Over a two day period (9th to 10th June), I participated in the University of Gloucestershire’s Game Jam for the second year in a row. This time around I was part of a significantly larger team, with a total of seven individuals working on the project rather than three.
The theme for the game jam was elements (fire, air, water, and earth). As a team, we decided on the concept for LMNT; the player takes on the role of a wizard tasked by a king to prevent wave after wave of skeletons from crashing his party. However, the wizard has very obviously been enjoying the festivities, and can no longer cast the necessary spells through conventional means. As a result of this, he now drinks potions, and then throws up the contents to keep the undead at bay.
My role within the team was that of animator. I produced a variety of animations for both the wizard and the skeletons that were suitable for use in Unity. As requested, I created idle and sidestepping animations for the wizard using the standard biped rig in 3ds Max. This was in order to produce smoother animations in conjunction with Unity’s blend tree.
I feel that I have gained a lot of experience from this games jam. For example, I had previously believed that it’d take me hours to produce a simple, working animation, but now have proof that I can produce passable ones in little more than an hour or so. In addition to this, I also learnt quite a bit about how such animations are implemented into the game engine from working beside the project’s programmers.
As this was a game jam, the animations are a lot more rough and ready than I’d prefer. For this reason, I have chosen to include a video reel of them on my blog rather than my main portfolio.
In future game jams, it may be a wise decision to work in a smaller team. Due to the significant number of individuals involved, there was a tendency to widen the scope of the project to the point where it was simply too ambitious for the time available. In addition to this, there tended to be a lot of down time for particular individuals in more specalised roles. These are definitely lessons to consider.
All in all, the games jam was a significant success, as our team achieved second place.