What is a Global Game Jam? This is what I asked myself when I was introduced to the concept during a video Mm made announcing that they were participating and they implored the community to do the same. With a little research I came across the GGJ website and some previous videos Mm made about earlier game jams. I was all in after I found out that GGJ was in essence the same idea as a community jam( which Dreams updates every week to challenge the community). A day after discovering what GGJ was they released the topic of the jam, “what home means to you”.
This topic initially struck me as boring and subjective and I was going to give up before I even started making anything. Home is a very sore subject for me and without getting to personal I left my home with kind of a messy exit. In a moment of cathartic reflection my stuffed animal came to mind, which I left behind at my childhood home.
I will say I did not have a teddy bear growing up I had a stuffed monkey( joejoe) but in the spirit of the jam I made the decision to make everything as simple as I could, because the jam had a deadline of a little more than 24 hours. With this in mind I spent the next couple hours creating simple assets that could fill my level.
With the knowledge I brought from Dungys Duty I knew I needed interesting gameplay so my level didn’t feel flat. I set out to try something new for me and make a platformer level. I learned from watching a video from a GDC lecture about platformers, the video essentially said a platformer needs an inherent sense of danger for the character and player to reach a goal with a sense of purpose and achievement. This was not the type of game I wanted make nor did I have the time to do it right. So I scraped the idea and a feeling of doom flowed over me, I wasn’t going to make a good game. Nevertheless I continued creating and had the idea of putting a room-ba vacuum in my level because why not. Without knowing it I was actively creating some gameplay for my character, a goal to strive for. The next idea I had was to make some dust bunnies for the vacuum to clean up. Very simple ideas like these shaped a silhouette of gameplay I had not intended.
From this point on I knew I was kind of in the clear and I could just focus on cleaning up some rough edges. I had a great time lighting the level and finding an ominous soundtrack that really set the tone of my game.
I don’t know the word to express how special this game is to me, not for the fact that I think it looks cool and the gameplay was kind of unique (for me) but for the fact of how meditative the creative process felt. A very cathartic experience!! I thank Mm for turning me onto the GGJ and creating the tools for me and the community to create some amazing creations. My next post will be about my next level I made in Dreams, The Overlook Maze. Comments and feedback is appreciated, thanks.