Last semester, I had the opportunity to take a brand new special topics class here at UAT. The class was, as the title suggests, about designing and building a new game every single week. It was an amazing experience, and I wanted to talk a little bit about the class and my experience in this rapid prototyping class as well as the lessons I learned.
Game development can be expensive. Expensive software, licensing fees, publishing costs, etc. will eat up your money. So, to save as much money as you can, here’s some great free software that can be useful to game developers!
Just the other weekend, I hopped into my 7th UAT hosted Game Jam with a group of friends and for 48 hours straight, we developed a game from scratch. The theme of this jam was Halloween, so the games we made were all in some way related to our favorite spooky holiday! A lot of very unique games were created during this jam, so instead of just talking about mine, I wanted to dive into a few of the other teams’ individual experiences and ask them how the jam went for them.
Designing video games can be a difficult challenge. You may need to plan out exactly what the player will do while figuring out how to challenge them and keep them interested. You’ll need to design puzzles, enemies or other obstacles to keep the game fresh. Some designers spend hours just ensuring that the enemies will behave in the expected way to provide a consistent player experience. All of this time and effort results in a game where every aspect feels very intentionally planned out and meticulously designed, which can be a very good thing. But what if you could just let your game design itself? Rather than design every single thing in your game, let the systems take over and play themselves, making way for emergent gameplay.
Good puzzle games are difficult to come by. Having the right balance of challenging puzzles, while not being too frustrating, is a difficult thing to achieve. Zachtronics, however, have really nailed this formula. They’ve created some of the most intriguing, creative, and most importantly FUN puzzle games of the past few years. Games like Opus Magnum and SpaceChem have been received with overwhelmingly positive reviews and are thought of as some of the best puzzle games out there today.
We recently knocked out our first game jam of the new school year, the annual Founder’s Game Jam. I spent a few days preparing and hyping up other students, but I wasn't the only student ambassador excited to build a new video game in 48 hours. Our new student ambassador Jordan Brown wanted to work together with me to create something during this jam. He also helped me write this blog.