Posts Tagged ‘contest’

Our participation in Global Game Jam 2012 Uruguay

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Uruguay decided to join the Global Game Jam 2012 (GGJ12) for the first time and we (as Gemserk) decided to join them.

The Global Game Jam is an event where all around the world people get together in different locations and split into teams in order to make games in 48 hours following a theme set by the organizers.

This year, the theme was this picture:

Ouroboros

That image represents the Ouroboros which represents the perpetual cyclic renewal of life, the eternal return, and represents the cycle of life, death and rebirth, leading to immortality, as in the phoenix.

The Team

Our team was composed game by José Pedro Gioscia (The Artist), Washington Miranda (Programmer) and us (both Programmers). Hernán Gonzales Martinez from Tono Sound Production provided the music and sound effects for our game, he did the same thing for most of the other teams on our location.

The Game

The game was named Medusa - “La viborita multiloca”, you play the game as a serpent on space and you move horizontally around a cave eating or being hit by other monsters. Whenever the monsters or the obstacles hit your body it breaks from that point. If the remaining part of your body is too short, you are weakened and can't eat monsters anymore. You die if you hit an obstacle or hit a monster while you are weakened.

The interesting part of the game is that after death comes rebirth. When you die, you revive at the start of the level with an echo of your past lives. They will help you in your journey eating the monsters in their path but they will leave parts of their bodies as new obstacles when they are injured.

Right now the game has no defined objective, it is more an experimental test of the mechanics and when you play you make your own objectives enjoying going through the random level and interacting with your past lives on the world.


Play the game online, or download a runnable jar to play it. Control the snake with the arrow keys.

Conclusions about the Global Game Jam

What went wrong

  • Ironically even though the venue was in a building of the biggest ISP on Uruguay (Antel) the wifi sucked, it used a captive portal method of authentication and forced you to reauthenticate all the time, luckily we could steal the LAN connection from some unused PCs.

What went right

  • We delivered a finished game
  • We were able to meet and talk with lots of people that are working locally in the video games industry (Batoví, Powerful Robot, Belfry Games, Sebagames).
  • We were finally able to get to talk a little with Pablo Realini from IronHide Game Studio makers of the awesome Kindom Rush, who confessed that he is the biggest fan of Gemserk ;)
  • The whole organization and the people who coordinated the GGJ in Uruguay were awesome, the venue was really nice, we had food and drinks available (from the second best carbonated beverage and the second best big burger chain).
  • Everyone on the jam was really nice, included our team members, there were no problems between the participants, and it was great meeting all of them.
  • This was the first time we worked face to face with an artist.
  • We had fun :-)

Advice for other jams

  • Take your time to refine your game idea, don't just start implementing right away, think a little about how will the gameplay work, what will the player do, how will he feel when playing, are the mechanics natural, how will you explain them, etc.
  • A good way to split work between programmers is to make small prototypes of different parts of the game (in our case we started prototyping the snake behaviour while we were building the skeleton for the rest of the game)
  • Try to rest, trying to stay up both nights of the event will be too much for your body to handle, and you will be tired and it will be difficult to concentrate, making you make lots of mistakes. In our case we went home to sleep on Friday night after we had defined the game idea, and we started Saturday morning well rested.
    • Play the other games for the GGJ12 from Uruguay here.

      We hope you like it.

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      Rating: 4.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Ludum dare 22 - Leave me alone!! - Post mortem

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Leave me Alone!! was my game for Ludum Dare 22 introduced in this post, now I want to make a small post mortem as I did for my previous Ludum Dare games.

First of all, I was about to not enter this LD because I couldn't spend all the weekend to develop a game but in the end I did because I didn't want to break the habit.

As I explained in the previous post (it has images and videos), Leave me Alone is casual game where you use the mouse (on PC at least) to move an orange particle which has to be isolated from incoming blue and green particles with different behaviors.

LD rating stage finished the previous Saturday and these are the results for my game:

	#114	Fun		3.04
	#168	Community	2.93
	#380	Overall		2.62
	#409	Innovation	2.28
	#458	Theme		2.35
	#519	Humor		1.42  (how??)
	#585	Coolness	17%
	#592	Mood		1.61
	#594	Audio		1.00
	#650	Graphics	1.68

What went wrong

  • Didn't like the theme Alone too much and my first ideas in mind were too complex.
  • My dedication time was limited and I couldn't work a complex idea instead the one I made, or even spend more time to add more value to the selected idea.
  • Didn't dedicate too much time to gain visibility (more info later).
  • My graphics were too simple, there is no background, no effects, no nothing. There are no sounds either.
  • I made a timelapse but I was out all the time and it sucks so I never uploaded it to youtube.
  • Didn't worked on the Android version controls and current one is almost unplayable, that means no Android players.

