Archives for : April2015

GameJam: Above The Skies

One of the bigger Game Jams we ever attended just ended this weekend, even though it was a local Jam we had a lot more competition and were up for a beating. As always here is a quick rundown of everything we did from start to finish.

The Challenge

The theme for the Jam was ‘Frontier’, the border between the known and unknown or just border, depending on how you want to think about. Often you are allowed to interpret the theme as you like, so somebody actually made a game about throwing car ‘front tires’ at each other. The Game Jam was 36 hours long, so 10 hours more than we are used, unfortunately leaving us to believe that we had way more time than we needed. Boy, were we wrong.

Tools used:

  • As always we went with Unity3D as our engine. As its what we are used to and can be scaled to nearly any project.
  • Photoshop we used to create all the UI elements and the poster.
  • This one is a little more fancy. Our game is based on voxel graphics, so as the Game Jam started we went ahead an bought Qubicle. We are going to make a more lengthy post on this at a later date.
  • The visual studio is our go to IDE for c# programming, and just feels much better than Unity’s monodevelop.
  • SourceTree is to us a must have for any development, especially if you accidentally deletes your whole project as we did. You can easily go back and revert to an old version.

Our Idea

Above The Skies, is a single player game where you fly in what looks like 1800 ship between floating islands. You play as merchant trying to build your trading empire buy gathering resources, while killing pirates so they don’t steal your resources.


Taking Chances

To us Game Jams is a lot about learning new stuff fast. So we want to use something new and intuitive each time we make a game. This time we went with learning to make and use voxel graphics. So we went to minddesk website at bought Qubicle 2.0 for 40$. Qubicle is an easy to use 3D voxel editor that you may know from games like crossyroad or stonehearth. Down 40$ with no idea where to begin, we started to make the player ship, exporting it to an .obj file just to realize that unity wouldn’t load the textures correctly. This was fortunately corrected by exporting using the .dae format. After getting the hang of Qubicle, everything started to go really fast. Learning the interface and how everything works was surprisingly easy and we had multiple models done every hour.


What went well

  • Qubicle and working voxels graphic was a lot easier and more fun than we though. This will definitely not be the last time we use it
  •  Having more time overall, gave us the ability to polish the game up a tiny bit before we were done.

What went bad

  • Believing that we had more than enough time to finish our game. Knowing that we had 10 hours more than we were used to, we slacked and worked a lot slower. Unfortunately we worked so slow that we went way behind our schedule.
  • AI, damn i hate ai. Never really worked with it before, so we invented our own random waypoint system that kinda works and kinda doesn’t work.