This previous weekend, 1000’s of individuals gathered everywhere in the world to develop video games within the span of 48 hours through the annual Global Game Jam. It’s an occasion the place folks drink lots of espresso, cry whereas debugging, and are available out on the opposite facet with bizarre, great little initiatives. Boomba Cat is one among these — a multiplayer competitors to see which Roomba reigns supreme and earns the fitting to have a cute kitty sitting on high of it. It’s obtainable for PC and will be downloaded from the Global Game Jam web site, and the builders are engaged on releasing a full model.
Four gamers can play Boomba Cat without delay, and every controls a colourful robotic in an area that floats in area. The countdown begins with a minute and 40 seconds on the clock, and the aim is to knock different robots off and replenish a white meter by avoiding harm. Whoever fills up their meter will get a reward — a cat dropping onto their Roomba from the sky with a startled yowl.
While the cat is driving round on their robotic, the participant repeatedly earns factors. And different gamers, in fact, attempt to knock them off the platform and earn the cat for themselves. Whoever has essentially the most factors wins. It’s pleasant, and I had a silly quantity of enjoyable after I performed the demo on the Los Angeles Global Game Jam web site on the University of Southern California.
Boomba Cat is an effort from 11 folks, most of whom met for the primary time on the Global Game Jam. Each 12 months, members are given a theme as a springboard for his or her video games. This 12 months’s was “transmission,” which might imply something the sport jam members need it to imply. Some of us created video games round viruses or choosing up radio indicators, as an illustration. Boomba Cat’s crew member Ben Mears says that their undertaking step by step advanced from a Marco Polo-type aggressive multiplayer sport that includes participant avatars that seemed like hockey pucks. In the preliminary concept, one participant could be blindfolded and have to seek out the opposite gamers on the map primarily based on audio cues and controller vibrations. However, they determined that the gameplay wasn’t participating sufficient.
“We additionally began to give attention to making the participant interactions with one another actually enjoyable,” stated Mears in an e-mail to GamesBeat. “Then somebody on the crew identified that the hockey puck characters seemed like these well-liked vacuum cleaner robots, including a cat to trip on the bots was the following logical step after which we had our remaining sport idea, then we truly discovered a reference GIF of two animated cats on a robotic vacuum.”
By day, Mears is the video games group supervisor at SideFX, the corporate that developed the 3D animation software program Houdini. During the sport jam, he took on the roles of 2D graphic artist, sound results engineer, and producer. Many of the parents concerned tackled varied duties, and a few folks took it upon themselves to be taught new instruments like the sport engine Unity and Houdini.
“Here’s a fast rundown of what our crew members labored on for essentially the most half: Paul did artwork and programming, Alex did music, Ken did artwork, Drake did artwork and producing, Ruben did sound results, Sara did voice performing — principally cat noises — Christopher did music, Matt did programming, Shrek did artwork, Martin did artwork, and Wyatt did programming and producing,” stated Mears. “Teamwork!”
This 12 months was Mears’s fifth Global Game Jam, although he’s participated in different occasions resembling Indie Speed Run and MolyJam earlier than. Some of the opposite crew members had participated in Ludum Dare, Nordic Game Jam, and Philly Game Jam — and for others, this was their first time. Mears says that it’s at all times difficult to develop a sport in such a brief period of time, nevertheless it’s an thrilling endeavor.
“Also, in actually the final hour of the sport jam, we bumped into a serious challenge with getting a remaining construct of our sport created, however our coders tackled the problem head-on and found out an answer simply earlier than the submission deadline — two minutes earlier than the deadline to be actual,” stated Mears. “If you take part in a sport jam you’ll be taught one thing new, assured.”
Boomba Cat received a nod on the Global Game Jam’s closing ceremony at USC, profitable the Excellence in Gameplay award alongside one other title created at that location. Based on how folks responded to the sport — and profitable accolades doesn’t harm — Mears says the crew goes to attempt to polish the prototype and launch a full model of the sport.
“After exhibiting Boomba Cat on the USC GGJ showcase and seeing how a lot enjoyable all of the gamers had, in addition to profitable an ‘Excellence in Gameplay’ award, we’re considering that we should always in all probability hold engaged on the sport a bit extra and launch it as quickly as we’re in a position to,” stated Mears. “Of course, it is a problem as a result of everybody on the crew has jobs, households, different duties, and many others. however the excellent news is that we have been in a position to end a lot of the sport through the sport jam. Now it’s only a matter of fixing bugs, including extra content material, and making minor adjustments to enhance the sport general.”
This article sources data from VentureBeat