Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Global Game Jam

I attended my first ever global game jam with my team last Friday in the local site at Republic Polytechnic. Boy, was it fun! Drawing inspiration from Terry Cavanagh's "Don't Look Back", we built a game about a man plagued with guilt and self-hatred as he goes about his everyday life. The game was built in 48 hours by 3 of us, namely, jon, cs, and myself. After a good amount of brainstorming, each of us set out with our respective tasks. jon does the sounds, music as well as coding them into the game. cs handles the bulk of the artwork and design. As for myself, I'm responsible for the animations and game code. This was a far more ambitious jam compared to one-sec, so I'm inclined to think that we're improving as aspiring game makers ;). That, and the addition of one more member (one-sec was done by only jon and myself, and the first day of the jam was spent learning a new language - Haxe) makes a big difference.

The game is titled Day X, and can be played on our gamejolt page here.
Also, Day X got a mention on indiestatik's coverage of the game jam!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A short recap

It's been some time since my graduation ceremony from Digipen. Since then I've been involved in a couple of projects.

For one, I worked under James Barnard of Springloaded, first aiding in porting his game titles to the PSM platform (namely Hiragana Pixel Party and Spacelift Danger Panic). Shortly after that I worked full-time on his Tiny Dice Dungeon project, which is a unique mobile experience. My main role in the project was to ensure that multiplayer component of the game works smoothly (among other minor things). I was (and still am) extremely green towards matters regarding networking, so it was most definitely a nerve wrecking experience - because I don't deserve half the trust the team had in me. Thankfully, James managed to get hold of a more experienced programmer who then took over handling networking and server side code. I then moved on from Springloaded to pursue my own projects with my team. I have much to learn.

While working for James, my personal project, TheWiredWorld, snagged a merit award at the National Infocomm Security Competition. That encouraged me to pick up the project again some time in the future. Hrmm. Yess.

We applied and managed to get ourselves an office in GSC in October (a government initiative, in collaboration with a school). This is the push we need to pursue our indie dreams. Things are nowhere near smooth-sailing though - the scope of our project seemed to have gotten larger than we first imagined, and we end up fighting this crippling self-doubt that haunts us everyday (like, you know, what if the game isn't FUN? And, where are the levels??). On the brighter side, we managed to make a couple of mini-titles in our spare time, one of which is a Ludum Dare 28 title. That leads me to...

one-sec, our first ludum dare entry, snagged a 50th place. Sweet. I think.

One of my school projects (Voxel Smash), got featured in Freebie Bundle 7. haha.

Again, some time near the end of the year, jon and I took on a freelance job to support ourselves for a little bit longer. The project involved the use of Unity, so that was quite the learning experience (I'm also constantly reminded of just how inexperienced I am, working amongst experienced engineers from India). While we have little love for the game title we were working on, we made a good friend who shared his experience of having gone in and out of indie. He'd since returned to India, but we promised to keep in contact. That reminds me, I've forgotten to send him a new year greeting.. darn.

Victoria, whom I've worked with in school, is now working with us. She's got plenty of ideas, many of them interesting - but like myself, she can't seem to focus on a single idea to expand upon. That said, her assistance on our main project is key to our ongoing development. I look forward to the day we get to collaborate and work on one of her ideas.

Starting tomorrow, jon will be starting his new school semester. Working with jon is a rewarding experience - he's a close friend and a teacher - so him getting busy with school work very soon worries me a little. But we made the promise to hang on to our dreams as hard as we can, so I'm going to do just that.