Game Zanga game jam post-mortem

So another game jam has come into my sights, and this weekend it was the one for Game Zanga 6. This one is interesting because it’s one that is in the MENA (Middle East North Africa) region but we were allowed to do it remotely. It’s mostly because my good friend Jaffar (click to see his post-mortem of the jam) is in good contact with people there. He has a good style going and you should check his stuff out. In any case it was mostly a collaboration between him and myself. Samanta was there and worked on it some too, of course. The result you can see and play (careful, there’s audio!):

It was an interesting weekend, as we were heavily interrupted and had to work quite sparingly. We worked in Construct 2, as that was a definite choice after we finished brainstorming ideas and felt we should go with the first idea. I also had to reacquaint myself with Construct and a new but old laptop I recently prepared for the jam. Usually I would bring my 17″ laptop with a lot of cables, fans and extra accessories which weighs well over 5kg. Having this laptop lightened the load a lot, along with a new Intuos tablet. It did feet a bit overkill to haul heavy equipment when doing a quick 2D game. So it felt right.


I got to do a tiny bit of animation and figured out a visual style for the game. Initially I wanted a full-bodied ninja with all the moving parts. But I realized quickly that I needed to scope it down a lot otherwise I will be stuck with just animating every little thing for one player, and then having to change colors for the same little things for the other player. Abstracting the character to an expressive body freed me from having to be overly detailed at least. I liked the idea of having a ninja headband to denote the color of the teams. At first this initial idea felt good, though later we changed the color of the ninja instead since that is a lot more visible. As you are able to go invisible for three seconds whenever you wish, the color of their getup is pretty much aesthetics.


Another new thing I picked up for the jam was the music creation tool Bosca Ceoil by Terry Cavanagh, known for Super Hexagon and VVVVVV. At this point in time I still have not really made a cheatsheet for LSDJ so that I could easily reacquaint myself with using that. I also wanted to use something other than OpenMPT. It’s great to use but I would usually have much longer time to create a track with it. This jam limited that time to a few hours and Bosca is very easy to take on and create something in that amount of time. I am not 100% on the tune I made, mostly because it becomes repetitive after a short while, but I like what I made overall.

Game jam experiences are always fun and have quite intense moments, though this time around I also had a strong sense of learning and familiarity since it was quite a while ago I last participated in a game jam event. We did well!

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