Rovio Game JAM aftermath

11 05 2014

So, what was the jam all about? Rovio, the angry birds lads and lasses together with Swedish Game Awards arranged a game jam between the 9th and 10th May. A bunch of us sat in KTH in several small rooms and for 12 hours we had to construct a fun, innovative and professional game based on a theme: Equality. And so we began to work!

I have SLEPT so much after the jam. I was awake more than 12 hours, that’s for sure. I was completely drunk of the lack of sleep. My cognitive functions may not be as sharp, but it does marvels to creativity and monotonous tasks are easy peasy for me. I find a rythm and work flow and it turns into music.

So at the first hour we 2, the Thomas fellow and I began 1 hour concepting and brainstorming. We had several ideas; some wild, some silly, which we narrowed down to two favorites.  Then the elimination process exterminated the one who was technically impossible due to our limitations of the jam (the biggest crook were time!). I’m still curious how a game about an army of ants feeding birds would turn out. I’ll write a short design doc about it later.

Gameplay

On to the jam. The theme were Equality and we wanted to do a terraforming planet sim! You distribute heat (or life force, that was the working title) among planets to gain balance aka all planets become lush earths. The idea was that the life force was limited and has to be evenly distributed between planets. If you have excess life force, toss it out into space! But how much should you toss? Experiment!Steam

The planets where layered atop each other and faded into each other when players cooled planets off and transferred heat. It even gave out a “pssh” and some steam!

It looks so nice ingame!  😀

Art

I drew stuff. Or pixelated it! That is rather ambitious since pixel art is famous for being time consuming. You place each pixel by hand. That is the core of pixel art.

Planet

The planets got the golden treatment. When it came to space and background… well black fill and dotty stars, done!

Lava-planetWater-planetPerfect-planet

I limited the animations to 8 frames. The lava and water planet got a subtle flow, just to show how liquid it is while the perfect planet “earth” got this “shiiiing” when it was at a perfect state. If you miss it, you’ll have to start over again and balance life force.

Logo

Spark of Life

Art & Game Design: Cecilia Bexander
Programming & Game Design: Thomas Hertz Orre
In Spark of life the godlike player shares the planets’ heat to other worlds in order to create life and thus bring balance to the universe. Spark of Life is a soothing space-puzzle for handheld devices with full touch support.
So, 12 hours long jam, filled with free chips, energy drinks and pixels. And this is what we produced. It’s meditative, beautiful and true to the theme. One of the top 3 games produced during the jam, yeah!
  • For the android!
  • Only 2,26 mb!
  • 3 Levels!
  • 3 seconds music!
  • Easy to learn, hard to master!

SparkofLife-01 SparkofLife-02 SparkofLife-03

I used Pyxel Edit, for real, for a first time. They did warn us about using unknown tools to work with. Hahaha #YOLO GERONIMO! RAH RAH FIGHT DA POWAH!

Jokes aside. It was risky, yes, but it showed similar functions to Photoshop, so I experienced the transition nothing else but smooth.

Tools used:

  • Multimedia Fusion
  • Pyxel Edit
  • Bosca Ceoil
  • Bfxr

(The day after the jam, I installed the game on all of my family’s android tablets and smartphones. Assimilation complete!)

Today’s free software:

Pyxel Edit

Category: Graphics
Great full blown pixel and tile builder.
You can still access the free beta and use it well.
But the paid version include animation features.

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