About James Wood (twitter: @@jctwood)

Student at Abertay University. Making games is my Jam

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The Hit – A physical game

Posted by (twitter: @@jctwood)
Tuesday, April 29th, 2014 10:01 am

The Hit

The target is never the only objective.

A game about betrayal and heists. We used the beneath the surface theme to build on the idea of concealed objectives in a cooperative game.

Rather than create another video game we decided to make a print and play game. I looked through the rules and only the term ‘game’ is used in reference to what each participant must submit. The game does not have any source code and so I submitted it as a jam game rather than a compo entry.

The game only took around 12 hours to create and a few playtests to tweak and balance. It was incredibly fun and rewarding creating something I could play and enjoy. I often find this hard to do in regards to the usual computer game jam entries I create.

We aspired to create a game that allowed freeform roleplay in a similar way as games like Fiasco but with a slightly more tangible rollin mechanic related to the heists the players are attempting to carry out. The first game we played we set in the present day. Robbing some gold hidden in the walls of a McDonalds and a TV from a bank. This game was played with only the two of us who created the game. Having the ability to play with only two players became a focus during the creation process and it works very well.

The second game we played added another player and showed us some flaws in the balance mechanics which we tweaked and hopefully solved. The game changed quickly and having the ability to erase variables and rewrite them in pencil made it so fast to playtest unlike my usual game jam pipelines.

The main thing we need to rework is the cooperation mechanic of the game. Players naturally want to betray each other at every turn but it seems strange to be backstabbed by a group member only to pull off a heist with them the next turn. We have considered allowing players to branch off and attempt heists on their own or form alliances. Hopefully we will be able to playtest this soon and update the game.

Hopefully we get some feedback on the game eventually in order to improve it. Print and Play is something we love and it would be nice to see more created for jams.

Using puzzlescript to create Aqua Dodge

Posted by (twitter: @@jctwood)
Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 3:41 am

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 11.29.51

I have been wanting to explore Stephen Lavelle’s puzzlescript for a long time now and miniLD50 was the perfect opportunity. I decided to demake Frogger which I am very, very bad at. I used the beta realtime features which are stable in my chrome browser. The engine is very powerful and it took me around three hours to make my entry, not including level design.

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 11.28.45

The sound system is fantastic and makes every game unique. I adore the way the 5×5 tile size makes you feel like you are working in an entirely new medium. I would love to work more on the enemy AI. The shark will chase you if you share a row or column with it. I would rather it wandered and attacked when it came in range of you. I would also like to implement different sprites for movement direction. Here is where I learnt how to animate tiles: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/puzzlescript/ZPDkda3euls

Here is a link to my LD page: http://www.ludumdare.com/compo/minild-50/?action=preview&uid=20326

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