UoP Gamejam 2016

UoP Gamejam 2015

University of Portsmouth Gamejam 2015

Every year at the beginning of June the University of Portsmouth runs a Gamejam open to not only current students but also alumni, independent developers and industry professionals. The event runs for a week; Monday - Thursday 9am-5pm, and Friday until noon when the judging takes place.

On the first day of the event three random themes are chosen using Wikipedia, stubs are rejected but it always totals at three. The themes this year were: The Hawaiian Hoary Bat, Whale|Horse (a rock/post-punk band from Chicago) and Henri Louis (Prince of Guéméné).

I worked with a single teammate [Phill] who handled the programming side of the game alongside the design. Being fans of old-school N64 platformers we would try to emulate the design of games such as Mario 64 and Banjo Kazooie in an underwater setting. This did cause a bit of a problem as platformers become a lot less engaging when you aren't jumping or platforming.

The player took the role of Captain WhaleHorse (A seahorse/Beluga whale hybrid) which was our design for the Whale|Horse theme(very loosely). The core idea of the game was to float around a large ocean map and collect coins and keys while fighting off enemies. This was going to end with the unlocking of a treasure cave guarded by ghost of Henri Louis. However over the week we whittled the idea down until the game consisted of collecting coins pearls and keys to get the best possible score before the timer ran down.

During the first day I designed and modeled Captain Whale|Horse which went through a few iterations before I felt content. Tuesday was spent rigging and animating him before putting it into Unity. By this time Phill had developed the character movement and was working on the spring camera. The final days of the week were spent making the environment assets and creating the level. Placing the collectibles caused massive frame rate issues which we figured was due to us not instancing the coin meshes. We removed the movement on the meshes and this brought us up to a usable frame-rate.

Overall the event was a great success with some really cool little games produced. Even though I felt our game could have used some fine tuning (attacks didn't work, enemies didn't animate) and we made some silly mistakes (Not instancing the coin meshes) the pair of us had a really great time developing alongside the other contestants and I look forward to returning in 2016.

Our unfinished, buggy but still playable entry; 
The adventure of Captain WhaleHorse and the quest for Henri Louis' sunken treasure

If you would like to check out some of the other entries or information on the UoP gamejam click here

Blog of Marc Cook

I've decided in order to keep motivated while working i'm going to begin blogging. On this site I will be posting WIP and finished work relating to 3d modelling and games development with occasional forays into 2d and pixel art.
I will mainly be using this Blog while my portfolio website is under construction in order to constantly put my work into a public viewing space.