Archives for : GameJam

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.



GameJam: GottaGo Fast Food

Sunday we finished our third game jam and won! As always going trough this post we will walk you trough our experience doing the Game jam.

The challenge

The theme was Fast food and had to be either a platformer or multiplayer game.
As last time the time frame was only 26 hours, which always tends to be a couple of hours to short.
Winners would be chosen by vote after everybody had played each others games, and bit surprised we ended out on top.

Tools used:

  • Unity3D as our go to game engine.
  • Photoshop and Pyxel edit for creating pixel art.
  • Visual Studio C# – for coding the game.
  • SourceTree (also known as git) for sharing files between team members.

Getting started

Looking back at our two other game jams we decided that 2D was our best bet at making it trough the GameJam. Before even getting the theme we sat down and started brainstorming ideas, we knew that the game had to be either multiplayer or a platformer, which is both very broad categories. Multiplayer instantly got us thinking of games like Smash Bros and SpeedRunners, so we hopped we could somehow mix those two games into the theme.

 The final idea

The game is essential a mash up of SpeedRunners and Smash Bro, with some original features of our own, and fast food characters. The game allows up to 4 players, using controllers or 2 keyboards, in a SpeedRunners like world. Instead of the camera following the player in front, it just animates trough the map, given the players the challenge of staying inside of the camera’s view. If a player end up outside of the camera’s view he will start to loose health and eventually die. Players are able to throw other players, making it hard to stay alive.



Being our whole team this time, we knew that we had the man power to turn the graphical part of the game up a bit. On both our first Game Jam, and our second graphics wasn’t our highest priority. Fortunately we have both a great pixel art designer and a animator, allowing us to focus a lot more on the final look of the game. All graphical elements in the game is hand drawn and animated in either Photoshop or pyxel editor. In total we had over 60 sprites drawn just for the game.



If you played our last Game Jam game “DrugRun” you will realize that all the music and sounds are “lent” directly from youtube. Having to use pre-made content is a big let down for us, as our goal is to make everything from scratch. All the sound in GottaGo Fast Food was made during the game jam (which explains why the game only has background music and nothing else).

Controller Support

Doing the first stages we agreed that if we were going to make a multiplayer game, it would have to support at least 4 players. Having four players on one keyboard is close to impossible. Not only because the size of a single keyboard is way to small, but because there is a sent amount of keys a keyboard can have pressed down at a given time, giving the spamming players an advantage.

Our first though was to use multiple keyboards, but having players remember that they are not supposed to touch each others keys was definitely game breaking. We finally settled on using game controllers, but where does one get hold of 4 Xbox controllers. Simply said we didn’t get a hold of any Xbox controllers. Fortunately we are all PlayStation gamers, so we all had ps3 controllers laying around. Only one problem PS3 controllers does not support windows.

Our solution was to download 3rd party drivers trough some software called Motion-Joy and emulating the PS3 controllers to work as an Xbox controllers. The biggest downside with this solution was that every time we accidentally disconnected one of the controllers we had to manually reactive the drivers and restart Unity for it to recognize it again.

Of course the game also supports the use of a single or multiple keyboards.

What went well:

  • Getting an idea as quick as we did. Having everybody agree on a single concept only 10 minutes after the theme is released is a big relief as that was our biggest problem last time
  • Going full 2D and using pixel instead of high resolution sprites. Doing everything in 2D space removes a whole dimension of work(pun intended :D) and really allowed us to spend much more time to add extra features and add additional graphical elements.

What went bad:

  • Getting controllers to work. Having to work with PS3 controllers instead of Xbox controllers, meant that we had to use 3rd party drivers causing a lot of trouble.
  • We had a lot of features that we simply didn’t have time to implement, because we spend way to much time on not important mechanics.
  • Finding the sweet spot, where we have to realize that something isn’t going to work. Spending up to 2 hours on a feature that never made it to the final game.


GameJam: Developing for Android Devices.

InkDrop Games was created under a GameJam and after cancelling our last project,  we surely were going to attend another one.

Only three of us were able to attend this time, which meant that we were going to team up with two other people. Both are now a part of InkDrop Games and is currently working as Game Designers.

