GBJam!

It’s been a long time since I’ve worked on any personal projects and even longer since developing a game independently, so at the start of October I entered GBJam, a Game Boy themed game jam. For this jam, participants had 10 days (October 1st – 10th) to a develop a game of any genre using only 4 colours at a resolution of 160×144.

I created a number of progress videos throughout development which ended up being less regular than I had originally intended, but did help me keep to some sort of schedule during development. I focused on getting the main mechanic for the game I had in mind in as fast as possible so it could be iterated upon as much as possible within the allotted time. It’s a mistake that everyone makes when they start doing game jams (myself included), working on cool art or backstory to one of the characters before anything that FEELS like a game even exists.

The final product, CRAIG’S RAD VIDEO GAME FOR COOL PEOPLE, is a game about moving super fast and shooting things. The idea being that each bullet fired will slow the player down, but any enemies shot with said bullets will increase the players speed when the next land on the ground. You can see this mechanic in action in the video below.

This was at the time I was experimenting with bullet penetration as a possible upgrade. As the video shows, this can become a very overpowered system very easily and even when stripping this mechanic down to it’s most basic point proved to be fundamentally broken.

Another idea I wanted to implement for this project was homing bullets, which now that I think about it would’ve been quite easy since I already made a homing bullet system for Type Fighter. I suppose this is what happens when things get left to the last minute.

Additionally, stills taken from gameplay fail to convey speed in a meaningful way. A sense of speed really comes from seeing the game in motion and hearing the changes in audio effects. Stretching sprites and other such effects would’ve gone a long way to completing the illusion of speed and something I might look into for future projects.

Regardless of it’s short comings, I think the game came out alright. Certainly not great by any means, but definitely not awful either. You can see a trailer for CRAIG’S RAD VIDEO GAME FOR COOL PEOPLE below.

If you’d like to try the game for yourself, download it for FREE on itch.io!

Also if you want to rate the game you can do so here.

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