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!

Aliens From Space

Since some months now I am working on a new Android game: “Aliens From Space”. You will play an alien ship and fight against other ships. Sorry, I do not have any release date yet. Here is a first screenshot:

device-2013-12-29-000923

As you can see, the game will use a comic style.

The game will use the touch interface to control your ship with no pseudo input controls. Don’t worry, I spent quite some time to adjust the game play to this input method.

The game will feature different weapons, multiple enemies, upgrades, … all the things you love from core games.

So stay tuned!

Mini Game Jam Munich / November 2013

Recently, I took over the organisation of Mini Game Jams in Munich. The first episode that I hosted was November 2013. The topic for this Game Jam was ‘Unexpected’. Thank you to everybody who came and joined us.

My team decided to implemented a game called Passierschein A38. We decided to create a game with a dynamically changing world. Unfortunately, we did not finish and the game is not full playable and sound effects are not working. Checkout the code if you want to take a look, we do not have a binary so far. Here is a screenshot:screenshot_level

 

Devmania 2013

Devmania had its 5th birthday this year and I went there to meet game developers from all over Germany. Like every time, I had a good time and enjoyed to talk to other hobby game developers. Happy birthday Devmania and a big thank you to the organisers.

This year, the overnight contest used a news paper and “pick any word you like” as topic. At first, we did not find a good game idea and enjoyed presentations and talking to other developers too much, so that we were undecided if we want to join at all.

Somewhen at late evening, we decided to create a simple game: Smash a fly with a news paper. After a few minutes, we had a first prototype and we started to enjoy development. We used a few hours to improve and polish the game, create sounds, music, more graphics, some basic physics, … and we ended up with a full game. Enjoy Zeitung!

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Global Game Jam 2013

Once a year, thousands of game makers meet around the world and create games with 48 hours: Welcome to Global Game Jam. This year, we created a side scroller / 2D Shoot’n’Up: Bacteria. Here is the trailer:

Enjoy the game, I had a great time. Thank you to all who made this event possible!

Devmania 2012

Last week, the largest German hobby game developer conference called Devmania took place. It was a nice event to meet old friends and to see the current developments in the scene. People showed technologies and their game projects, but less people than usual came to Mainz this year. Anyway, it was a nice event and I enjoyed the time. Like each year, an overnight competition took place and we participated with Four.

Thanks to the organisation team of this event, I enjoyed it! See you next year.

Mini Game Jam: Music Games

This weekend, we met at the office of BitBarons and did a 24 hours Game Jam. We were curious about Pure Data and how we can use it for interactive music. So this time, the topic was “Music Games” and we started by collecting some ideas. My team decided to create Music Garden: The player has to create and care for a garden that creates music.

We also used this chance to experiment with some Android features and if they could be used for cool games. We thought that voice control could be awesome, but play tests showed, that this is everything but relaxing. But it is pretty cool if you need to gain attention in public, everybody stared at us during tests. Anyway, we added a random growth algorithm, so the player can create new plants by his voice and talking to the device, but he can also wait until new one grow.

Enjoy the game!

Global Game Jam 2012

Last weekend, the Global Game Jam 2012 took place. I have been to the Munich site, where we had a great mixture of new and old people. I had a wonderful time and we created a Jump’n’Run: Ouroboros – Adventures of Sir Wayne Finley.

Since 48 hours are rather long if you are more often at events with a maximum of 24 hours to create a game, we had some time to polish our game and we think that the game play is balanced.

The jam session started with a short introduction and self-presentation. After that, the theme was given and we started a brain storming session with small teams. In my team, we had the idea of an endless Jump’n’Run. After all ideas had been presented, a team building process started. We decided that our idea would make a great game and found some people to create our game. So we started with some more brainstorming and started to create our game.

As usual, we did not get a lot of sleep during the 48 hours, but I think that our final games repays for that. I hope you will enjoy playing it as much as we did enjoy creating it!