My Global Game Jam experience

This past weekend was an intense one full of drawing and coding the game, "Oh, Claude" for the Global Game Jam.  It was a great experience and a lot of fun to work with friends, as well as make new friends.  I recruited two of my day-job coworkers (Derek Cassel & David Narcisso)and introduced them to their very first game-jam experience.  We then were happy to have another team member join at the venue, Joebassss who specializes in music and audio design.  He was very nice to have.

When the theme was announced "What home means to you" I instantly wanted to do some sort of 4 player couch-party game, possibly utilizing Air Console.  The other team members shared their idea and in the long run the idea of playing as a toddler appealed to me and felt like the stronger design. We really wanted to use a handful of the Diversifiers to make it a little more fun and challenging.  They fit into the idea well, so we went with it.

We decided to use Construct 3 because of how fast things can come together with a lot of the built in behaviors the platform offers.  This did seam to speed things up at the first, but ended up slowing us down into the project due to the fact that you cannot have more than one person working on the project at the same time.  The workflow did not allow much room for collaboration, and instead we kind of all shared a computer doing the programming and helping each-other figure things out when we could have all been working at the same time on different aspects of the game.  

The art was pretty fast coming considering we chose the "In Ink" diversifier which means it was all in black and white, no grays.  No coloring or shading allowed me to produce art and animations quickly.  

It is funny how at the start of the jam you always think you can fit sooo much in, then its not until you are half way through your time that you realize its time to start cutting stuff.  We had a touching and emotional story planned out that kept getting changed to fit the time constraints.  I think we may have focused in the wrong areas.  In the end we have a cutsie game with a cheesy ending and didnt get to plug in the impactful dramatic story we intended which made me choose to go with this idea in the first place.  I am not disappointed though, the project was fun and it came out alright in the end.

We all learned a lot and grew from the experience.  I think I may have only slept 4 hours the whole weekend, but crashed hard Sunday night after it was all said and done.  Thanks to "The Global Game Jam" for another well organized event.  

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Jan 29, 2019

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