Guildford Game Jam: Sept 2017

Between the first game jam and this one, I'd spent some time starting this blog and learning a bit more about Unity, so felt a bit more with it for this this game jam. As such, I decided to join a group this time around.

Working with a new group was a lot of fun as it meant we came up with some ideas I hadn't considered and meant that for the first time, I actually worked on a working game.

This game jam was held in Media Molecule's offices, which was a lovely, light, open space - perfect for a place you're going to spending a whole weekend's worth of hours in.

The theme

War of the Worlds (and HG Wells)

The plan

I had a solo idea for a War of the Worlds-themed Alexa-based game where you communicated purely via audio (mimicking the famous radio play). This eventually came to life as a choose-your-own-adventure-style game engine for Alexa and can be found on github and as a blog.

The idea we went for, however was an asymmetric multiplayer game. With one person playing a traitor trying to kill HG Wells (for reasons) and another playing the part of a tripod who's trying to keep them alive. The aim being was to have a top-down game where you had to pay keep-away from the enemies while trying to make your way to the end of the level.

The result

While we'd initially planned for multiple levels, after a stressful Sunday (and what felt like having to reimport the sound effects at least 10 times), we created War of the Wells. Looking like an earlier version of 90's GTA with a large number of Unity's post processing effects thrown on top (because that's what we did to try and hide any jank), it was a nice little game.

It was crazy hard and lacked a sense of fun, but the other game jam persons seemed to enjoy watching it for 2 minutes, so I think this one was a strong plus. The enemies were quick and 1 tap would kill you. They possibly have Serious Sam to thank for that - perhaps we should have given them bombs for hands.

This is one of the few projects that I have online at the end of the day and can be found on

The learnings

As mentioned above, I really enjoyed working as a team. There were a few design decisions that were made that I wouldn't have when going solo but otherwise having a team who can do graphics and sounds really allowed me to focus on the programming. There was another programmer as well but they ended up in more of a producer role, making sure we were all working toward the same goal.

This game really showed me that multiplayer (local multiplayer - someone trying online multiplayer is crazy) was a good way to go for game jams. More hands on when playing leads to better, more organic moments during the demo.

Also touched on before, there was a lack of fun in this game. It was quite serious and I'd have liked for it to have elements of humour and levity in it. Not that we had time for this build, but maybe focus on it more in future.