In July last year I entered my first official Game jam, this was run by JAGEX at their studios in Cambridge. We entered as a course and took 6 members and our tutor with us to form a team (Paul observed and graded). With this being right after the end of first year it was great practice to keep the ball rolling with work and improving all the time, the most valuable part of it was being part of a mixed team with 2nd years this allowed us to work with people who was further along in the course to try bring us up to speed for this 48 hour straight game jam.
The theme was “cycles” due to the Tour de France taking part at the same time. We could interpret this theme how we wished so it didn’t specifically have to do with bicycles, to try and expand our area of “cycles” and find a idea to build a game we sat in a group and threw down anything we could think of to do with cycles this included ideas such as:
These were the main features we could come up with and eventually we settled on a slight incorporation of a few of them. We pinned down a cyclist who is in a dream and he has the power to change the day night cycle to solve puzzles and piece together his bicycle. So it was a puzzle 2.5D side scrolling game we decided to go with to support this and it was fairly basic to do in a shorter space of time, showing we didn’t punch above our weight implying we would do a fully immersive 3D environment with multiplayer online time trials.
My role in the project initially was alongside Phil to sketch up some level designs, so plan out issues that the player would come across forcing them to go back or use the power to change the day/night cycle. We decided that a journey from city to countryside so sort of a race in his dreams to the start line of the race, settings would go from city to park to village to countryside (hills) to start line. This was obviously ambitious to have 5 environments in the final project but at least we had considered how the game could have gone forward with extra time.
Then after level design I worked on hand painted texturing of the level, my limited skill in texturing at the time Paul suggested I used Mudbox’s projection painting. This proved very quick and useful granted it wasn’t all perfect when it came to bricks but with the time length of the project the visuals was still impressive. I then used this to projection paint graffiti onto a bus for the city level, I did this using many iconic game characters and general graffiti (even had Banksy art on the bus). Then I modeled a taxi (this first ever car I had done) which I was very pleased with at the time for the quality of my 3D and it actually made me pursue automotive modelling throughout the summer. Alongside general texturing of other peoples models and doing little assets myself I then took it upon myself to think or a name and design the logo.
Here are all the contributions to the game jam I could recover:
Then some engine shots (taken from James Cook’s blog):
This shows my work in level design, hand painted texturing and models.
Here is my logo designs I tried to tie all the theme in of cycles to the logo as well and with it being Tour de France “Le Cyc” seemed relevant, here it is:
Admittedly a quick logo at best but you can see the idea behind it with the “cyc” making a bicycle, with more time alot of this would have been alot further along, some models didn’t make it in but nothing is wasted as if we was to progress this idea at any point we have put in the work through a design process to easily expand on what we have.
To evaluate the game jam overall it was a very worthwhile experience for myself, it allowed me chance to work in a team to push along together with a 48 hour deadline, which testing teamwork, communication and overall commitment to stay awake and work. I have taken alot away from this game jam in relation to how my 2nd year has gone, I view it as the starting point of my 2nd year to push on, after I began work on my personal classic mini project due to enjoying the modeling of the taxi. One thing I have reigned in is the graffiti, granted projection painting was very enjoyable and produced decent results but graffiti took over my game jam i remember doing it on a coke can just because I could, should the opportunity ever arise in a project requiring graffiti you can be sure I have it covered though.
Despite not winning on this case the JAGEX judges was impressed with our work and the visuals of the project. Most of the other teams was programmers which we didnt have any we are all artists so naturally our game would look better but maybe not play as well, but personally I think what we produced with the issues James had with Kizmit on his own was a great achievement. Maybe a programmer would be advisable next time but now our knowledge in blueprints is more that enough for a Game Jam so we should in future have a visually and interactive game, to hopefully win with.