Recently, we participated in another game jam. It is actually our second attempt at another jam. We were going to do one in the spring and just couldn't think of any idea that motivated us enough to spend the next 48 hours slaving away. Luckily, we had a great idea this time!
Above are a bunch of WIP images of our progress with said jam entry, Debate Club. It is made as an entry for the GM48 #35 Game Jam (one of our favorite jams to compete in). This was our first game in a GM48 that we did together! In this deckbuilder, you'll gather your arguments, prepare your rebuttals, and take down your opponent by your wits and words alone!
I must credit Naxos for the original idea. He pitched it to me and while I was initially intrigued, I also thought it was sort of a strange idea. I wanted to see where it went though, and I am glad we did! I feel we have some great potential here! Naxos led design on this one but we definitely had a lot of 'back and forth' throughout (and a lot of miscommunication at times - ha!).
Naxos did the vast majority of the programming. I focused on the art direction, art iteself, and sound (excluding music, we had rooksword, a community member, create us an awesome piece of music that fit the game perfectly).
I have to be honest, I woke up on the final day and thought we may have bitten off more than we could chew. Everything was still in a sort of limbo. But man, when it all started to come together boy did it ever! It was like a landslide, all of a sudden features and gameplay loops were emerging and the excitement in what we were creating was snowballing. I wonder if that is sort of how it will be on a full-fledged game, where you just have to stick it out through the parts that aren't as tangibly rewarding until you get to that moment, that peak, where it all starts to fall in to place.
In the end, we had to cut a lot of planned features and/or cards. For example, the cards' title ribbons are distinct colors. These were meant to have meaning and be a factor in choosing which to play as they would effect the amount of points you get. We also wanted different perks/buffs/status effects/etc for the player but those never made it in. Saying all that, we probably should have cut more considering we left very little time for creating and playtesting the levels and the strategies of the AI. I think it served its purpose in the end, but it could definitely be better!
The feedback we have received as of this blog post has been fantastic though and I really feel like we have something special here that we could build and expand on. Time will tell!
Now go play it and tell us how awesome it is!
Please enjoy some images from the development of Merlin's Mess, created for the 2019 GMTK Jam. It is a hidden object physics game where you need to find the one unique item in the room.
The Jams we participate in are typically completed in a 48 hour period, and this one was no different. You can see some initial art passes before the settled on style. We learned quite a bit from this game, mostly to do with how to keep things fun for the player rather than have to keep challenging them. This game ended up working better as a nice casual experience rather than forcing players to in to a more restrictive resource management system, which the jam version shipped with.
Check out the game for yourself and see how you like it!