We made a game jam game!
Check out Dude Icarus, a game made with 5 people in 2 weeks. Use the arrow keys to move and the spacebar to jump.
In the middle of August, Indie City Games held its first game jam. The theme was “Things that Fly.” We split into haphazard groups and started designing games right away. A few scribble-filled hours later, we promised to regroup in 2 weeks to show off our finished projects.
Two weeks later, our usual attendance of ~20 had swelled to nearly 50. Not only did all of the game jam games get done, but two more appeared out of nowhere (read: the internet). I had a hard time containing my joy, which was fine, since I’m usually the emcee.
The variety and sheer weirdness of the games was a thing to behold. Rain of Terror was a game about a raincloud wreaking havoc upon a society of sponge-people. Circle of Life was a 2-player game where one player ties balloons to animals to hurl them into space, and the other player hurls animals at the balloons to pop them. None of these games are available online as far as I know, although you can view some sweet concept art for the latter here.
There’s also a gameplay video here to give you a taste of our meetings:
Special thanks to “Mark the Intern” from Screwattack.com.
The two mysterio internet games were Zip! and Acid Couch. Zip! is about a guy who likes to fly around on a jetpack with his fly open, but in the interest of common decency, must zip up if he sees another person approaching. You control the zipper by alternately hitting ALT and F4, with woeful consequences if you hit both at the same time. The screenshots are a must-see.
The only other game from the jam that’s available to play is Acid Couch. In it, you are confronted by a friend who says simply, “I have done acid. Will you babysit me, please? I cannot get off the couch.”
The takeaway of this event, at least for my team, was that a short timeline means game decisions get made quickly. I think this is a good thing. It’s far too easy to become paralyzed by choices when you’re starting a new project. But when you only have 6 days left and your game has no platform art, considerations like “art style” go out the window. And the game gets shipped, warts and all.
The beauty of this is that we now have a working prototype. The game takes about 10-20 minutes to play through, and we’re starting to gather feedback.
Dude Icarus was made thanks to the coding action of Bredon Clay (with help from Jake Elliot), zen music by Jake, and animations by Scott Roberts and Nicole Lenard. I did the level design and drew all the platforms. Making platform puzzles for a radial world was trickier than I expected. My solution was to design the level as though it was flat, so I was working with something like a bar graph.
All 5 of us would like to keep working on this idea. If there’s anything you liked or didn’t like about the game, now’s your chance to let us know. For instance, a few people have mentioned that the clouds seemed to move too slowly, or came by too infrequently. Any other thoughts?