This past weekend, I participated in Global Game Jam. My group of five created Woot, a puzzle game programmed in C++/DirectX 11.
Overall, the event went awesomely. I definitely did not expect to have as much fun as I did!
- We spent a longer time than I thought we would hammering out a game concept. The theme for this year was “Extinction,” and that’s all we had to go on. I’m accustomed to having more restrictions on game concepts, or at least walking into a project with some idea of what’s going to happen. With Global Game Jam, we started with a completely blank slate. Though it was more of a challenge, I liked it!
- We surprisingly ended up going with C++ and DirectX 11 for our game, rather than something simpler, primarily because our game required rotating the entire game level. One of my group members had a basic game engine built from an earlier project which allowed us to do this relatively easily compared to trying to hack something together in, say, XNA.
- Our group was mentioned in the Democrat and Chronicle’s article on the game jam. Score!
- We ended up with surprisingly awesome art assets. Ben Snyder (one of my group members) managed to create some pretty cool sounds and images for our game!
- Even though the event is only 48 hours, getting enough sleep would have made things a thousand times easier for me. Skimping out on sleep ultimately does not actually net you more productivity.
Overall, I had a great time, and I definitely plan to take part in Global Game Jam next year!
With fall quarter classes coming to an end, I’ve had time to unwind and start thinking about my current short-term goals:
- Learn Lua – I have heard nothing but good things about Lua, and it seems to come up frequently with games. When one also considers that the first edition of Programming in Lua is legally available for free online, teaching myself the language is definitely something I plan to do in the near future!
- Get a taste of DirectX – Having worked in XNA, and after getting a brief introduction to OpenGL, introducing myself to DirectX seems like the next logical step. Although I don’t plan on attempting to master it in the immediate future, I would like to learn the basics and reach the point where it does not intimidate me, at the least :)
- Stay up to date on Games Industry news – I’ve been making a point to read Gamasutra and The Escapist daily to stay on top what’s going on in the Games Industry
- Play (and analyze) a new game at least every other day – In an effort to both improve my knowledge of what games are out there and to improve my ability to analyze games, I’m going to push myself to play and analyze a new game at least every other day. If I can spare even 15-20 minutes every day or two to trying out a new game, I should definitely be able to pull this one off. I also plan on posting my analysis of the games on this blog!