Friday, January 23rd, 2015 I took part my first Game Jam! And also my first time having my work in a game. It was an amazing learning and social experience and I got to meet and work with great people.
After a near panic attack thinking I lost my keys minutes before I wanted to leave for Orlando, I reached the lobby at Full Sail seeing a lot more people than I expected. Little did I know from the initial 9 people when I registered to the 70 I saw listed a day before, the list had grown to 177 jammers listed! (Not sure how many were actually there) A good chunk of them came in pre-formed teams, and of the 5 possible teams from people left over there were only 3 dedicated artists left in the room!
I was expecting to have to do a lot of work on my own but fortunately our team grew by a few people once some late comers showed up adding more dedicated artists. The theme was announced, it was “What do I do Now” and we immediately got to making ideas. Seems the most immediate idea was a survival game for obvious reasons, so we all immediately scrapped that. Joshua (blue shirt far right in picture below) started the idea we latched on to, which was essentially “You completed the mission, what do you do now?” in the context of raiding a tomb and finding the treasure. Along with seeing what destructive things you committed on the way in (“Why did I destroy that bridge?”).
We all thought the idea worked and settled on it, soon talking about it over a meal at crispers.
From Silhouette to 3D at the Global Game Jam
I immediately began on silhouettes because I figured that would be the shortest way to get feedback and progress fairly linearly. In the image above on the far left are rejected silhouettes when i asked the team, I then made quick varied sketches with the three chosen silhouettes. Everyone picked their favorite features and we have the result on the far right!
I then moved on to making a base model and rig in Blender so Mike (brown jacket) could begin animation as soon as possible (which was in Maya but we made it work). From there I built the model with more details. I regret designing the crazier curvy hair style and should have went with the more spikey design or something simpler. Hair took as much time modeling/UVing as the other parts combined! I also sadly forgot the blue neon face painting rushing to make sure I could have the model complete in the next hour to begin testing with Jesse (red jacket, finishing up the game).
I think after the whole process the model was complete in about 20 hours of the Jam. To the left is a rendering of her. Textures here were made in MudBox and Photoshop CC.
The other assets I helped get created, we had Joel (thumbs up guy) who was fairly knew to 2D and 3D software but was a very big help in creating 3D assets, textures, and some of the hieroglyphs you see after teaching him some basics. Joshua also created a lot of the assets using Maya, Zbrush and Photoshop along with him. And Victor Modeled and textured the Chest and traps. I spent most of my other time modeling a few other assets and cleaning up and organizing some of the assets before they went in along with getting them set up in Unity.
And with very little time left painted this title screen (logo made by Joshua) in about 30 minutes! I would have had more time but GitHub was failing me so we had some assets.
We had an initial scare when we started; one of our programmers Jesse ended up having a failing cooling fan so was unfortunately out of the first evening. But we were still able to get things rolling initially thanks to Dave (Coors shirt) and Eric (blue jacket, left). Eric to my surprise actually worked on the UI for 50 Cent Bullet Proof! Honestly never expected to meet anyone from that game.
The sound team was awesome and made some fantastic tracks and custom sound effects you hear in the game, compared to the unusual lack of artists we had a lot more sound people around and the two we had Deepanshu and Aaron (blue shirt and grey jacket respectively) were fantastic! I’ll be sure to update this post if they post the music anywhere, but for now hear it in the game!
We ended up more or less finishing the game with about an hour to spare but had issues uploading and such to the Global Game Jam page. Most of it is good now though after trying throughout the day.
This was some of the most fun I’ve had, and I can’t wait to do it again. I hope to keep in contact with the great people I met and worked with!
Here you can find the page for the game with the last minute name Amazonia. Enjoy what you can!