Recently I competed in the Post-apocalyptic GMC Jam #1, the first GMC Jam since YoYo Games upgraded their GameMaker Community. My entry was called Lonely Drone, you can download the GMC Jam version here, or play the updated Chequered Ink version here.
This jam was actually crazy busy, I reckon it’s the most time I’ve ever spent on jam entry in my life (and I’ve entered about 16 of them…) You can see my devlog in the original post, but I thought I’d cross-post it here along with my post-jam evaluation at the bottom of the page. Enjoy!
Friday, 13:05 BST
00:05 Jam Time, 00:05 Spent Working
Alright, let’s do this!
Just came up with a name and very vague concept for my game and will now begin proper work immediately.
Also I just had moldy bread for lunch cos I’m hard as nails. GO TIME.
Friday, 19:15 BST
06:15 Jam Time, 05:15 Spent Working
There is going to be a big textual element in my game, a kind of “back story”. I’ve spent most of my time writing that so far, but I also have quite a few sprites done. Gonna work for a couple more hours today on some sprites and backgrounds and then get to work on the actual engine some point tomorrow hopefully.
Friday, 20:35 BST
07:35 Jam Time, 06:35 Spent Working
Been working on a lot of graphics for the game the last hour or so. This screenshot of my graphics folder for the project shows what I’ve been getting up to so far! The drone graphics, a bunch of the item graphics and menu icons are done as well as some of the general in-game hud (buttons, health bar and cursor).
It’s now time for BEER and CHILL, lest my eyeballs pop out of their sockets (like in the bottom left of MenuItems.png WAHEY).
Saturday 11:45 BST
22:45 Jam Time, 09:20 Spent Working
Finally started my actual project in GameMaker: Studio, I always make a bunch of graphics and plans first! (is that weird?)
A lot of the graphics for the main character, menus and pickups are finished, so mostly I now need to focus on scenery, enemies etc. graphics-wise.
Code-wise I’ve made a quick & simple textbox system as shown in this screenie, and the player character is able to fly around and stuff although it can’t interact with anything yet.
Hoping to get another hour of work in before I go out to see relatives, but after that I’ll be right back in the game.
Saturday 20:05 BST
31:05 Jam Time, 10:50 Spent Working
I popped out for a few hours earlier and have just arrived back and put in a 90 minute crunch of coding. I have most of the menus done for the game. This includes scrap paper, command logs and inventory. The game is very much about collecting things.
Command logs tell you the story of the game and are necessary to progress some parts of the level, inventory includes various tools and trinkets to help you through the game. Scrap Paper is a complete bonus. Each piece of scrap paper contains a reference to popular culture, so you should see how many you can recognise! (I might even offer a prize for the first person to guess them all).
Saturday 22:05 BST
33:05 Jam Time, 12:50 Spent Working
Since last we spoke I have returned to creating graphics. The core engine of the game is done, but to make it more interesting I’m going to need a lot more obstacles and objects to interact with as well as background scenery so that exploring the game doesn’t get too dull!
Once I’ve completed the graphics (hopefully by mid-afternoon tomorrow) I will work entirely on level design until I have the game basically complete. Then, and only then, will I add some sound to it. A lot of people like audio and I always spend a lot of time on it during the jam. But it often soaks up so much time I miss out on gameplay elements! I’m going to try to avoid that mistake this time around.
Sunday 12:35 BST
47:35 Jam Time, 15:00 Spent Working
I’ve completed the graphics for all interactive objects in the game, but I still need background graphics and scenery to make it a little more interesting. I should be finished with that by mid-afternoon as estimated yesterday! Good times.
After that comes the hard part. Sticking everything together in the project and creating an actual playable landscape. I’m trying damn hard this time around, let’s hope it pays off and I get a good game out of it! 🙂
Sunday 17:05 BST
52:05 Jam Time, 18:05 Spent Working
All of my graphics for the game are completely finished and loaded into the project (ended up with a total of 97 sprites, way over the top for a jam! took me ages…)
I now have the saving/loading system completely working, a basic menu implemented, and a room-to-room door system working. I’ve also made a *very* basic opening cutscene which basically just consists of the drone waking up. Sometimes I go overboard with these but this time I’m avoiding that trap to make sure the gameplay is up to scratch!
Now I have to create the actual levels! HOO BOY. I figure I’ll continue for 3-4 hours tonight and around 3 hours tomorrow morning. Hopefully that’s long enough to get everything done and test it!
Sunday 22:25 BST
57:25 Jam Time, 22:55 Spent Working
Lots of stuff done. All rooms for the game have now been created and populated with the layout of the level, they just need the enemies and collectibles properly arranged inside them. Screenshot of a completed room here. I’m done for today, my eyes are sore from concentrating and my arse is sore from sitting. I’ll work on the game from 9am until the deadline at 1pm BST tomorrow. Ultimately I have 4 hours’ work left to do this thing! I think I can make it… time will tell.
For now I’m off to bed, night folks!
Monday 12:25 BST
71:25 Jam Time, 27:05 Spent Working
Finished with 35 minutes to spare!! I think this is the closest I have ever been to missing the deadline in the GMC Jam… the download is available here. If there’s anything wrong with it lemme know, everything should be grand I’ve tested & tested!
Unfortunately I couldn’t add sound (didn’t have time!) so you’ll have to imagine the sound effects. I find myself making my own with my mouth as I play (brrrrr…. click click PEW PEW).
There’s also a bunch of enemies & interactive scenery I wanted to add, and of course I wish the game were longer, but I’m still hugely proud of what I’ve achieved over the last 3 days! Hope you guys enjoy 🙂
What went well – The game turned out pretty good, I managed to get all the collectibles in and it takes a good 10 minutes to complete without ever getting boring (if I do say so myself). It has exactly the post-apocalyptic feel I wanted and I like the storyline.
What went wrong – The game was supposed to contain so much more. Several of the items available are little more than trinkets at this point. The jammer was supposed to jam sentry turrets (which don’t exist currently), the prototype was meant to be a weapon that allowed you to shoot enemies, and the inkwell was meant to reveal a kind of Chequered Ink easter egg. And above all I wish I had time to add sound (the game now does have sound on itchio, but I wish the jam entry did too).
Overall I put a lot of effort in this time around, and I really hope people enjoy the game.