Creating our Jam entry, Out of the Sea, was a balanced melange of fun, frustration, and reward. Let’s take a look at where all our time went.
We have 4 days, because in our time zone, EST, the theme was announced at 9pm, and we consider the time between 9pm to 12pm to be the first day.
Day 1: Brainstorming. Plus the intro screen was created. By this point we know that it’s going to be a sidescroller, it’s going to be sea-themed, but not really much else. Also looked around for a few public domain resources. We couldn’t have done it without ReusableArt.com and FreeSound.org.
Day 2: Programming. We had a physics engine lying around, so why not build something with awesome physics? I found that a lot of LD entries have poor physical interactions and often suffer from a lot of glitches for this reason. At this point I’m quite glad I took the time to create a physics engine before hand. By the end of the day, we have a general visual style, the hand-drawn, misplaced vintage look, as well as a general gameplay style, the slightly out of control salmon that has some pretty strange evolution issues. This hasn’t been implemented fully yet by this point, though.
Day 3: More programming! But after the core parts were done, it’s time to add some better graphics to replace these placeholder images. Lots of graphics work done that day. Of course, some time was also spent integrating these into the game itself, so programming sessions were sprinkled around.
Day 4: Polish. End screens, control responsiveness, color coding, different obstacles, and physics tweaks. It actually somewhat resembles a game now! Time to write up the posts, take screenshots, compile the timelapse, etc. Finishing 6 hours before the deadline, we submitted it to catch bugs before we ran out of time. Good thing, too, I had a frustrating time locating and fixing a bug in the graphics libraries that just made a grey screen appear. Fixing is an understatement, really, I’m glad that part of the graphics library could be rewritten within the time limit. Everything’s good!
Afterwards: Time to play some other games! Wow, so much creativity! So much fun! A great way to unwind after a busy weekend. Of course, another issue would rear its head after release, but it turns out there’s a simple workaround. All’s good. After a game of Ace of Spades, it’s back to work. Post-competition, it’s time to release the game elsewhere! There’s a lot left to do, but it can wait for now.
Advice? I haven’t got any. This is just our first time. I think we did pretty well, though, so something must be going right.
And of course, I’ve recorded the entire thing in a timelapse here. You might prefer this if reading a wall of text isn’t your cup of tea.