The Game Jam

All of us are attending a danish school named GameIT college, where we focus on developing video games. The school holds four yearly game jams, whereas this is one of them. Last time the competition was solely made up of beginners (including our selves), while this time around people have gained a bit more experience.

Short Facts:

Theme: Feeling Good
Time Frame: 26 hours
Winners were choosen by vote between three categories (mobile, hot-seat & children)

Tools used:

  • Unity3D – As our Game Engine
  • Photoshop & Paint – For creating sprites and textures
  • Visual Studio – For programming
  • SourceTree(git) – for easy sharing of files between team members

Getting of to a bad start.

We had a way to long discussion in the group, about what feeling good really means. We all though the theme would end up being “Christmas”, so discovering that our school has chosen a theme that interpret was a huge setback. Really thinking your idea trough is normally a great idea, but for us there had to be an end to the madness. It endeed up taking us 3 out of our total 26 hours to settle on an idea.

The Idea

The game is an endless runner, but where you would normally see your character from behind, he is actually running towards you. You play as an drug addicted bicycling kid trying to get home, while at the same time picking up drugs along the way. Picking up different drugs will both give you different abilities & boost your score, but it will also make it a lot harder not to die.



Just as last time, all textures and sprite animations where hand drawn, including the font used and the menu. Currently the graphics doesn’t look like much and there is only one obstacle you have to avoid. Going beyond the GameJam we want to redo most of the scene and add more graphical elements to the game (hint!). Some drugs will give the player visual feedback, for example if you drink pure alcohol your screen will turn blurry and start shaking. We had a lot of different ideas for how the visuals were going to change when picking up different drugs, but a deadline is a deadline so most of them were never finished.



Not much to say here, if you start up the game. You will properly realize that you know must of the sounds and music used in the game. Lacking time and a good sound designer that was what we went with during the GameJam. While you can use copyrighted music and sounds at most GameJams, you can’t really show the game of online or release it. Going into post-game jam production, we will replace all sounds and music currently in the game, so the game can later be released.

The good and the bad

 What went well:

  • The art aspect of the game (looking away from the composition of the scene and the trees) went very well, and we ended up with some nice looking props and characters.
  • Programming an endless runner was far easier than we thought.

What went bad:

  • We need to get better at sleeping, even though we mentioned it last time. We didn’t learn anything from it.
  • Bugs,bugs and more bugs. Having different drugs give you different abilities ended up causing a lot of bugs and glitches during game play. Some of which has yet to be fixed(stupid cloud…)

What about all those hints?

I’m amazed, unless  you didn’t read the whole text above and just though what hints? As you may have figured out from the title and small hints trough the text, we are planning to rebuild some parts of the game and release it on the android market, sometime after Christmas. But until then click the link below to download the buggy .apk file (if you know how to install those) or just play the game directly in your browser.


GameJam: The Start Of InkDrop Games

InkDrop Games is currently a very small group of Indie Developers with a single game currently being worked on. But that hasn’t been for very long.

During this weekend (week 37), four of us grouped to participate in a local game Jam, where we won a shared second place, out of the 22 groups who participated. And it was the outcome of it, that is now InkDrop Games. The goal of this post is to share our experience of our very first Game Jam, and to tell you about what is to come.

The Game Jam

The Game Jam is not quite a normal GameJam. All the participant were total beginners and some have never done any game development before. Because of that our theme was very broad and quite easy to follow. But everybody knows that you will properly not win, if you choose the easy way.

Some facts about the GameJam

Theme: Tell a story trough graphical elements
Time Frame: 27 hours
The winner was chosen by vote

Tools used:

  • Unity3D – As our Game Engine
  • Photoshop – For creating textures
  • Audacity – for creating sound effects
  • Visual Studio C# – for programming

The very first hours of the Game Jam.

After hearing the theme, we quickly came up with an basic idea, of what should be nearly impossible to make in the time frame of 27 hours.  Our idea was based around the game “pulse” where you have to throw a small animal to reveal the map. Even though we based the idea around the invisible map concept you won’t find many things pulse and our game has in common.

