GGJ 2017

Sorry for the belated post about GGJ 2017, but better late than never. This year was the first time we took part in Global Game Jam.

We piled into the small room at the comp sci department and set up our machines along with 23 others who all wanted to jam for the weekend. When the theme was revealed to be Waves, mine and Ethan’s eyes lit up. We’d discussed previously about doing a medusa in a procedural-generated maze game, and this was the perfect chance to actually do something with the idea.

Within 10 minutes of the start time, Ethan had a working prototype, with the echolocation wave travelling along a corridor. Everyone was astonished that we had something working so quickly, so basking in the victory, we got down to work.

Ethan got to work building a procedural maze generator, and I dived into model libraries to find our gorgon. Once I found a good model of a woman, I plopped some snakes on her head, then put her through the Mixamo auto-rigger, making things so much more simpler.

Matt Caradus volunteered to do the music and sound effects for the game, and woke everyone up around midnight with a really cool Nazgul shriek which we used for when you get spotted by the gorgon.

Day 2 had Ethan getting the gorgon moving around the maze, including rudimentary AI for pathfinding and seeking the player. He also added sword, shield and coin objects, so you could slay the gorgon to end the game. I did the 3D assets for those, and textured the lot, since Ethan also introduced an easy mode – a foggy maze rather than a pitch black one.

The last day saw us implementing medusa’s attacks so that the player could die if they didn’t have the shield, or didn’t use it. Disaster stuck with hours to go as I did a bad commit and things royally screwed up. Instead of using the last few hours to polish the game, we scrambled madly to recover from my error and get it working again. We did with a few minutes to spare, so we slapped together the feature graphic and came up with the title of the game – Eyes of the Gorgon.

Overall the Game Jam was totally awesome. We look forward to taking part again next year.

A creepy picture of medusa

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