Tag Archives: woot

We <3 Games (Imagine Cup) Postmortem

This past weekend, I participated in RIT’s We <3 Games event, a local game jam in which teams prepared games for submission to Microsoft’s Imagine Cup competition.

The Event

Overall, the event was organized excellently! The atmosphere felt a lot more relaxed than Global Game Jam two weeks ago. Although everyone was hard at work throughout the event, there were also plenty of prizes, lunch/dinner breaks, and a Kinect set up in our lounge over the weekend. Some prizes were handed out; I snagged a copy of Microsoft Expression Studio 4 Ultimate! My teammate Mike Culek got a brand new Windows 7 phone (our team’s prize), and my other teammate Ben Snyder nabbed a copy of Halo: Reach.

As it would turn out, staying up late does not actually net more progress, as it’s rather difficult to code when one can think of nothing but sleep. I thought I’d learned this lesson already at Global Game Jam, but it would seem I made the same mistake again – d’oh!

Our Game

My team worked on porting our game Woot from Global Game Jam to Windows Phone 7 using XNA. We changed up some of the game’s story to match the Imagine Cup theme, but the basic mechanics stayed pretty similar, albeit adapted to the phone. Even though we started again from scratch, we were able to get a lot more progress over the course of this event than in Global Game Jam. Ben Snyder once again did our art assets, and Mike Culek and I programmed. Although I was working throughout the event, Mike hammered out a lot more code than me, and really deserves a lot of the credit for our success.

We ended up coming in third place, and won some nice prizes!

Other Games

Unfortunately, I didn’t check out the other games too much during the event. I watched most of the presentations at the end, but I wish I would have followed them throughout the development process. Now I know for next time, at least!

All things considered, I was especially surprised at the variety among everyone’s games. Some games were for PC, some for Xbox, one was browser-based (I believe written in HTML5?), ours was for Windows Phone 7… all sorts of different platforms were covered! Every game was unique, and brought something different to the table.

Credit Where it’s Due

I’d personally like to thank the following people:

  • Andrew Parsons and Chris Bowen from Microsoft, for coming to RIT and working with us students throughout the event.
  • Andy Beaulieu, for giving an awesome presentation on mobile development, Silverlight, and Windows Phone 7 over Saturday’s lunch break.
  • Everyone at RIT who helped organize and run the event (on a related note: awesome t-shirts!)
  • My teammates, Mike Culek and Ben Snyder, for doing an excellent job
  • The other attendees, for making We <3 Games an awesome time!

Links

Woot! Global Game Jam Postmortem

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!

Some observations:

  • 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!