Jam Game #3

Way back in November of last year saw the third Dundee Jam event being held. After doing much of the organisation of this event and thinking up an idea for a game to write I was pretty miffed to find out that I couldn’t actually make it along on the day – it was decided that house hunting for my imminent move back to England was actually just a little bit more important. Anyway, I vowed that I would soon find a free day where I could work on my own Jam game. This finally happened towards the end of Decemeber but, due to various other distractions and drains on my time, I didn’t manage to finish writing the damn thing in that day! I then had to take what spare hours I could find over the next week or two and use them to finish it off. The result is “Hello Ian”, a Robotron style, level-based arena shooter.


In total I would say that it took me around three days to write this game – way over the one day limit of the Jam. I don’t care! Also, I don’t think the resulting game is that much fun. Again, I don’t care! :D

So why did it take too long and why is the result not what I had hoped for? Well, firstly I think the scope of the project was too big. The game itself was pretty much finished within a day but I had no time left to add the audio, create the levels, add the game wrapper or, more importantly, tweak the gameplay. All of these things make a big difference to the final game but I didn’t allow enough time for them. I think I would have done much better to have had fewer levels and enemies that were actually interesting and fun (and that’s were the tweaking should have come in) and to have not bothered with things like a high score table at all!

Still, I’m glad I finished the game, and maybe someone will find it fun or learn something from the soure code. I’ve learned a few things myself during its creation and it has definitely shaped the way I will go about making my next Jam game.

You can download the “Hello Ian” game here, and the C++ source code (which builds in Visual Studio Express) is available here

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