From March 8th-10th, NASA hosted a nationwide 48-hour game jam! This was really cool of them to do. I’m extremely happy to see such a “high-profile” group publicly respecting and encouraging games.
The theme for the jam, unsurprisingly, was “space”. There were a few optional design restrictions presented to us, but I think we ignored most, if not all of them.
What we made is a sort of space exploration game with elements of a bullet hell thrown in. You can download it here: No Other Home (Download)
The premise is that an alien race has invaded your solar system, and overtaken your home planet. In order to reclaim your home, you must go to each neighboring planet and eliminate the aliens. After you have cleared each planet, their mothership will appear, and you can board it to fight their “supreme ruler” (the boss).
The whole solar system deal was programmed by Jake, and I think it’s beautiful. We restricted it to generate only 5 planets, but each one has a random size, random color, and is a random distance from the previous planet. Within each planet is an entire little world that is also randomly generated.
Here’s most of what I did in this game:
- Almost all art
- Gathered most sound effects
- Wrote/Recorded all music (No Other Home Soundtrack)
- Some programming for the boss
- HUD programming
- Player input/movement programming
As cool as this game jam was, there was a rather uninspiring “aura” where we took part in it. Not a lot of people showed up for the event, and lots of people left in the middle of it or just stopped even trying to make a game. We got rather exhausted, and our motivation diminished rather quickly. I don’t think this game we made is bad, but I feel like the lack of inspiration shows.
It’s probably safe to say that I won’t be participating in another 48-hour game jam for several months. I’ve gotten a little burnt out, and there’s only so much you can do in that short amount of time. Plus, I want to focus on more important games for a while.