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The Village Post-Mortem

Posted by
Wednesday, December 16th, 2015 11:03 pm

Hi all. My name’s Amanda; me and my partner in crime, Jeff, made a game called The Village for this game jam. This was our second Ludum Dare and my third game jam (fourth for Jeff). We wanted to do a simple project because it was a busy week–finals and we were wrapping up another project.

Going ham in The Village.

Going ham in The Village.

We always try to learn something new for each game jam–even if it’s something tiny–so each of us went a little bit out of our comfort zone on this project, and we’re both happy with the results. Jeff did all of the art and modelling. I wrote some of the dialogue. I also had to work a lot faster than I usually do because my co-programmer was wearing his art hat. Jeff, who is normally a programmer/designer, does not do art. But we decided to keep the team to just us two, so naturally one of us had to step up. Using Blender and Photoshop, Jeff made all the models (available for free use on sketchfab) and the tiles for the ground, which we decided to keep simple and textureless, to avoid spending extra time on something that needed to be completely learned.

 

While Jeff did his art, I worked on the AI for the game. They’re all run by the same, super pared-down finite state machine with minor tweaks for each character. I made a citizen base class with wandering, idle, and “attracted” behaviors for the different elements (food, fire, and wealth), and customized derived classes to add behaviors like fleeing from hazards. Given more time, I think I’d like to speed most of them up a little bit and increase the priest’s sight range. I ran into a problem with the teacher where she could get stuck on the trail of torches if they were lit in the wrong order; we fixed this by making them flicker out so the player could relight them.

 

In the final stretch, we buckled down and worked and held our bladders and went without dinner (the best portion of every Game Jam). We barely got everything in and working as the time ended. We made our build and published, looking at the clock as it turned to the last second to submit –  I think I might have blacked out for a second at 8:58 when I realized I didn’t have a screenshot. Then came a lot of relief and satisfaction at all the hard work we had put in and revelry in all that we had learned and how much we had stepped out of our comfort zones (actually the best part of every Game Jam).  

That’s pretty much it! We had fun going ham and we learned a lot. If you’re interested in learning more or you’d like to check out some of our other projects, follow me (@ada_astar) or Jeff (@jeffdevsitall) on Twitter.

  • Amanda Fisher

Please play & rate The Village!

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