Week 1: Global Game Jam
Updated: May 14
This was my first week and I decided to take part in the Global Game Jam, there is nothing else to say but just wow! The Jam lived up to every expectation, from hearing everyone's excitement in the discord chat before we even began to being humbled by the challenge that is the Jam itself.
Our team comprised of three MA Indie Game Development students including myself, we worked tirelessly through the first evening of the Jam on the ideation process and how we could all use our skills to best benefit the idea. Twenty minutes before eleven we had an idea to create a game about an old man with dementia who fishes his way to finding himself, by catching memories from his past, which we thought fit the theme of 'lost and found'.
The Global Game Jam:
In fig.1 you can see our mind map in Miro that was used in collaboration with the rest of our team to come up with ideas. "mind mapping can be used to help you plan and organize your thinking before you start writing or get stuck into a project." (Cunnah, 2020) We also created a repository in GitHub to transfer files between the team and to merge all of the different branches into main once we had finished making the different assets and gameplay.
By morning two we had an Idea of who was working in each different area of the game. I was the artist of the group, so I was tasked with creating assets for the game (fig.2). I also created some of the UI and 2d sketches to put along side the memories.
I found the Global Game Jam especially useful as I learned a vast amount in such a short time as I found new shortcuts, better shaders, quicker ways to animate and then trying to fix those animations inside of Unity. I also ran into many problems, which I found myself staying calm and I think that was our key to getting a game finished on time. I found our whole team was very patient, we communicated well and knew each others strengths and weaknesses.
To conclude and to share my learnings from this whole experience is this: I still have a lot to learn in terms of 3d software, especially in sculpting and animation. I also know that I can do it (hopefully no more imposter syndrome for a while). I always need to remember to turn all of the 3d faces the right way around before importing the FBX files into Unity. I also haven't come down from the high of knowing that I have created my first game and the bond between our team in creating that game over that weekend was amazing!
We managed to get the game in on time, not quite the way that we wanted but we were very happy with what we managed to achieve over those past 48hours. Here in fig.3 you can see a screen shot from the game Lave'.
In reflection on this project, I have learned so much about myself as well as skills that need learned before they cause detrimental effects to team work in the future. My biggest downfall was my understanding of textures and remembering to export these 3d models with the faces the right way around. In future I must always remember to highlight everything in edit mode in Blender and press ALT+N to recalculate all of the faces. Animation was also hard for me as I had only been learning it for a week, I need to understand the exporting process of the animations to game engines. I also think a Trello board or a to do list would have been useful for the organisation and communication of this project.
Fig,1 Luke Morrisby. 2021. Mind mapping board
Fig.2 Luke Morrisby. 2021. Game assets
Fig.3 Luke Morrisby. 2021. Gameplay screenshot
Cunnah, L., 2020. Why mind mapping works: the benefits of mind mapping - Ayoa Blog. [online] Ayoa Blog. Available at: <https://www.ayoa.com/ourblog/why-mind-mapping-works-the-benefits-of-mind-mapping/#:~:text=Evidence%20shows%20that%20mind%20mapping,about%20the%20task%20at%20hand.> [Accessed 14 May 2021].