Mathieu Morenas

Lead Artist / Environment artist

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Global Game Jam 2017

GGJ2017_Title

It’s been a while since the global game Jam 2017. But anyway it’s never too late to share.

Global game what?

That was an ordinary day at Black Shamrock Studio, when suddenly one of our tech artist asked out loud “who want to participate to the next global game jam?”. That was a actual good idea, but of course I didn’t had any laptop… And that’s the first good thing with game jams, the solidarity. Mobile gamers, always have a newest laptop, and the old one to lend you for the week end.

So we went, after work on Friday, to the Dublin’s Microsoft HQ, where we’ll all gonna spent the all weekend with junk food, and a comfy carpet floor to sleep. After we discover this year’s theme. “Waives”.

The dream team(s)

GGJ2017_01We quickly found our ideas that split us in 3 groups. A group of one, because he had a quick path idea that he wanted to do alone (fair enough he didn’t needed any help has he already had the idea of how do this!), too groups of two, a graphic artist and a programmer, and we shared our bi-classed game /sound designer.

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Lucas (Left) & Mael

I worked with Maël Gonzalez (http://mael-gonzalez.com/) and Lucas Maupin (http://lucasmaupin.com/). we where on the same waive length (fun!!), we wasn’t here to do a serious game, but to have the best fun possible by creating the most stupid game. We found the idea of shooting on the ground tiles to create waves (the floor move like when you drop a big boulder in the water) that pulse the enemies to traps and killed them gorily, in a fast paced fps like the 2016 Doom, was stupid enough. But on top of that, adding a stupid theme was the little plus that we needed to be at the top of our motivation. So what else than killing hippies who wants to hug you!!

The Engine choice…

…was not very hard as we are working with Unreal engine 4 at work. This fortunate choice, gave us the possibility of having one of the most beautiful game of Dublin. But it could have been very easy to loose your time in asset and shader creation with this Engine. Let me explain my choices to create this world not very original but at least efficient.

Recipe for an efficient jam

  • My first guide was readability. If we play a fast paced game where you have to manage hundred of opponent that try to kills you, we would need a very readable game. So no over charged textures, which is also good because it takes less time to create such materials.
  • The second guide wasn’t a choice . I only had access to a laptop to create the assets lately on Saturday. But I, off course, brought my drawing stuff. So I’ve made few sketches to visualize and sort my ideas. It gives me the possibility to draw every asset thatneeded to create a modular kit for the level design. Then I’ve drawn the level design to create something relevant with the asset I was about to create. Thanks to this, when the laptop finally arrived, I precisely new what I had to do (even if the laptop was shutting down because of overheating :D). I was way more efficient with a clear list of asset and all those draw, that I would have been, if I had access to a computer earlier. It reminds me how important planning things is!!
  • The third one was, “of course”, no epic model. I didn’t wanted to spend hours, sculpting, retopologize, unwarp Uv’s, or create specific textures set per object. So, Med poly topology in Maya + Automatic or simplistic Uv’s + multy-material object was for me the obvious choice. I only used tillable textures set from internet that I’ve tweaked. For the “Hippies”, We choose to use the free Mixamo unreal model zombie, and just tweak the color map to look alike a Hippie. It’s a game jam! We only have 2 days to create something. Don’t hesitate to use free models from internet or you’ll spend your time to reinvent the wheel when it’s clearly not the moment.
  • The last but not… Color guided level design. Why the environment was quite simplistic and  monochromatic? To create readability through colored light guide for the level design. When it’s red that’s means that you have lethal traps in which you can project the hippies. when you have strong blue, that mean that you can navigate to the upper floors. The hippies themselves are slightly self illuminated to spot their colorful clothes from far. Find what is most important in your game, the pillar, put a post it on your screen, and find every solutions to make it works.
  • The bonus. I tried to make the game good looking despite the cheap 3D. A little bit of post FX to create the sensation of a pretty game, plus a cool blood effect spawned every time a trap catch a hippie. That was the only cool stuff humanly possible to do in this small amount of time. Keep it for the last minute and don’t spend a minute on it before your game is finished.

The result

That was great fun! The result is exactly what we had in mind even though, we had way more stupid feature spare. But that’s the rules. You can download this monument of stupidity here

Thanks for reading. Hope it might helps you during your next game jam. And never forget, game jam are here to have fun. So enjoy!

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Don't Hug Me Title Screen - Welcome :D