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K-W Month Long Game Jam - Week 1

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In Ontario the Toronto indie scene gets most of the attention with megahits like Cuphead. Though most of the attention is on the biggest city in the country smaller communities also have burgeoning development scenes of their own. If you're in the Kitchener/Waterloo & Cambridge area there's a month long game jam, called MoLoGa jam, going on for the duration of February. Anybody that's interested can participate.

Since the jam is more sedately paced I'm going to try to post weekly updates about what me and my friend are doing as a project.

What is the project?

For MoLoGa we're building a manic arena shooter in the vein of Serious Sam. The twist is that instead of dealing with hordes of enemies mixing ranged, melee and kamikaze attackers for challenge this game will pit the player against enemies that spew tons of bullets. The intention is to have the challenge be based on navigation and positioning so that you kill enemies in a way that gives the highest score.

In short, it's meant to combine scoring and movement mechanics common to bullet hell shooters with first person gunplay.

Some design details

The biggest potential pitfall in the game concept that we anticipated is the player being unfairly shot from behind. In order to mitigate this the game is going to have a few assists. The biggest one is the creation of the jumbotron. The jumbotron is a big screen showing a birds eye view of a large portion of the map. It's meant to provide a way for the player to quickly check the entire area around them without having to spin around.

The jumbotron is also a deciding factor in the visual theme of the game. Since I wanted the presence of huge TVs in highly visible locations to actually make sense I decided the game will take place in a literal arena. While I'm not going to include any explicit narrative the game will hopefully evoke some kind of fantastic sport or TV show.

The game will also have a few other assists to make it feel fairer. They are going to be more subtle. Bullets that are approaching from behind in a way that could hit the player will have an aura showing vaguely where they are. Nearby bullets will produce a noise.

What did we do last week?

MoLoGa jam kicked off with a brief presentation at the UW Games Institute (formerly known as RIM 1 for some of us :p) last Tuesday. Day 1 was dedicated entirely to hammering out the game concept and what needed to be done by each of us.

Day 2 I built a model for the arena the game takes place in. Not much to look at but it does the job. In order to save time I didn't model the full arena. Instead I made a model of the northwest corner then duplicated it in Unity to create the full arena.

Day 3 was dedicated to setting up some of the game's infrastructure and getting basic movement working.


Day 4 basic shooting controls. In theory the player has both a primary and secondary fire but only the main weapon is functional since I haven't decided whether the secondary fire will be a big laser or a rocket launcher.

Day 5 enemy spawning and killing. With this the game finally resembles a game


Day 6 I got together with my teammate and we put some work into getting the music he'd been working on sounding good. I gave enemies the ability to shoot their own bullets.


Day 7 set up some in game UI bits and got player death detection working. This was not a productive day unfortunately.

Stay tuned... next devlog will be coming, hopefully, next Tuesday/Wednesday

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