Participated in a Jam

Hey guys. So I last week I joined a community of game developers called Game Dev Underground. Tim Ruswick, the guy who put the whole thing together, frequently posts videos on youtube about game development and things related to it. He seems like a genuinely good dude and is very charitable with his insight to the industry.

So anyway, Friday rolled around and I was looking forward to enjoying a relaxing weekend of disc golf and recreational drinking. At the end of the day I was zipping a backup and decided to explore the GDU website a bit. That’s when I discovered that GDU was hosting their first game jam, called Jim Jam. Tim was doing a live stream right then so I tuned in just in time to hear the theme of the jam which was to be ‘Inspiration’. It was certainly a very broad topic and I had trouble dialing down what to do. I called upon my roommate and asked him what inspires him. He paused for a moment, deep in concentration, then with a look of clarity returning to his eyes, he replied: “Sunsets”. It was… a surprising answer but I had nothing else going so decided to go with it.

For a while now, I’d been wanting to try my hand at an infinite runner and figured this might be a good opportunity.  After some brainstorming, I devised a plan where a humanoid character would run through the streets, dodging traffic, in an effort to beat the sunset. As the player runs, they collect coins which are used to open the occasional item crate and unlock a vehicle. The vehicle would move faster, letting the player catch up with the sinking sun, but would also increase the difficulty since the player would now have to dodge traffic at an accelerated rate.

So on Saturday morning, I went to work and created a prototype of the game. I basically made a character out of a cube that would race across a plane. At the far end of the plane was a trigger collider. Once the player entered the collider, a new plane would be instantiated in front of it. It was a simple solution but worked well enough. So once I had the core mechanic dialed down, I wanted to make it look a little prettier. One of the rules of the jam was that we were allowed to use any freely available premade assets. This was great because 3D modeling is not exactly my strongest attribute and it’s very time consuming. So I paid a visit to the Unity Asset Store and picked up some free models. I originally wanted to use a marionette type character for the player model but couldn’t find one on the store so I settled with the big black boxer, Dimples. I also picked up some city building assets, roads, trees, and cars. I used all these models to create the tileable city prefab that the player would be running through and also the obstacles that the player had to avoid.

Unfortunately, I had a prior obligation on Saturday night and missed out on some valuable dev time, but got straight back to it on Sunday morning. I worked straight through the day, hardly pausing to catch my breath, and well into the night, right up to the submission deadline. The game wasn’t nearly as polished as I wanted it to be, but it was playable. So after fumbling around with for a while, I was finally able to get the game submitted. It was a fun event, but I was absolutely exhausted by the end.

Anywho, if you’d like to try the game out, you can download it here. Don’t forget to leave a rating 🙂


PS Data Dream is still well underway!


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