but I aim for putting it online again.
LD 40: A Hero’s Burden
Hey hey 😀
Once again, I have a nice game jam entry of mine for you:
A Hero’s Burden made in 72 hours for Ludum Dare 40. The theme was ‘The more you have, the worse it is’ and this time we finally did not take the theme by hard.
Instead of having resources or anything gameplay related, we instead created a story implementing the theme:
Once again, you are a hero. Heroes fight for their lives and for the lives of others, but once for a while, you have to take hard choices: Save the princess or save your companions? Try to save the children if the bad guy can escape because of that?
Thanks to Patrick, a sound composer and friend of mine, joining the event, we managed to create a storytelling game with everything needed in there. We have dialogs with voiceover, cutscenes, a deep dark setting with multiple soundtracks and endings.
This game jam was by far the most successful for me until now. I’m really proud of what Patrick, Nils and I managed to come up with this weekend.
If you have some time, go and play A Hero’s Burden. Have fun!
LD 38: Expand and Exploit
Hey hey 🙂
Expand and Exploit is the third game I’ve done in a game jam.
Together with Chris, a good friend of mine, I took a weekend to build this game.
The game is about conquering the sky with all its planet. There are three serious problems one has to care about:
– There is a big Kraken in space you need to fight. It is – as well as you – continually conquering new planets and creating a bigger fleet. You need to fight him using your own military.
– For your military, you have to gather resources from the planets you control. Sadly, you do not really care about the planet and thus you gather every resource you can find. This results in collapsing planets and forces you to expand to new planets and eventually fight the Kraken.
– Lastly, your population needs water to survive, so you need to manage this resource or lose the game.
It was fun coming up with the idea and having planets shrink and explode with all buildings you put on it.
I’m proud of the smooth UI, but it lacks some intuition.
The game is fun, but creating it probably was more fun.
Sadly, we did not find time to play enough games at the Ludum Dare event and hence, we did not get rated. But I would not have expected a too good rating, especially because of the lack of intuitive control.