I initially made this for the first Wizard Jam, a game jam on the Idle Thumbs forums, and used it as a way of learning the basics of UE4 and Blender modelling. The game I submitted for the jam was completely unfinished, though, and didn't have much in the way of gameplay! Other notable absences were sound effects or music of any kind, a title screen, and functionality for about half of the buttons. I revisited the game for EGX Rezzed 2016, where I exhibited it in the Leftfield Collection, and basically spent a month fleshing it out. Watching people play the game gave me lots of useful feedback and ideas, and I did plan on getting the game ready for Steam Greenlight, but eventually I decided that it would require just too much work, and that I'd prefer to funnel that effort into a new project.
My second Wizard Jam game, made for Wizard Jam 2016, I was much more happy with the progress I made on this. I was able to work on it full-time, so that helped, and I got help from 5 of 6 for the music. The game is a remake of a C64 Pac-Man knock-off of the same name; I initially had plans to make an isometric adventure game using the character, but scaled back to just a Pac-Man clone when I realised there was no way I'd have time for that!
Made for Wizard Jam 4, Business Guys on Planes was an (unsuccessful) attempt to make something smaller-scale. The flight mechanics are fairly stripped-down, but the game turned into a big open-world map to explore, which ended up being time-consuming to make. I did also have fun with the physics (it was the first time I’d managed to get UE4’s temperamental ragdoll physics to work with models exported from Blender), and the picture-in-picture camera.
Made for Wizard Jam 5, “Veggie” Panino and the Nightmare Puzzler started with the idea of slotting vegetables together to make a panini, after which the titular chef would sweep your handiwork onto the floor. The original intention was to work horror elements into the game, with stranger and stranger things happening as you progressed. The vegetable-placement mechanics ended up taking a long time to get working, however, so the game ended up being more of a traditional puzzle game.
Tactical Gamer Chair was my entry into Wizard Jam 8, and was again quite heavily physics-focused. The initial plan was to have the chairs slide down the hill entirely using physics, but it quickly became clear that this was unfeasible, so I wrote my own movement code. Out of all of my Jam games, this feels like the one I could do the most with, given some proper time and attention.
Along with a friend, I participated in Ludum Dare 40, which had the theme ‘The more you have, the worse it is’. I took on the art and music responsibilities, and the 3-day time constraints resulted in the visual style; without the time to rig and animate characters, the decision was made to have them look like toys that bobbed about, which was effective when combined with the narrow depth of field.
Joined by a third team member, Triassic Park was our entry into Ludum Dare 41, which had the theme ‘Combine 2 Incompatible Genres’. The game was a combination of Stealth and Theme-park management, and saw you tending to dinosaur enclosures, without being seen by them. As before, I took on art responsibilities.
During 2015 and 2016, I was one half of TriCat Games, which was a full-time indie project. Check out our games page to see what we made!