Saturday, 6 September 2014

Ludum Dare 30 - Jam

Over the weekend of 22nd August to 25th August I took part in the 30th Ludum Dare Game Jam. The aim of the jam is to create a game within 72 hrs based on a theme revealed on the Ludum Dare Site. The theme this time was Connected Worlds, we had been coming up with rough outlines of ideas for the final 20 themes and this was the one we didn't want (always the case !). After some discussion we decide to go for a Romeo and Juliet based game where you were trying to defuse the hostilities between the 2 families result in the main character not killing themselves.

We had decided to use Unity 3D as our platform ( I have recently started learning it and my team mate @Arakade has previously entered the jam using it. We set off with myself doing attempting the 3D  model sourcing and Aracade writing AI using behavior trees with a view that we could switch between code and modelling type tasks as we went on. We decided to use assets from the Unity Asset Store that we already owned, gave us a good head start and meant we could get something working to play with quite quickly.

I started to looking  at character models created with MakeHuman , Autodesk Character Generator (ACG) and the Unity Multipurpose Avatar(UMA) framework. We ended up using a lead Romeo model from ACG and other models being generated via UMA. The big problem was clothes, UMA starts of with vests and jeans and the ACG models are more aligned for soldier/zombie games. So  I set off to try and play fashion designer. This ended up with me spending large amounts of time upgrading my skills in blender and Unity's animation tools and neglecting a lot of the other stuff I could probably have made more progress with. After I switched to laying out the scene using the Cartoon Town and Farm Kit from Micheal O and messing around with Shakespearean Insults I enjoyed myself more and made better progress.

We ended up submitting a game to the Jam, it was not in a state that we felt was anyway near initial concept but it would have been a shame to not show off something and watching the characters being controlled by Arakade's AI Behavior trees insulting each other is quite fun.Our starting view for the jam was that we wanted to learn new skills as well as having fun and if we came up with a completed game that was a bonus. I definitely learned a lot and enjoyed myself over the weekend, maybe next time we will finish ......

Ludum Dare Game Page

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