Download the game here

During the weekend of January 28-30, I participated in a game jam. For those not aware, a game jam is an event held in which a theme is revealed to its participants, who are then challenged to make a video game (or, in the case of this game jam, they had the option to make a board game) centered around that theme in a set amount of time–in this jam’s case, Friday through Sunday at 5 PM pacific. This year’s theme was duality–the idea of mutual opposites.

One participant for my game jam’s site (we had to join a site, basically an organization, to participate. I joined my alma mater’s) proposed the idea of a game where you, taking the role of the villian of a story having conquered the hero and taking a kingdom for your own, must make choices about how to lead the kingdom. Will you continue down the path of evil, or make decisions which have a more positive impact on the game world?

Together with two others who liked that participant’s idea, we set out to decide the primary game loop and UI. Ultimately, we settled on a visual novel, mainly for simplicity. Game dialogue and players choices were implemented with serializable C# objects to make it easy for our narrative designer to implement her work. Some bugs were caught and squished just before the submission date, which included: randomized question prompts running out and causing the game to completely break; the in-game menu causing dialogue to be rapidly skipped; and dialogue advancing when clicking the in-game menu button. Some of these problems could be better solved with a proper gamestate manager, but given our very limited development time and how new we were to game programming, just the fact that we completed this project from the ground-up is quite the accomplishment.

Overall, the project was a valuable lesson in using Unity’s UI system, as well as its scripting API and the more advanced features available to programmers. It reignited a passion in me to work on my own games again, because making things is fun and rewarding especially when there’s a big challenge involved. I was once again able to collaborate with people doing what I do best, flexing my creative muscle and putting my design and programming skills to use. We were able to put together a working minimum viable product, and the team celebrated with a well-earned rest.