So, yeah… my second Global Game Jam was friggin’ awesome.
I ended up going with my friends Catherine and Esteban to prepare a game within 48 hours that would be judged by Richard Lemarchand, IMD’s visiting professor and the designer of the Uncharted series. While we had a bit of a chaotic start trying to prototype across three different platforms, things settled down once we decided to use Processing.js, the only language we all had in common. After the theme was revealed to be the sound of a beating heart, we brainstormed and settled on a rhythmic art-game based loosely off Jason Roheher’s Passage. You would play as a girl who woke up one day without a heart and would explore the world in search of it, reminiscing about her life as she encounters the things she once loved. After a prototyping phase involving sticky-notes, we went on to rapidly prototype new iterations of game systems that we would try to use in the final game. It was great and we were going to make something as emotionally moving as Passage.
Except it didn’t end up like Passage, like, not at all.
About 24 hours in, we kinda lost our minds. It was a strange pseudo-cohenrence we all existed in for a while, and for a little, the slightest suggestion at some sort of pop-culture reference would evoke raucous laughter from all of us. Out of this, the game took the name Unhearted, and ended up with all sorts of random ridiculousness. Most of which came out of our “alternate ending”, where it turned out that the girl’s heart was with Lemarchand all along.
Catherine did all the game’s fantastic art, Esteban designed the game’s engine, and I did some additional programming and dealt with the game’s sound. From this experience, I learned a bit more about coding for interactivity, working effectively in a small team, the kind of ridiculousness that comes out of our friendship, and how to get used to this kind of lifestyle.
And just saying, UNHEARTED is now an award winning game. We won the “Pandering the the Judge” award, which is another way of saying that we know our target audience.
You can download and play UNHEARTED here.