This weekend, Greenfly took part in the (now) annual Global Game Jam event at Staffordshire University, our old haunting grounds when we were fledgling students! We met some great people, learned a lot and created not one, not two but THREE working prototypes in the space of a single weekend!
Having attended previous jams (both at Manchester Game Jam and self-hosted at Futureworks), I (Stephen) was incredibly clear that Global Game Jam prototypes should be very simple and made within the first few hours – the rest is polish.
Theme: This year’s Global Game Jam theme was Heart:
Having been exhibiting Johan Sebastian Joust at various events, I was keen to explore the use of the PS Move controllers as well as moving beyond the digital screen onto more physical realms. After a brief exploration of the UniMove api (and a hearty dinner!), I cracked open the notebook and began designing.
Prototype One: Heart’s in the Night
This was a purely theoritical analysis of the heart and having access to options on the PSMove not available to others: light and vibration. This prototype featured controllers strapped to the chest representing glowing hearts (think E.T.) and a cyclical vibration. Each player had to determine which other player they liked most, players with the highest votes (most loved) had the brightest controllers whereas the dimmest controllers were knocked out.
Prototype Two: HeartRate Run
Bouyed by the success of the first, albeit simple, prototype, I decided to be more risque with the next prototype. With the bright multi-coloured lights, PSMove controllers are incredibly visible and draws people’s eyes to the event. By coupling this with an embarrassing and self-deprecating action, the game extends beyond the simple local multiplayer and becomes a spectator event – a spectacle everyone can enjoy.
Prototype Three: Quick Draw
The final prototype was conceived, and made, in the early hours of the final day. Half-dazed, fellow indie Tom Draxov made a suggestion of using the controllers as guns. A quick discussion on old Western films, a suggestion by David Smith to invert the controller triggers and 30 minutes later, a playable prototype was up & running. It was responsible for dragging team productivity down as people lined up to play – just goes to show great things are conceived at 4am in the morning.
With the Global Game Jam finally over, we’ll be polishing Quick Draw to a more refined state with extra modes: Mexican Shootout and Gentleman’s Walk. Many thanks to Nia Wearn and Staffordshire University for hosting this year’s Global Game Jam and looking forward to visiting again this May for GradEx 2013.