Tuesday 28 August 2012

Game Jam #2 @ Madlab - August 2012

So, last weekend we threw another Manchester Game Jam to coincide with the Ludum Dare, hosted once again by the good folks at Madlab. It went really well: lots of people turned up and made lots of amazing games, and there was a street party at the end. Everyone wins.

Ordinarily I'd write a super detailed giganto-post about how it all went down, but I'm so busy at the moment I'm going to let the pictures do the talking instead.

I will say this though:


I really mean it: to everyone who lent their time and effort (particularly Bob, I owe you one), to Madlab for hosting, to Larkin' About for making a bunch of fun trouble all weekend, to every game jammer who came out and made the weekend a success: thankyou. Let's do it again sometime.

Full photo set after the cut!

The room upstairs at the start of the first day: these guys were a mix of full #LD48 participants and mini-jam folks. 

This was the layout for the game that Larkin' About put together: a dungeon chase game called "Dangerous Dave". We mapped the dungeon onto an actual map of the northern quarter (tracing a map projected onto a whiteboard!), and used it to send people out into the real world to capture a prisoner, using phones for contact and the map for strategy. It turned out well, but took ages: the poor Larkin' guys were out in the rain for two hours! In case you were wondering, Dangerous Dave won in the end (played by Jana, right)

We also filled downstairs too! 

One of the mixed groups that we put together, these guys ended up making piratey Javascript goodness. With puns (pictured later!)

An early test for the Dangerous Dave game: we were going to use GPS to track players, and almost got it working, but then ended up going with phone calls as our game became turn-based. Next time around we're going to try and use Bamboozer for a live video/audio link, as it worked really well last time.

Close-up of the map. As you can see, it was an extremely high-tech undertaking.

Synchronising devices before sending our teams out into the real world. I volunteered as a chaser, got into position outside and then my phone died. Thanks, technology!

Work-in-progress shot of the piratey Javascript game. 

Another mixed group, these guys drew "stealth" as a theme and made good progress on an iOS game. Their programmer couldn't make it on the second day, so I helped put together a demo that used Mike's audio: he created two tracks for calm and hostile situations that I coded so they crossfade with proximity to enemies. 

Obligatory Nyan Can game from the Young Rewired State guys. Done in Python, I think? Turned out great, needs more ponies though.

More #LD48 guys. The game being played with the controller became OddballDave's evolving platform game (finished thing is pictured below, turned out great!)

Over two hours later, the adventurers return for post-match analysis.

Dave's first day demo of the evolving platformer. The only rule of gamejam club is: you have to show what you've been working on, finished or not! 

Nyan game in action. 

This game won the Most Puntastic Game Of The Weekend award. It also scored highly in the Puntastic Opening Instruction award.

The pirate game in action. The pirate guy also jumps, mainly down the holes. Neat!

One of my favourites of the weekend, Oliver's game literally evolved into different kinds of game! You start by simply pressing the spacebar to grow, then you grow legs and you're in a platformer. Then it's an autorunner, and then who knows. Awesome job.

The platformer section in progress. 

Crofty of Larkin' About, explaining how the live game went down. 

Plugin_io learned FlashPunk over the weekend and came up with this awesome little pixxelly game for the "evolution" theme. 

ClawhammerMark demoing the latest build of Chroma. This has to be seen moving to be believed, it's a slice of uncut genius. I predict big things for this one!

Bob thought it would be great to store our themes in an illuminated shoe. Bob was correct.

This choice of themes seemed like such a good idea after a few beers. I might still build it.

Vee of Larkin' About introduced us to Turtle Wushu! I also found out that I'm terrible at Turtle Wushu.

An official Turtle Wushu turtle. 

Max demo-ing his completely mental (read: awesome) idea. A second person controls him using an Xbox controller: the camera feed goes from the phone to a laptop, and a person at the laptop uses the controller to move him around, using tones generated from the pad input.

This works so much better when you're armed.

The person controlling gets a live feed through the phone. This is basically real-life Doom. But with lag. And me giggling all the way through it.

The guys upstairs had absolutely no idea what the hell was going on.

On the second day, there was the NQ street party on the road outside Madlab. Larkin' About made these little packages and stashed them all over the place: one came back too! The guy who brought it back was so impressed he asked to keep it. 

Larkin' also used the crowd at the street party to create an end-to-end game, using the long tables as lanes. 

We also had our giant buttons on the go.

Some post-match analysis of the party gauntlet game. 

Dave's finished evolving platformer. Every time you do a 'lap' of the level, it generates obstacles and enemies based on the players behaviour. Awesome idea, and loads of fun.

The finished pixelly underwater gobble-em-up. 

These guys put together an XNA game over the weekend for the theme of "aeroplanes". The waves of enemies moved really nicely in formation, it looked pretty awesome by the end!

And that's that. The next Ludum Dare is in December, we'll definitely be doing another jam. Thanks again to all involved!

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