DU you wanna JAM? #dujam

So, last weekend, I organised a small gamejam in University, which we called DUJAM. A gamejam is like a hackathon, in that everyone works competitively to make something in the allotted time. We had 24 hours to make a video game.

We had a few people show up, and got the ball rolling at 7pm. The theme we decided on was “Retro Reimagined” which suited us all well, since most of us were first-timers at a gamejam

My team tried to make a simple playable RPG, based heavily on The Legend of Zelda – A Link To The Past, one of the most successful and defining role playing games of its time. The basic gameplay is reasonably simple; movement, interface and attack are the primary actions. This suited us well, and so, we decided to do a remake of it, or at least try to!

The technology we used was simple enough, and we had used most of it before in an ongoing side-project of ours.

We used:

  1. Lua – programming language
  2. Timelapse-for-mac – a script I made to make a screenlapse of our laptops during development
  3. Tiled – a tile based map editor
  4. stypi – an online text collaboration tool
  5. Löve – a two dimensional game engine
  6. Sublime Text 2 – our IDE / code editor
  7. BitBucket – a version control management tool
  8. SourceTree – a git tool for mac
  9. BFXR – a sound effect generator
  10. Photoshop / GIMP – Image manipulation

Let me first say that we both LOVE and HATE Lua. It’s so so easy to write in, and the syntax is so easy, that sometimes you forget (well, we forgot! ) about the quirks of the language. For example, it starts counting from 1, which sounds perfectly fine, until you remember that most other languages start from zero. Nuances avoided, it’s such a pleasure to write code in, all helped along by my now-favourite engine, Löve!

All things said and done, in a group of two we made an ok-ish attempt at a game. It turned out to be a dungeon crawler, more than an RPG, but in the 20 hours we lasted we got quite an amount done, learned heaps, and had some fun too.  Not so bad at all!

We managed to get a game menu, basic movement, multiple levels, attacking and different types of enemies working. We plan on releasing the code for one and all after we tidy it up and add a few extra features.

I did all the audio, combat mechanics, and HUD and information screens. My buddy did the tile based levels, player movement, Game Menu screen, and the initial enemy AI which I later modified a little. We both ended up helping each other out with all the rest of it, specially because my teammate needed to leave for work on saturday morning.

Here’s a video of us making it. This video only shows my laptop screen, and not my friends.

Well, that’s everything, hope you enjoyed.

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