Global Game Jam 2016

This weekend was the Global Game Jam and I joined the Munich site at Werk1 – this time as a guest only.

My team decided to create a small game called Everyday Life Simulator, but we were not able to make the game entertaining and did not find good ideas how to change it. The basic idea is that you have a character who has to follow certain rituals a day and that you need to find the right order to do so. Here is a screenshot of an early version:

els_screenshotYou can find the source code (made for Löve2d) here: https://github.com/Moe-/everydaylifesimulator

Once we decided to stop development (it was about the second day at lunch time), I started to make a small rhythmic music game in which you play two drums: Ritual Drum!

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I made the game for Android, you will find the details on the sub page. Enjoy!

BBQ GameJam 2015

Last weekend we had a wonderful event: The BBQ Game Jam 2015! It was an event to combine a 24 hour game jam with a barbecue. Many thanks to the organizers and Werk1/GamesBavaria for organizing, sponsoring, and hosting this event. I had a lot of fun!

The topic for the games was sausage, my team decided to create a 2D runner: RunAway!

pic2The mission is simple: Run away from the dog before he gets you!

Mini Game Jam March 2015

Last weekend, we had the March Mini Game Jam in Munich. This time we met for a single day at Werk1. After everybody arrived, we started brain storming and decided to make a game that simulates a Game Jam: The Game Jam Simulator. It is a small RPG game in which the player fights typical issues during a game jam.

pic1The game was inspired by classical RPG games on SNES.

Thank you to everybody who joined the game jam and a special thank you to Werk1 for hosting us.

Global Game Jam 2015

Every year starts with the Global Game Jam. Like last year, I helped to oranise the Munich site at Werk1. Thank you to everybody who supported us, my co-organisers, and everybody participating! It was a great weekend and I had a lot of fun!

Similar to last year, I decided that I would not just participate as an organiser but also join a team. So this year, the theme was “What do we do now?” and my team decided to create a little survival game on an alien planet that we called “Lila Gras” (English: “Purple Grass”).

pic16I hope you will enjoy playing the game as much as we did creating it (with Löve2D – did you expect something else?).

I would be happy to get your feedback about the game or the GGJ@Werk1!

Mini GameJam August 2014

We had another GameJam in Munich again! Like the last few times, I hosted the Jam, thank you to Werk1 that we could use your Event area again. This time we did not have a specific topic: Before the Jam, everybody was requesting to do a low polygon jam, but this got killed 2 minutes after everbody arrived. Of course, this did not stop us: after brainstorming, we formed two teams, my team decided to make a coop game (still untitled) using Löve2D:screenshot Thank you to everybody for coming and see you next time or at Devmania2014 in Mainz!

Making Progress

As you may know, I am working on two Android games at the moment. A while ago, I presented Aliens from Space here in the news. The game is making some good progress, I wrote a lot of AI code, and I did plenty of optimisations. At the moment, the main task is content creation, i.e. graphics and sounds. I am also a little bit undecided if I should put the focus to action or strategy.

Apart from Aliens from Space, I have started to create a little turn-based strategy game. When I started, I tried some game play experiments and used a really awesome art style:

device-2014-07-05-231728Maybe the summer outside had some bad influence, but I decided to create a beach-like style, which look like this at the moment:

device-2014-07-26-235539This game still requires a lot of work and a title. At the moment, it has local multiplayer mode only, I want to add at least AI, maybe also some network-based mode, e.g. via e-mail like in some Civilization games. The game still needs a lot of animations, menus, some more game play elements, and some music and sound effects.

So stay tuned, more games are on the way.

Mini GameJam June 2014

This weekend I hosted our next Mini GameJam at Werk1 in Munich. Thank you, Werk1 team, for giving our Jams a home!

This time, we had only a few people around and decided to create one game with everybody. It combines Tetris and a Shoot’n’Up as a two player game with asynchronous game play: ShmupTris!

shot3Enjoy the game!

