Game Jams & animations

The last couple of weeks have been super-exciting for me personally and professionally.
Only this much about the personal stuff: There’s this girl I met. Check her blog out! She’s a whole lot more into drawing than I am! The coolest thing is that we already managed to work together on two little games, where she assumed the role of a “2D Modeler” (she drew characters and split them up into body parts) and I did my usual animation mumbo jumbo to bring her characters to life. Holds some promise for a bright artistic future, or something like that. But let’s start from the beginning, shall we?

Final Exam

Did I even write about my exam back in February? Probably not. It went surprisingly well! Special thanks go out to Jesper Juul, who basically asked the perfect questions at the perfect time and pushed me through the exam with an unexpectedly high mark in the end. Shield Grappler You can find the sloppy end result HERE. It’s playable with WASD- and mouse controls. You can deflect the enemies’ lasers with your mouse-controlled shield. Probably the more effective way at the moment is to use the grappling hook to drag them directly into the latter. This should be counterbalanced against overuse at some point in time. If you’re using Chrome, you can also connect your X-Box 360 controller and play with dual analog sticks and the right trigger button to extend the hook. Theoretically there are touch controls as well. But I’m afraid that a last minute bug snuck in which broke the gamepad and touch controls at the same time. Probably should check on that some day.

Nordic Game Jam 2014

Directly after my exam I participated in the ginormous and highly awesome Nordic Game Jam, where I animated for a Unity-based frantic online multiplayer game for tablets. The most impressive feat about that one is that it actually works and doesn’t have any game-breaking bugs to speak of. Trick or Trade You can find it HERE. It should be playable via the Unity browser plugin, but there’s also an Android APK file, which you can install to your phone or tablet and host / join a local match, as long as all of your devices are connected to the same wireless network. The game rules are as follows: You and your friends are a bunch of spies, who need to pull off trades with each other, but don’t want to be discovered while proceding with the deal. Your goal is to communicate with other players and meet up with them at a secure location on the map and stand next to each other for a certain amount of time to complete the deal. If the deal is successful, both players get a point. If the deal is discovered by another spy though, your cover is blown, and both of you pass your points to the player that catched the both of you. It’s a super-simple risk-reward system but it gets very tenseful with 6 players or more. A lot of feedback animations never got implemented (like the actual trading, you can see below). gangster_walk gangster_sidewalkgangster_tradegangster_trollgangster_surprise As a nice turn of events each participant got a Nexus 7 tablet for free, since Google was the main sponsor of the event. Which led to a lot of games being developed specifically with those tablets in mind. Personally, I’m going to use that thing for some hobby astronomy stuff. Other than that, I feel that tablets are the most useless luxury device you’ll never need, except for watching YouTube videos at the breakfast table. But that may be my opinion only.

InnoGames Game Jam 2014

My game jam marathon continued with the annual InnoGames Game Jam here in Hamburg a couple of days ago. The already formed group prepared itself with a half-day-long test-run the weekend before the actual jam. We made an aquatic vertical-shooter-style typing game with a trident- shooting mermaid. Total production time was about 10 hours. I’ll post a link if I manage to find it.

mermaid_idle

This one was drawn by this talented young lady. Originally it was just a still picture.

krebs_idleguppy_idleseahorse_idle And finally the InnoGames Game Jam itself. Significantly smaller than the Nordic Game Jam and way more “german” in the way that some of the resulting games are presented in a more technical and analytic (read: boring) way, especially when compared to the playful and action-packed NGJ-entries. But other than that, it’s always a treat to get free food and make games in such an awesome atmosphere. Our final result is a 2 player duel arena on a shifting platform, that’s currently still being worked on by this guy to iron out some of the remaining bugs. As soon as that’s done, I’ll post a link to the game as well. viking_idlecrabman_walkvampy_attackMunicorn_attackMviking_attackMvampy_attackLunicorn_fly During the jam itself we came to the conclusion that the tool I have been using for a while now is too limited in its functionality. I need precisely cropped animation frames, which Spriter cannot provide at this point in time. I guess it’s time to upgrade to something different. Gonna check this one out after a little optimization of the current animations and after I’m done with that other project. Still some work left to do. Also it’s time to finally start working on my Bachelor thesis. Exciting times! See you guys soon!

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