What went well

  • Even though I had little time to spend on the game, I refine one of the possible game ideas to make it smaller and be able to finish it on time.
  • Game is fun despite being small and simple (could be better of course).
  • The game had some visibility even though I spend almost no time in promoting it (more info later).
  • Even though some people "called me crazy" :P for using a physics engine for a game like this one, I believe it was a correct choice since I know Box2d enough to simplify my life. For example, all movements in the game are made using forces on each body (the particles) and the result is a good simulation of a real movement. Also, all collision logic is solved for me so I have to code less.

How to get visibility to your game

When you make games in LD you have to make other LD participants to rate your game since is the only way to get rated. There are different ways to improve the visibility of your game:

  • Have already a lot of visibility, for example, if you are a known celebrity like Notch (soooo many comments) or Kevglass, between others, your game will be played (at least I will play them).
  • Make a great game (the main idea of the LD), then people will start to make comments about it, tell to friends, make blog posts, etc.
  • Promote the game during the development by making blog posts on LD blog, record timelapse and stream your development, between other possibilities, this allows you to get a lot of players when the game is released.
  • Promote it by making it easy to play, maybe an online mutiplatform version (applet or flash), if you make your game only for win7 with XNA 8.0 you will probably lose some potential players. Make a good gameplay video too so people could watch your game without having to play it, maybe you could even convince them to install XNA 8.0 to play your game ;)
  • If you have time after development, play other LD games, rate them and make comments about them because this is one of the best ways to get other participants to play your game and, in the best case scenario, to rate it and even make comments.

In conclusion, it always feels nice to participate in LD, and I am happy with the game I did Although I had not so much time to spend. Next time maybe I could do better.

Hope you like the post :D

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Leave me Alone!!, my game for Ludum Dare 22

Monday, December 19th, 2011

To continue with tradition, I made a game for Ludum Dare 22. In this case, the theme was "alone", and I made a game named Leave me alone!! (sadly, it seems like there are 3 or more games named that way).

I had little time to spend making the game so I targeted a simple game with almost no graphics nor sounds but fun.

The story behind the game is, you have to isolate a particle from other particles to keep the world safe, if they make contact then the world explodes in a mega hyper super duper explosion (use your imagination).

Here is a screenshot:

I recorded the timelapse but it was really boring so this time I will not upload it, however, I made a gameplay video:

I will be happy if you can play it, and rate it (if you participated ludum dare), and love it ;)

Enjoy it.

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Rating: 4.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Vampire Runner, my game for Ludum Dare 21

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

This Ludum Dare was a bit hard, I got a zero originality idea and that demotivated me over the process, so I tried to finish it quickly but without love.

The game is named Vampire Runner and here is the LD21 entry. It is about a guy with super powers to move through walls for a limited time. The idea, as I said the previous post, is a game like a Canabalt, the guy runs forever and runs faster and faster, in the case of Canabalt you have to jump to avoid obstacles, in the case of Vampire Runner you have to activate your super skill to move through obstacles, but the main objective remains.

Here are some images:


The guy running on an empty field.


The guy with his super skill activated, almost with no energy, while he is near a wall.

If you want to play it on PC, click here, and if you want to play it on Android, click here. If you want to take a look at the sources and the graphics assets, click here and explore.

And here is the timelapse, it is a bit boring compared to other timelapses I made but:

Despite I put almost no love to the game (well, I did for the graphics), the game is funny, so give it a try and I hope you like it.

UPDATE: added timelapse :D

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Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)

Ludum Dare 20

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

This weekend was the Ludum Dare contest, and as you may already know, we always try to participate. It was the Ludum Dare number 20 and the theme was It’s Dangerous to go Alone! Take this!.

I was the only one who entered the contest this time, my game is named Codename: Taken. The idea is to survive as long as you can, there are red flying robots which fires at you and you have a green flying robot which protects you. The defender robot is a bit slow, so as you move away from him you become vulnerable to enemy robots then it is dangerous to go alone.

Here are the links for the game:

Here is a gameplay video:

And here a time lapse video:

The game is incomplete, I lost all Saturday making stuff for a game that I modified totally on Sunday. Some missing stuff:

  • Finish the game when you get killed or when you fall from the borders of the world
  • Increase points while you keep alive
  • Show a health bar of the character
  • Add a way to recover your health (maybe a magic mushroom or maybe only points made by survival time)
  • Add some other objective like reaching some point?

Well, that's all, hope you could play it and you like it. I will be uploading a time lapse video in the next days.

UPDATE: Added time lapse video.

UPDATE 2: I am working on finishing some of the listed stuff for Ludum Dare 20 Jam

UPDATE 3: Added a link to play the jam version of the game.

