So it’s been about 30 days since PGJ, I think that’s enough time to figure out how to turn my thoughts into text. Our experience from last year helped us improve a lot but we had several setbacks that were very frustrating. Our theme was the same as the 7-Day Indie Challenge so we could submit the game for that competition as well. (We did not submit) It was this picture here:
We made a game called “What Comes Around…” A 3D arcade game where you are controlling a ball on a spinning platform dodging obstacles, falling off of the platform and collecting power ups. You can play the game here. [Use Up/Down or W/S to move.]
What Went Right
1. Great Start
We had the right hardware. I brought my extra monitor, my Akai MPK mini for our audio,and an Ethernet switch. All proved essential for our workflow. DropBox helped a lot for our non-programmers. We brainstormed, had a mock up created and had placeholder models to test with very quickly. We knew what we were making shortly after getting the theme. Also the idea was doable in the amount of time that we had.
3. Content Creation
We were able to get all or most of the content we worked on into the game by the end. It actually looks quite nice!
3. The Competition
The jam was way better organized than last year. We had internet the entire time, all the teams were in close proximity and it was actually pretty inspiring looking behind my shoulder and see the amazing games people were creating around us. Also, we used each other as resources for help, even though we were technically “competing”.
What Went Wrong
The trouble here wasn’t so much that we chose to create a 3D game. 3/4 of the team has university experience creating 3D art. Our game idea was easier in 3D. The problem was that we were not prepared for creating 3D art. A lot of time was wasted downloading tools that we needed to complete the game and getting more familiar with them since we thought we were going to make a 2D game origionally.
We spent a lot of times trying to fix the controls but we should of focuses on how to fix them more. They were the first and last
thing that we worked on. It was very frustrating watching fellow jammers and epecially the PGJ judges struggle with the controls. I think we should of made sure these worked before doing anything further as controls can make or break your game.
3. Unity + Version Control
Using Git was a good call but we still ended up having a few unforeseen merge conflicts involving certain Unity file types. In the free version of Unity Scene assets are binary, meaning that me and JP could not work on the same scene at the same time.
4. The Waiting Game
Du-Marc (Audio) completed his work faster than we could give him work to do and give him new builds to playtest. Stefan (Art) was stuck waiting for programs to load for a long period of time. There was times when JP and myself (Programming) had to work together to fix a merge error in Git before we could do anything.
I think that whenever you do something better than you did it last time that is a success in and of itself . We definitely did better than we did previously. But as Du-Marc said to me after the competition ended “Damn It, I want to win!” and I couldn’t agree more. I actually want to create a good game that could win a competition. The only way to do that is to keep improving which means keep making games to improve our skills. The controls were fixed a bit (To make it actually playable) after the competition.
Team EGG (EGG Gaming Group)
John P. Benge (JP) – Programming/Art
Matthew Findlater (Me) – Programming
Stefan Lopuszanski – Art
Du-Marc Mills – Audio