The Basic Idea

Having only 27 hours to complete a game as beginners is a narrow time frame, so we knew we had to make something simple, but still amazing. Our idea was to have the map completely white. The player then has to throw ink(color) at the map to reveal the 3D space.



The hard task of programming GamePlay

At first we wanted to use decals to spawn ink on the floor and walls, but after our programmers had used 5 hours with trial and error without going anywhere we knew that we had to find another way. Having already lost 5 hours started to think of simpler but unfortunately uglier ways to spawn the ink.

We started thinking ray-casting and got it working pretty well within 45 minutes. At that point satisfied with a working result, our programmers started working on smaller things like teleporting the player to the next level and respawning the player when he dies.

At around 3 o’clock in the morning we are no longer satisfied with the result of the Raycast method, because it looked like the ink was just spawning, rather than being thrown. Once again we are having our programmer rewriting the whole shooting script. At about half an hour later, he choose to use the OnCollisionEnter function built into Unity, to have the player throw a small sphere, and then have the sphere spawn the ink when it hits the floor and walls colliders. Once again introducing a lot of bugs (For example the sphere going trough the floor/wall, without spawning the ink. or the ink spawning on the wrong side of the floor). As it was currently 4am in the morning we choose to leave it there as the bugs where minimal and hopefully not happening to often.



Graphics needed to be simple, the game is only using 3 different colors with white and black being two of them. All the ink splatter textures where hand drawn inside of photoshop by our designer. We made 6 different ones in total, so they wouldn’t look the same when thrown in-game. Having the code randomly change between them.


This was one of the tough parts, that when finished felt quite simple. The first level in the game gives the player a fake feeling of being safe. Having to shoot ink at walls in your own tempo until you at last find the exit. But this was no quite what we wanted to do. We wanted the player to feel like they were in a hurry running from something they couldn’t see.

We ended up with using a set of white footsteps slowly following the player around. Slow enough to the player to run from it, but still fast enough to kill the player if he was to walk into a wall without noticing. Graphically speaking, the idea was to have all the white walls and the floor turn red, when the “stalker” was near, reveling his white footsteps.


Before we began we already knew, that recording our own sound effects, was not a possibility.  The rules of the Game Jam  allowed the participants to download royalty free sounds from the Internet to be used in our project. We had our designer download footstep and dripping sounds, and then edit them in audacity to fit our needs. Changing their pitch, length and fade.

Knowing the player won’t be able to see much, sounds is close to 50% of the gameplay. Listening to hear how far away the “stalker” is. Or hearing whether you died from the stalker or fell down a hole.

The last 3 hours and our worst nightmare.

Having our sounds and levels done our two designer went to sleep, leaving our programmers just about 4 hours to fix most of the nasty bugs and smoothen out gameplay. Having fixed most of the worst bugs, we were ready to compile our build and send it in just 15 minutes before the deadline. But that was not how it was going to be. Pressing the build button inside of unity, we ended up in every developers nightmare, a file corruption error, leaving us with a game that couldn’t compile.

At that point having only 10 minutes left, we nearly lost hope. We knew that the error has happened because we used Google Drive for sharing the files between us, and for some reason it corrupted some of the unity files. With around 2 minutes left, we finally found a workaround for the corrupted files. We created a blank unity project and moved all our assets, leaving behind all the corrupted once. And then compiling the game just in time for the deadline.

The good and the bad.

What went well:

  • The sound aspect of the game ended up really great
  • The AI turned out extremely well too,  and we got a lot of positive feedback.

What went bad:

  • Having a short deadline, when developing games is hard. We ran into a lot of bugs and used way more
    time on some features than we should have.
  • No sleep. When you reach the point where you haven’t slept for 24 hours, its hard to keep focus.


Continuing on from here

To this point we have got an incredible amount of positive feedback on our idea, that we have decided to take it to the next level. Currently, the four of us has grouped together to fully remake the game and release it when done. At this point our aim is to release the game before Christmas this year. The game will most likely be available DRM free, but we are hoping to be greenlighted on steam as well. During development we will continue to update this website as we progress.

We hope you will all help us finish our very first game
– The InkDrop Games Team.