7 Games in 7 Days in 30 Games in 30 Days
We’ve just completed the 30 Games in 30 Days Challenge with Gamelogic’s Grids in Gamemaker Studio!
Grids is a superb plugin system for game devs that lets you very easily and quickly create things that make use of, well, grids. Gamelogic had started with a Unity version of Grids, with which they first ran a 30 Games in 30 Days Challenge to show how easy it was to use, and in the previous month, they ran the challenge with their new implementation of Grids for Gamemaker: Studio.
Twoplus Games were approached to make some of those games, which we were very excited to do. We took on 7 games in 7 days, for a nice, round week of solid prototyping jamming. It was super fun! The App Factory was also involved and made some great stuff.
The best of the batch
The ultimate goal of any game jam is to explore ideas quickly and quickly find out what works or doesn’t work. Quickly Did I mention quickly? It is specifically with this in mind that we’ve made our seven games in Grids Gamemaker. And here they are – in order from our most to least favourite! (Because we are critical of our own work :P)
Tetrifender (tentatively re-titled Krigsskibe)
Tetrominos are fascinating. Mathematically, one block is the same as another. But join them up and you’re inevitably left with gaps. Tetromino games are always about packing the most into the smallest space, which is kind of what Krigsskibe is about – but with a twist.
Enemy ships are invading, and your defences are your blocks. Create a square of 2×2 blocks and you get a turret that fires back. But the turrets also take one hit to dismantle as opposed to the four hits the blocks could have defended your base with.
It’s a game of juggling economy, positioning and reaction. Really a lot of fun! Definitely one we want to take further.
Pixel Perfect (tentatively re-titled Make This)
Another exploration of the world of Tetrominos, Make This is as simple as it is devious. Place tetrominos in the grid to make the target shape, which will be automatically removed once it is formed. The challenge comes in making the best use of the “garbage” left behind each time, as space gets tighter and tighter, and you inevitably run out of space to place your tetrominos. Relaxing, thoughtful, a bit zen, and a bit creative. I enjoyed this one
For those who’re geek enough to recognise Conway’s Game of Life, Convader is a game that tries to use the famous mathematic life-simulation (click on that link for a full explanation of it) in a game. It’s really basic at the moment, but in future I do plan to take the concept much, much further. For now, it’s a fun little toy.
Add down is like a crossword puzzle, but with numbers. And addition. Dragging a number to a neighbouring block adds the values, and drops the 1 if it goes to two places. (For example 7 + 6 = 13, which would be 3). Your goal is to make as many numbers as you can before you can’t make anymore!
Hex Raid is a visual experiment – using hex tiles to simulate 3D space, you play the role of an intrepid magical raider of this shapeshifting tomb, and must collect as many coins as you can before the time runs out. The time is extended by each coin you collect, so go go go! However you can only move up one step, so whenever you feel stuck, you can use the power of the mystical coin to shift the land beneath your feet! Whoa!
Cave Lander is an experiment in procedural level generation, and a take on the classic Lander formula. Fly around the cave to reach your destination before your fuel runs out… Remember that gravity hurts, and to refuel before you run out!
Hexagon Gravity. An experiment in gravity in a grid… Shift the gravity in one of the six hex directions, watch them hexes fall into place, and make matches when anything falls in a row of 3 or more!
Now for an impromptu lesson in game design – This game suffers from what’s known as lack of agency – the player has one of six choices to make (five if you don’t count the direction you’re already going in), and not one of those choices are really predictable of success. It’s next to impossible to tell which hexes will land where after a shift, so… it’s not a lot of fun.
But it only took a day, and that’s the point of prototyping! Only in testing can one quickly find out what works and doesn’t work with an idea. In this case, the shifting hexes were pretty to look at and interact with, but the condition of play less so. We’ve learned this in a day, and that’s what counts most!
And there you have it – our seven games within the bigger project of Game Logic’s 30 Games in 30 Days Challenge. A great big congratulations to everyone involved, Gamelogic for the call to arms, The App Factory for also making some damn fine games, Liam Twose for the #30DayDev concept!