ITU Copenhagen Nordic Game Jam Videogames

Are you following us for #NGJ12 yet?

Alright people! The real deal is starting now! Main keynote of the #NGJ12 starts now!

In case you hadn’t noticed yet, the Nordic Game Jam 2012 has just started!

Among a small group of people we’re tweeting about every single thing that is going on over here at the IT University of Copenhagen, like the awesome indie games being showcased by some big indie names and Manveer Heir, Senior Designer of Mass Effect 3, giving the intro keynote for the game jam, which is part of the international Global Game Jam 2012.

So, what are you waiting for? Follow everything that is going on here by searching for the Twitter hashtag #NGJ12 and listen to everything the following people are saying:

And, of course, me, Anchel Labena (@Anchelspain)

ITU Copenhagen Nordic Game Jam Videogames

Nordic Game Jam 2012 is coming…

Nordic Game Jam 2012 poster

Not much else to say except that I’m already all pumped up for this event! Also I will be hosting a few friends from previous game jams at my place during both the Nordic Game Jam and the Spilbar event taking place one day before.

Oh, and did I mention that Manveer Heir, senior designer at Bioware (and currently working on Mass Effect 3) will be the guest keynote speaker for this year’s Nordic Game Jam?

Expect me to be tweeting (as much as possible given the big time constraints I will have that weekend) everything going on during those exciting days!

ITU Copenhagen Nordic Game Jam Videogames

Global Game Jam 2012 – The fun begins soon!


Ladies and gentlemen: it’s ON!

From January 27th and until the 29th game designers, programmers, artists and much more everywhere around the world will participate in the Global Game Jam 2012, a fun, worldwide event in which the objective is to create videogames in just 48 hours. There’s also a non-digital games track available for those who prefer to stay away from computers.

Like last year I will be taking part of the Nordic Game Jam, which is the local event taking place at the IT University of Copenhagen at the same time as all the other participating game jam sites. That doesn’t mean in any way that only people from Denmark will be around: as a matter of fact I’m already meeting a friend from last year, Olli Harjola from Finland one day before the game jam starts.

Again I will try to post here and tweet through my @anchelspain account everything that is going on at the Nordic Game Jam (or at least as much as it’s possible with all the craziness that will be going on during that 48 hour period).

Meanwhile I’ll leave you with this really cool video showing what the Global Game Jam is about!

ITU Copenhagen UX & Prototyping Videogames

Future development of Adventure Island


Alright, so I have a game, or at least a prototype of it. How can I improve it?

Because if I had the time, I would definitely work out a few quirk things that ended up unfinished.

First of all, character animation.

Because I actually made different sprites for the main character running around, at least in one direction, but I didn’t have the time to look into how to implement this in an 8 axis movement. It’s one minor thing that can make a strong difference between a sketchy prototype and a polished build.

But that’s purely aesthetics without much effect on the gameplay.

On the other hand the island, the gameworld itself, could do with a lot more detail and greatly improve the final effect. After all this is a game about exploration, and what good is exploring if there isn’t anything interesting to visit?

Stine likes games that show a lot of different areas full of mysteries, with old ruins, swamps, dangerous seas and more. For my prototype I had to put the limit at some point and I could never focus on making any area strong in characterization. I also couldn’t give my gameworld a nice, consistent story. It all ended up quite rushed in that aspect to tell the truth.

Then I would love to make the quests more interesting. I mean, right now as it is the game is full of fetch quests: go here, take this, find this guy, blow this cave, open that chest… A little bit more depth would have been very desirable. And that means lines upon lines of code, of course. It wouldn’t be so hard now that I have a grasp on the basics of scripting but it’s not something that I am willing to jump on right now.

And of course we have combat. Somehow I always wanted some sort of simple, old 2D Zelda styled combat in the game, even if to provide some extra difficulty in completing the quests. Again, this is not a core element of the game, but I really think it could evolve the gameplay a lot more. Not very complex combat sequences, but just basic sword fighting. The idea of using spells against enemies is also there, but that’s more of a second thought, even though it would be very cool.

Now, I don’t have any real plans of continuing this game any further, but I do want to keep using this little island of mine as a test lab to try out new ideas I might come up with for other games. It has the framework and now I know the tools. I’m still not perfect with coding, but I can definitely do much better now with the experience I have gained this semester.

And again, you will probably be able to try this prototype out yourself in the portfolio section. Keep reading for an update soon!

ITU Copenhagen UX & Prototyping Videogames

Final prototype for Stine


It’s taken forever, but it’s finally done!

The final, working prototype of my game Adventure Island (tentative title, I know the name is already taken) is now finished, complete, and will stay as it is for my final hand-in for the course User Experience & Prototyping at the IT University of Copenhagen. It’s very much unfinished, it has flaws everywhere, but there is just so much that you can do with a prototype given the amount of time that we had.

So how did it turn out?

Well… I would say that I’m quite happy with it. Especially considering that up until this moment I had never done an entire game with the Unity Engine by myself, all from scratch. Sure, I had worked before with Unity (R.E.C, Mr. Optimistic and The Hitchhiker), but I always worked with other team members for those, and always at least one of them a programmer. This time however it was only me. That means that I had to learn how to code JavaScript from zero while at the same time designing the level, making the graphics (ok, they weren’t that many, I got lazy at some point and I reused sprites all over again) and playtesting and making changes.

Not to mention that I had to remember that this game was for one person in special, not me.

I have to thank Samuel Walz and Martin Fasterholdt for helping me with some random bugs I was encountering in the build (as usual the typical mistakes: I left one “;” out of place, or “GameObject” should not have started with capital G).

But besides that I think it turned out quite nicely. The quest is reasonably long for the average player to do in one sitting without going by too fast, the world is expansive enough so that it encourages the exploration I was aiming for, and players can take different approaches at beating the game.

And you can drown in the lake. Be careful with that.

As I said there are still some bugs here and there, but those are going to have to stay for now.

I plan on making the build available for everyone in my portfolio soon enough, but that one will most definitely have a few tweaks to make it more polished for public availability. Stay updated!

ITU Copenhagen Now Playing Videogames

Heroes & Generals, the shooting of the launch trailer!

Heroes&Generals Trailer Shoot

Aren’t we some awesome fellas? Now… what were we doing that day?

Does it have anything to do with the trailer for the upcoming game Heroes & Generals by Danish developer Reto-Moto? I would check out their website just in case… Winking smile