Dr Hans’ Zany Waves – GGJ2017

This is a post from my original portfolio that I used to apply to Rare. I’ve migrated my favourite projects here since I keep my old site untouched to as an example of a successful portfolio to aspiring game programmers. 

Dr Hans’s Zany Waves on Global Game Jam

Includes game download, source code and team members’ details.

I had an absolutely brilliant weekend participating in the Global Game Jam in Guildford, and this is the end result. I’m crazy about game jams because it gives me the opportunity to work with other people’s ideas and come out with something that uses a range of diferent skills. It’s a great opportunity to learn from each other and push yourself a bit out of your comfort zone in terms of the games you’d usually make.

This year’s theme was “waves” and my team started with the idea of dropping pebbles into a pond, and although we diverged pretty far from that original inspiration the idea of an area-of-effect “weapon” stuck. Our idea was about defeating enemies not by hurting them exactly, but sending them back in time through their (scientifically dubious, but hey, creative licence right?) evolutionary stages. The weapon is charged up to send them further back in time and increase its range.

I was in charge of the programming for the game, which was all done using Unity in C#.  It was a pretty big task but I really wanted to do justice to the awesome content that the rest of my team had created (All of their details are on the Global Game Jam entry). I didn’t get all the content in unfortunately, but I was happy I got the tutorial/story level in.

My approach to programming a game in 48 hours was to try and find a balance between hardcoding hell and investing time in infrastructure. The waves of enemies on the second level, for example, are generated by calling a function that increments an “event” count which is tested by a switch case. Each event calls either the functions that take in an array of dialogue lines and calls the next event once they’ve all been shown and read, or calls functions that specify the level and number of enemies to be generated.

I’m planning to keep working on this, not only to add the rest of the dialogue lines, level counts and sound effects my team came up with, but because it was really fun to create. The big thing I take away from the jam though, is that coding for 19 hours straight is a terrible idea and getting some rest is far more efficient!

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