This year I entered the Ludam Dare Jam with a team for the first time, the fabulous duo from GeekWuv, i.e. game designer/artist Rosie and screen writer Sean. From the feedback of Potbelly Parasite, and we didn’t do too badly overall #738 overall out of over 2500 entries aint bad, right?
In the week before the jam, not knowing what the theme would be, we knew it would be story driven and funny. We had a writer on board and we all have the same sense of humor so it made sense. I made and uploaded a very simple warm up game (Lazer Sharks 2015) in the days leading into the jam. This was a good exercise as it gave me confidence and refreshed all of the things needed to be done to create and upload a game from start to finish.
We all had the time off to participate in the jam from midday Saturday until we had to go back to our days jobs on a Monday. So though the jam ran for 78 hours, we had to limit ourselves to 48 hrs. With this in mind, we were determined to keep the scope of the game small enough to complete within the weekend, while working reasonable hours (approx. 8 – 10 hrs each per day). We also decided we would segregate our tasks and roles so that we could each focus on our own parts, with regular meetings to integrate each others work and discuss what needed to be done next.
I took care of programming and working in Unity. Rosie’s role was creating game art, and Sean’s role was to write the script and story. The game design itself was performed by all of us, as we discussed what could be reasonably be done in the small amount of time.
Saturday rolled around and the two themes were announced: “Growing” and “Two Button Controls”. We decided early that we would spend the first few hours brainstorming ideas, and at the end of it have enough of the game ideas formulated that we can jump into our respective tasks. After a few hours we had about five semi-complete game ideas. The ones that most interested us we then roughly combined the best elements of together and reworked into our final idea, being:
You play as a growing parasite within the body of a very dislikeable person, who you can hear everything he says. With a simple arcade like shooting/collecting game, food is attracted to you with right click, left click shoots enemies (two button controls, check!) food makes you grow larger, antibiotics make you shrink.
Somehow, it all went to plan, and though the game could have done with a lot of polish, it was complete, worked, and it even had our crazy voice acting!