Made completely in 48h – well, according to the Ludum Dare competition rules. I obviously used some base code and publicly available libraries. Apart from that, everything (but the preloading graphics and a very small generic shadow tiles bitmap) was made by yours truly in the 48 hours: Music, sound, graphics and code.
Here’s an old one I never posted, and it’s about time – it’s really cool! So now without further ado, enjoy “Winter Sports: Ice Skating”, a heart-warming minimalistic game made for the TIGS Advent Calendar 2011 in about 16h.
Winter Sports: Ice Skating
You are ice skating and try to relax, but these rude other people are making so much noise.
You are fed up, don your ice slicing skates, and do the only reasonable thing:
You let them fall into holes in the ice.
Make holes by crossing the line you’ve sliced in the ice before.
The holes freeze again over time, but until then, try not to fall in yourself…
The October Mini Game Jam was a lot of fun – 17 attending people in total! Whoo! Out of the available themes, I picked “Trap”. After some brainstorming, I combined it with a Match 3 concept, and finally arrived at:
Obviously I didn’t work with an artist this time.
It draws lots of inspiration from Triple Town: You get a tile, you place it somewhere, you get the next. When 3 of them match a so-called “recipe”, they merge into something stronger:
3 adjacent “person” become “people”, and 3 adjacent “people” become a “crowd”. They bring points per turn.
And then I added monsters. Monsters come in from the side every few turns, walk a step towards their next prey every time you place something, and later in the games, the monsters get stronger. Monsters have recipes too, for example:
If a spider and a person are adjacent to each other, they “merge” into a spider. So basically: it eats them. Same with spider and people.
Now if monsters could only eat people and cost you points, there wouldn’t be much of a point in that. And here comes the trapping mechanic, which is also a recipe:
Put two green blocks down, and if a spider walks next to it, the spider and the trap transform into nothing and give you points in the process. Same with snakes, only that you first need to make the stronger snake-catching blocks and have two of those adjacent. So this here is essentially a spider trap:
If you want to see the complete list of recipes I had, you can click here or on the screenshot at the top.
So much for that. Unfortunately, I somewhere along the process I got lost and everything took a lot longer than anticipated. Most of what I described above works, but there are no points and no goal, you can’t even lose. If you feel adventurous, you can try the prototype anyway by clicking here. I’ll probably not finish it, but I think there’s something cool hidden in there, and I might make a new prototype once I find out what it is!
While the game is playable and actually features up to 10 players (on 4 keyboards, no less), it fails in many other ways.
The basic idea behind the game was “Too many cooks spoil the broth.”: You need other players help to take down monsters, but the more players participate the less points you get. So when you’re standing in front of a monster with others players beside you, you’d be like “Dude, back off, if you stay here we won’t get much points anyway!”, or maybe you’d switch last second to another monster.
So much for the theory. In reality everything goes down so fast (and is so chaotic) that there isn’t much communciation or tactics. Fights also take too long and are not balanced, and there are not much real choices.
I have to admit that I’m not sure how I’d fix the game without introducing more complexity like power-ups. Anyways: It was a fun experiment, and lessons were learned. (The main lesson being that 10+ people games are possible in 8h. I guess I’ll never learn, haha. Looking forward to next jam!)
“Alchemy” was the theme for the May Mini Game Jam, so I made a game about alchemists trying to reproduce a certain formula and their faithful henchman collecting ingredients for them:
You are right before finishing your Magnus Opus!
Only one recipe left… Same goes for your rival though.
Send out your collector to get you the ingredients you need,
and be the first to finish your glorious work!
To finish, you have to fill your goal field with the right elements:
The three light blue, the yellow and the green elements are at the right place. The dark blue shouldn’t be there in the red goal field. Three fields are still unfilled. Push the blue element out, and fill all the goal fields with the right colors to win!
Hey folks, it’s history time! I have some old (and fairly new) prototypes and mini-games that I never published – so far, that is. So here’s our first installment in the series!
I did this for the 2nd Blitzkast, ignoring the optional topic. There are balls, and you can draw lines to affect them. It might become something like a shooter and/or a tower defense game if I ever decide to get back to it.
Here are the different versions, as always directly playable in your browser:
At the end of every January, people all around the world gather to make awesome games in an absurdly short time. Developing a game in 48 hours is nothing short of insane, and I don’t think it comes to anyones surprise that this appeals a lot to me. And here I proudly present our result this year:
Super Snake Wheel
“We can’t stop here! This is bat country!”
Well, Mr. Snake might have been a bit drunk when he and his companion Mr. Gecko ignored all the warnings and set out to their adventure. Being one of the few snakes who can form a tire out of himself, he’s now rolling down the hill while Mr. Gecko defends him from birds, barely keeping his balance! Take control of this duo of odd heroes in this quirky adventure for one casual and one hardcore player!
A big thanks to all the guys organizing the jam, globally and locally here in Berlin. You’ve done a great job!
By the way, we even satisfied a diversifier (an achievement for the developers) this year: “Collaborative Casual/Hardcore (Two players: one casual, one hardcore): Collaborative play for two, but one player has more to do than the other (or the difficulty level is different between them).” I am sure you will agree after you’ve tried both the casual Mr. Snake and the slightly more hardcore Mr. Gecko: The former just has to jump and duck, while the later has to balance on the snake, jump at the right times and use the mouse to shoot at birds!
Even though this is not my first jam, it seems that every single one has some valuable lessons to teach. These are mine this time:
Even though it’s an a very small timeframe, make a rough project plan with milestones so you won’t lose focus.
Every milestone should be playable (player interaction and a goal), especially the first one – which should ideally be ready when you go to sleep the first time. It does wonders to your motivation!
Programmers, make a task list. It keeps you focused.
You cannot say if something is fun until you can test it. Halfway through the project I felt like giving up because nothing seemed to be coming together, and 12 hours later we had this amazingly fun prototype! So even if it seems like the game won’t be any good, at least implement the first playable prototype.
If your code is based on a pixel oriented framework like Flashpunk, don’t mix in vector based stuff like MovieClips. It just leads to a whole load of implementation overhead.
If you want to pull an all-nighter, at least sleep the first night. Otherwise you might fall asleep the second night which will surely lead to you missing the deadline.
This year the GGJ was certainly not easy and at times tedious and exhausting, but the result totally makes up for that. I daresay that it is one of my best prototypes so far! I am very happy that I have participated, and I’d like to thank everybody who made the weekend as amazing as it was!
After skipping December, even the Global Game Jam in two weeks couldn’t stop us from doing our own Mini Game Jam yesterday. 13 people assembled in the co.up coworking space and in 8 hours, multiple game prototypes were created for either the topic “Future” or “The End is the Beginning”. Here’s mine.
In the future, a sport called “Extreme Painting” is all the rage:
Two contestants are equipped with particle cannons and try to color as much of a field as fast as possible, only stepping on their own color.
Each field which has your color is one point, independent of how strong the color is.
But the stronger the color, the harder is it for your opponent to erase it.
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