About Rakethopp

This is my personal site about interaction design in general and game design in particular.

However, it's terribly out of date! Expect a revamp very soon (as of the fall of 2014).

Jacob Michelsen

@Jickelsen on Twitter
Rocketjumpr on Tumblr
Read this stuff! :D

Entries in event (3)

Lykta at the Automat Indie Arcade this weekend

As I'm wrapping up my master thesis project, evaluating the Lykta platform for horror experiences, one important step remains; Testing the full experience with as many real players as possible.

What better place to test than at an arcade? The indie arcade Automat is taking place this very weekend in Göteborg, and it's gonna be the place to play cool home built games on home built machines and listen to live chip music. For more info, check out the Automat website.

 

Enterhake - The Gothenburg [Experimental] Game Jam

 

The weekend of the 8th of June me, Erik Svedäng and Robert Edström arranged the first of hopefully many Enterhake game jams. We had over 20 participants, many from the #indieGBG group. The Interaction design programme generously allowed us to use the whole second floor in Kuggen, so there was lots of space in a really creative environment.

The overarching theme was camera, but we also gave everyone Kinder eggs and handed out bonus points to those who managed to motivate their games using the contents of their eggs! In total 5 original and widely varied games were made, spanning from networkeded multiplayer photo games to trippy Pokémon-snap inspired experiences.

I worked together with Linus Nordgren from Hello There and Juha Kangas from Ludosity to make a mobile-augmented game which revolves around a green-sensitive mobile camera.

I did a walk-through of the jam late during the first night (and some more the next afternoon).

More pictures and videos, as well as the games themselves, can be found on the jam website.

Nordic Game Jam 2011 recap

Another post in English in case fellow jammers want to read this :) But first a qiuck update:

This post is far overdue but the application for the masters in Interaction Design is kicking my ass. The exam process in the human-computer interaction course, which is a prerequisite for Interaction Design, has turned into something utterly bizarre and I've had to spend far too much time stuck in bureaucratic processes. But that is just about over now, for better or worse.

I also got a go-ahead of our current team structure for the Swedish Game Awards entry, which means that project can finally gain some momentum again. I've also had the pleasure to welcome Shaw to the team as 2D pixel artist!

Copenhagen IT University. Games being created everywhere!

Last time I wrote I was on my way to Nordic Game Jam in Copenhagen, and it was absolutely the most fun thing I've done in this game making business so far. I got into a great team of fellow game afficiandos and together we managed to bring about a fully playable game. Not just that; we made it to the finals, meaning we were in the top 10 of the ~60 games at the event! Presenting in front of 300 people while simultaneously playing the game, avoiding the worst bugs, was an interesting experience!

I also got to Swedish indie game devs Nifflas and Cactus. Nifflas presentation on the novel techniques he uses to make his games was one of the most interesting things at the Jam.

So, how did we make our game?

From the left: Martin, Elvis, Nicolaj, Thorbjörn (top), Malthe, Jonas, David

The CornPushers team

Gameplay: Jacob, Thorbjørn, David

3D Art: Jonas, Martin, Thorbjørn

Audio: Nicolaj

Programming: Malthe, Elvis, Nicolaj

Project management: Jacob, David

Tools we used

Unity, 3DS Max, Photoshop

What I'm most proud of is that we really managed to hit the ground running. Me, Thorbjørn and David worked really well together when it came to brainstorming game concepts, and within the hour we had eight concepts around the theme of Extinction. We pitched these to the rest of the group, who in the meantime had set up their tools and gotten to know each other better. In the end we chose an idea I had originally proposed, and we hammered out the details together. Us gameplay designers ran out of energy pretty early in the night, but early next morning we had a working 2D prototype and shortly after that we had gone full throttle for the idea and soon had a working 3D prototype.

Thorbjörn pitches one of our ideas to the team

The colored Post-it notes I brought along came in handy as I tried to keep track of our progress. It actually went pretty well though I wish I would've had more experience in Unity so I chould have gotten my hands dirty and helped out more with it.

The planning board

Our design approach was iterative so we could be sure to have at least something to shove out the door if we got stuck.

The first iteration featured a rolling player character chased by small minions in a 3D-environment. The player would grow when near the minions, who would shink and die if the player was near them for too long. Rolling them over would also kill them. The player could move to a glowing aura to deposit the "love" sucked out from the minions for points, which would reset player and minion size but make them go faster.

 

The second iteration, which we started work on at Saturday afternoon, tweaked the behavior of the following minions to make the less likely to clump together, but also introduced the score bar. The collected love from the minions would gradually fill up a bar at the bottom of the screen, showing how much of the total love from all minions that had been collected. This could either be cashed in at the glowing aura, or by pressing a button used to either freeze all minions in place for a while or spawn an extra minion, depending on how full the bar was.

The score bar took longer than expected to implement and the programmers worked through the night. We didn't have time for the third iteration, which would have introduced traps and level obstacles. We hardly had time for any gameplay tweaking either, so the game as it stands now isn't too exciting or challenging. However, for a 48 hour game I think we did really well. You can download the game on the GGJ entry page. Here's a video of an earlier version in action!

We're thinking of turning it into an iPhone/Android game, which is easy with Unity. The rolling ball concept would probably work great with accelerometer steering.

Thanks to everyone in Team CornPushers for being AWESOME and the planners and volunteers at NGJ for helping to create such a great event. I'll come back next year, that's for sure!

Here's a bunch of videos from the other amazing Nordic Game Jam Games.