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Slick2D Contest

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Some of the Slick2D folks are organizing a new game contest on slick forums, here is the contest poster:

Slick2d Contest Poster

We are thinking in joining the contest, mainly because we want to test some new frameworks and libraries, and to make some new games too. Well, we also want those Magicka keys to play it :D.

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Ludum Dare 19 Results

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Well, Ludum Dare 19 is finished, obviously Discover the Way didn't won any category, but at least we have some feedback.

The game made position 58 of 133, this is its rating:

Inn Fun The Gra Aud Hum Ove Com
3 3 3 4 2 - 3 -
2 3 2 3 2 2 3 5
4 3 2 3 2 2 3 3
3 3 2 3 3 - 3 3
2 1 1 3 1 1 2 -
3 4 5 3 - 2 4 5
2 2 2 3 2 1 2 -
2 3 2 4 2 1 3 4
3 3 1 3 3 - 3 3
4 5 3 4 3 1 4 3
2 2 1 3 3 - 3 3
3 3 2 3 2 2 3 2
3 3 2 3 3 - 3 3
3 1 1 3 2 - 2 2
3 3 3 3 2 - 3 4
4 2 4 4 4 - 3 4
2.88 2.75 2.25 3.25 2.40 1.50 2.94 3.38

Follow the link to the game page at the contest if you want to see users comments, remember though that people rated the first version which was not polished nor balanced enough.

Here you can see all Ludum Dare 19 results.

Some final thoughts:

First of all, I really liked the idea of the game, but on the other hand I knew it wasn't going to win. However, I believe I made some mistakes that made the game have a worse rating.

The first mistake was the name, I named the game Discover the Name because I had no game by that moment, I was deciding what to do and though it was a funny name. After realizing the main objective was to discover a safe path between two points, then I thought to change the name to Discover the Way or Discover the Path, to give the player an idea of what he has to do, but I didn't. That caused confusion to the players because they were expecting they have to discover a hidden name, not a hidden path.

Another mistake was to be to lazy to make some balance to the game before the contest ends, I finished the game about 2hs before but I was tired so I entered that version. The day after, I took less than 1hr to balance it a bit, and the game changed a lot, it became more playable and it gave more importance to the main objective because the player couldn't take shortcuts to the targets any more, he has to discover a safe path, that is the real relation to the contest Theme (Discovery).

The third mistake, less important than the others was to remove the gameplay video from the game's page. The game's entry allow contestants to put only 5 links. At fist I put a link to the game, to the source code, a link to our blog, a link to the a gameplay video and a link to the jam version of the game, but after I uploaded the timelapse video to youtube I had to remove one of the links and the gameplay video seemed to be the best choice because I had a link to it inside our blog. That was a mistake because new players watched the gameplay video to see what they have to do in the game, it was some kind of tutorial, without it players felt disoriented.

I made a short postmortem at Ludum Dare's blog, follow the link if you want to read it.

That's all, thanks for reading.

UPDATE: added game position and updated link to Ludum Dare 19 results in order.

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Ludum Dare 19

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Again, as we did for Ludum Dare 17 and Ludum Dare 18 Jam, we decided to participate in Ludum Dare 19 (and possibly to the Jam too). The theme for this Ludum Dare was Discovery.

In this case, only one game was made in time for the compo, the name is Discover the Name, follow the link to see a description, play the game, watch a gameplay video or make comments if you want. Development time lapse and source code will be available soon.

There is also a page dedicated for the game here.

Hope you enjoy the game.

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Enter the contest - JSnakes

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Today was the date limit for the contest we talked about some posts ago, and we can say JSnakes one of the contestants.

Sadly, we are not satisfied with the current state of the game, there are a lot of mechanics we wanted to try but we could not implement them because of serveral reasons. However, one of our main objectives was to at least enter the contest, so that we could establish contact with other developers.

The game version for the contest is on this link, you can try it if you want. That version is not going to change if we keep working on the game.

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JSnakes for a Contest

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

We are making a game for the contest we wrote about in the last post. The game is a remake of our own JSnakes we made a year ago, which is based on the classic Snake but using a free movement.

In order to make the game a bit interesting, we decided to add some minigames using the free movement basic mechanics. Some examples could be a Tron or an Arkanoid.

A core feature we have since the game started is local multiplayer, and that is one of the most funny things of the game. We think we should explore more this feature adding some coop minigames for example.

If you want to try the development version of the game, click here.

Here is a video of the game right now:

One thing we are working right now is to integrate the game with a Jbullet (a port of bullet physics engine for java) to test some interesting behaviours and see if we should add them to the game or not.

Here is a video showing a snake moving a box:

Thanks for reading.

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