Mini Game Jam Munich / April 2014

Last week-end we had our next  Mini Game Jam in Munich. Despite the date (Eastern), we had 9 people participating. After the good experience of a break in the jam, we kept this type of event and I think it will become the default mode.

We formed one large team and started with a game idea instead of a topic. We decided to create a survival game with a lizard man to introduce some new attributes the player has to care for (=> cold blooded animal).

lizard

We had two days full of fun and finished with a little prototype: Lizard’s Journey. Some of us decided to continue development, so please check the GitHub page if you want to get regular updates.

Thank you to everybody for making it an easy event to host (just all the stairs to walk to let people in…), see you next time.

Mini Game Jam Munich / February 2014

This weekend, I had the honour to host another Mini Game Jam in Munich. We had 11 participants that created 2 games. Thank you to everybody for coming and giving me an easy life as host. This time, I set the topic to

Improving your odds doesn’t guarantee success. (Bill Gates)

My team decided to create a space racer. Regarding the topic, we decided that all bonuses and actions will also have some negative effect, e.g. acceleration makes your ship harder to control. This time, I did code and audio/music.

racingThis time, I used the game jam to try a new concept: Work in two sessions instead of 24 hours without break. I really like that both teams finished with something playable and nobody turned into a zombie-like person. I am about to credit this to our new mode.

In some discussion, we revisited more interactive audio again, so we might have another music dedicated jam soon again.

Global Game Jam 2014

Each year in January, people around the world meet at various locations for 48 hours to share one passion: to create awesome games – and, of course, to have a great time together. Welcome to Global Game Jam. This year, 485 locations in 73 countries participated. Tom and I hosted Munich with more than 70 participants with Martin helping us out when we could not be on site.

I was very happy to see how people were helping each other and living the spirit of Global Game Jam.  This made our life easy and I was able to join game development. I hope all our guests enjoyed their time, too.

This year, we had a short introduction to our location, some organisational topics, and a brief introduction to game jamming. After that, we had the keynote and announced the topic:

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”

We started in small teams to brain storm ideas, presented them, built final teams, and finally started to create our games. Sunday, we set a soft deadline to submit games at 3 pm. When we finished our uploads, we met again and presented all 15 games and took a group pictures.

Everything went smooth, but we could improve on some topics:

  • The adventures of VCS (version control system): We had multiple jammers that tried version control for the first time. We saw multiple issues with merges and people who did not know how to solve them. Next year, we should consider to have a technical talk about it.
  • Unity monoculture.  Nearly all of our games were made in Unity and it would have been nice to have some diversity. Please don’t get me wrong, it is a nice engine, but I always love to see new technologies and to talk about it. Maybe we should try to encourage people to use something different, too.
  • Get known to each other. In the last years, Munich has always had a rather large location with 70 and more participants. We try to help people to get known to each other by giving everybody the chance to tell a few words about himself. It always takes some time and it is hard to remember names, skills, and faces. I would be happy if somebody has some cool games/methods how to improve here since we want to keep it.

If you are additional feedback that you did not provide to us already, please post a comment or send me an e-mail.

If you are a jam host and if you want to know more, feel free to write me an e-mail, too.

boardgame_objects

After writing so much about organisation, let me move on to game development. My team started with an idea that multiple characters have to race against each other to reach a certain object and that collisions of players would trigger a certain event. We started to prototype this game and started play tests on a paper version. The paper version and its iterations were really enjoyable and we decided to create it as a board game. We also decided that we want to have a digital version so that everybody can play it without much effort. We started to create the game and I ended with typical software engineer’s tasks: I made graphics for the digital version since our Unity experts decided that it is not possible to work in it at the same time. In the last minute, our game got its name: Cupcake Kingdom: Animal Run. Please find more details, screenshots, downloads etc. on its page.

Finally, let me say thank you to everybody who helped to make Global Game Jam happen and to our guests who made this event so adorable. Hope to see you soon again!