Global Game Jam 2011

I’m participating in the Global Game Jam 2011 in Philadelphia today! 48 hours of non-stop game dev action! I am overly excited. I’m going to be runnin’ on nothing but (what’s left of my) youth, my passion for making games, and an unhealthy overdose of caffeine!


Hello, my sweet. Lets make beautiful games together...

So what I plan to do is I’m going to update this post with mini-updates as to how things are going at the Jam. I’ll be sure to add pictures and what-not. The Jam starts at 5:00pm EST today. I can’t wait!

9:44 PM Friday – Unity, or how my $80,000 learning-how-to-code meant NOTHING (just kidding. I love you Full Sail).


The topic of the Jam was Extinction. Here's our brain-storming.


An hour after brainstorming, we came up with game ideas and voted on which were the best.

So I’ve been here since 5pm. Some really awesome ideas have been pitched and our “group” is now deciding the feasibility of our game (an opposite of Lemmings, where the idea is to kill the lemming, not save them). Me and my buddy Christian worried about programming the entire game, including AI and pathfinding…

… Then they showed us Unity. Unity cheats.

What does it NOT do?!

Object creating – done. Rendering – done. Editors – done. Collision – done. Physics – DONE. Particles and other things that make games – ALL FRIGGING DONE. The only real programming is AI and collision handling.

We’ll see how this all gets fleshed out. This could work. Once we present, we’ll find ut if we can do this.

11:11 PM Friday – Extinction

How to Kill A Gnome

That’s the overall “phrase” which we have to kind of base our game off of. Extinction. We’re good to go on the massacre of “lemmings” or whatever cute cuddly being we choose.  But the only issue we have with Unity is the lack of version control. We have to pretty much ALL program on one computer to create our first scene, then we all work on spike solutions and “merge” them together. If this works, I’ll be amazed.

Unity is set for the Pro Trial. Lets start making this thing…

1:25 AM Saturday – Food. Part 1.

I got Bawls.
Liquid Schwartz.

I’ve just finished eating. I ate lunch at 12:30 PM Friday, and I just had dinner. I’ve been fueling myself on Bawls and PopChips. Dear Body, I’m sorry.

We got our asset server set up for Unity, and we’ve designated a Master Scene. Now we’re about to discuss which objects go into the Master before we all separate into our own sandboxes to work on separate aspects of the game. Me and Christian Sassi will be working on AI it seems. Should be… Interesting. Wish us luck.

6:07 AM Saturday – Sleep.


I only slept twice. Once for 2 1/2 hours, and then for 5 hours. The rest was a caffeinated waking coma.

Stupid rigid bodies in Unity. Stupid not listening to us telling them to move. Stupid brain losing arthmetic functions.

Need sleep. Sleeeeeeeeeeeep.

9:07 AM Saturday – Awake.

Brainstorming ideas for our game. I'm not sure what Texas Flash is all about...

And now I’m awake. 3 hours of sleep should suffice for a while. We found out what was wrong with the rigid bodies. Pro tip – when you write a script for a prefab, actually attach it to the prefab. 5 hours of frustration for what?! So now I’m waiting for people to wake up.

10:45 AM Saturday – Apparently the only one awake.

Me and Jake discuss the game with the team.

Still waiting for a good portion of my team to come back. Me and the other guys here have been casually working on traps and particles for the game – nothing big. Once we get everyone here we’re going to figure out where to go from here. I’m pretty anxious to start really working on this thing again!

2:02 PM Saturday – Gnomes and Traps.

Christian and Parker work out the art for the Bombs, while Zachary gets eclipsed by Parker's head.

I am quite amazed at how quickly the game is coming together. Now we are adding different types of enemies and traps to the game. We’ve all broken into our own groups to work on all the traps, and once we have the gnomes in, all that’s really left is level design and slight feature adjustment. And we haven’t been here more than 24 hours!

On another note, Christian got a parking ticket. I wanna jam it down Philadelphia’s throat. Not our fault you didn’t plow the damn street!

5:35 PM Saturday – Plants and Food.

Hard at work. An explosion could go off and we wouldn't flinch.

For the game, me and Mike created a Plant Eater, a monster that eats gnomes. My first entity in Unity. It’s my baby.

A bunch of us went out to get food. We all got pizza and had a good time talking about the game. I am so impressed with the game, just needs to pick up the pace a bit more. Miles traveled, miles to go!

6:41 PM Saturday – Then bad stuff happens…

The march of the gnomes.

Turn-in is 3PM tomorrow. Our Assets server sometimes encounters strange bugs where scenes will be missing blocks and art appears blurry in the game. We still have to make menus and a finite Win/Lose condition. And also my computer blue-screened once already.

Something wicked this way comes, and I don’t like it!

10:36 PM Saturday – Gnomes and Camera Shaking

Zach in the Zone!

We’re back on track it seems. We’re now making more types of gnomes and more features for the game. Soon we’ll be working on sound, and then maybe menus! EXCITEMENT!

3:01 AM Sunday – Final Countdown

He looks happy with the results...

So, I was about to go to sleep, but then our artist came back from… somewhere. Now he has some assets to make, and I got to implement them. Energy drinks fail me. Somebody gave me some rum, so I’m good to go.

We now have giblets for the gnomes, and now we’re working on menu screens. Should be good. Like rum.

8:55 AM Sunday – Acension

This is Nicole. Her and Trisha held Mock Interviews at the Jam. They were some odd questions.

To anyone who reads my Twitter post that read “Must. Complete. Game. Sleep. For. QUITTERS! #GGJ11” I fell asleep maybe 20 minutes after writing that. Irony.

What’s left to do? Well, we need to wait for assets again (artist is asleep. I have faith that he’ll pull through, though). Then we need to get up the different game states for menus and such, then we need music. After that, the game is petty much done except for some polish.

Victory is in range. You may fire when ready.


Wait! I didn't say blow up victory! Nooooooo!
This is the face of determination.

OK! We’re on the final home stretch. We got some last things to get in! Sounds! Music! Traps! Last gnome! Assets! MENUS! GAHHHH!!! WORKWORKWORKWORKWORKWORK!!!!

3:07 PM Sunday – FINAL

Behold Victory.

THE GAME IS DONE – PLAY NOW! Beer Gnomes – Oh yes, there will be booze.


Coming soon. Let me sleep.


Published by


Computer Scientist for Engility, and Indie Game Dev from New Jersey. Loves playing games, and loves making them, too.

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