Week of Awesome IV: Initial thoughts

About a week ago I got the regular GameDev.net newsletter email. One of the items was an annual weeklong jam called Week of Awesome. My girlfriend’s away this week which means I can put in a good amount of dev time, so I’m entering.

Slightly ironically, I couldn’t access the account which the GameDev email was sent to so I had to create a new one for the forums.

The themes this year are Shadows, Evolution, Undead and Ruins. I’ve been working a lot of ray cast soft shadows recently (for my oblique project – see Twitter), so I think that’s a good starting point. Confusingly, or perhaps cleverly, Shadows is supposed to be a gameplay rather than graphical theme, but I think my shadows will give rise to unique gameplay, not just be a graphical feature. The scope of the Evolution theme is very broad, but nothing springs to mind so I’ll leave that for now. So I have to pick one of Undead and Ruins. A top down zombie shooter should work nicely I reckon.

Nothing clever with the themes this time, unlike with past jams. On Saturday I tried to take part in the One Hour Game Jam and learn Pico-8 at the same time. Unfortunately the theme was Mouse Only and Pico-8 doesn’t support mouse input, so my game was actually just a mouse on its own. The learning curve was a bit too steep to do anything interesting so I didn’t submit it in the end.

I will be using Monogame for the development, for reasons I’ve discussed in several previous blog posts. GameMaker would be ideal for this sort of rapid development, but I don’t think I could do the shadows as easily. I will be using a voxel map for the world, so I’m going to have to write a voxel renderer which I’ve never done before. That should be fun.

I’ll need to organise my code carefully, because working on it for even a week has the potential to get very messy and I can’t afford to keep refactoring and rewriting code.

Stay tuned for screenshots etc., on my Twitter and here.