Global Game Jam 2021 – how it was
Yet another GGJ is a month behind us, but it still gives me some shivering – both with pleasure and pain.
This time the whole event went online, meaning no room for a partying (or rather showing off in front) with fellow game devs. But what’s more important, the new format isn’t quite convenient for maintaining rule No1 here – to build up a team on site. Well, we are notorious outlaws here, always coming in zerg numbers, but I feel like many single devs might have been out of luck because of the online thing. Anyway, you know what they say – better safe than sorry!
The theme was “Lost & Found” which is, by miracle, nicely describes the new project we are working on. Too bad we couldn’t use it, hehe. After a smaller than usual brainstorm (mainly because our numbers this time were not so zerg) we picked up yet another heavy concept and went off to production.
The idea was in a new kind of PvP (yes, it means an actual multiplayer here) puzzle – one plays as the Spy, roaming through terra incognita in search’n’steal of particular item, and the other (who can observe the whole map but not the Spy) must prevent it, playing as the Guard. You will be surprised by how blastedly PAINFUL it was to balance even that simple concept. Yes, we did all the playtesting with pen and paper (the game meant to be turn-based), but still it was a rough road. Can’t envy fellow table-top game creators, that’s for sure.
Anyway, somehow we managed to sort out everything. As always, it felt just like a miracle – a several hours prior to the deadline there was nothing, just separated sprites and ideas, but in the end it really looked like a game. And quite an enjoyable one! We had lots of fun playing Mission Possible (silly name, I know) later with friends.
Funny, that we made all the core stuff in just two days, but spent almost a month to bring up some minor polish like FX, extra UI’s, and standalone builds. Ruthless rule 80% / 20% has no exceptions.
Gladly it’s all behind us now – the game is published on itch and Play market, so what are you waiting for?! Go check it out now! And take a friend with you, because we don’t have bots, and the game is solely multiplayer. Hope you will like it!
Our GGJ 2021 submission:
The most recent version (Web, PC, Linux, Android):
Dmitriy “Stranger” Troitskiy – code
Nikita «Smi1ey» Dubatov – art, animation
Maria «Marry_mind» Prokopyeva – art
Georgy “R0ller” Yushkevich – audio
Nikita “DNK” Pavlov – gamedesign, direction
#indiedev #gamedev #ggj #ggj21 #Dividebyzer0
Global Game Jam 2020
Oops, we did it again – the most legal way to slack from long-run projects is here. And of course, we couldn’t resist to participate in it this time again.
The theme for this jam was “Repair”. Quite wide one, if you ask me, so our brainstorm spawned some crazy shit, from cheap engineer sim (need to fix crap gadgets from AliExpress) to tower-defense about saving woods in Australia and Greta Thunberg. In the end, we stepped even beyond, and picked up “re-pair” for a project’s name.
You are a cupid, and your manager just asked you to watch over her animals for a couple of minutes. Animals won’t mate by themselves, and without your help will simply die from aging. So player needs to shoot poor bastards with love arrows so they will spawn new animals. Fun part starts right after first mismatched pair (which is fairly easy – took shooting mechanics from Worms series) – a newborn creature will have parts of both parents. So yes, you actually can create a giraffe with a goose head, or an elephant with ibis’s wings (may be it will even fly!). The more crazy pairs player create, the trickier is to keep a “clean” species.
As always, our asses were in flames no less than a jet’s afterburner. Almost without sleep, we worked day (on jam site) and night (café), nonstop. The team this time was so huge (8 people), we even had to split in a day and night groups.
But the hard work paid off – our project was one the best among other 30 on showcase, and on top of that, we won “Game of GGJ2020” at Moscow’s jam site IThub.
But truly, looking at happy faces of players is a best possible award, and for this, I must thank my team again. Guys, my hat’s off to you all.
Our GGJ page:
The most recent build you can grab here:
Nikita “teuz” Zhimkov – gamedesign, code
Georgy “R0ller” Yushkevich – gamedesign, audio
Dmitriy “Stranger” Troitskiy – code
Anton Jebrax – code
Nikita «Smi1ey» Dubatov – animation
Maria «Marry_mind» Prokopyeva – art
Maksim Sharamok – art assist
Nikita “DNK” Pavlov – gamedesign, direction
KanobuGamesJam2017 – how it was
You know the most creative way to procrastinate over your long-run project (BYTE, in our case)? Of course, a gamejam! And then another one! And then..! Don’t worry, no one will blame you, because technically you are doing an important job – farming new experience in short terms, improving your gamedev skills and adding new ones.
So yeah, we did it again. A quite some time ago, actually: Kanobu GamesJam2017 was running from mid-March to mid-April. The theme was as dumb as usual and sounded like “No survive without physics”.
GGJ17 – how it was
According to the rules, coming to GGJ with team is pretty unwelcomed. So we were already mentally prepared to play the dramatic scene of “meeting” each other, when suddenly it turned out that the locals in timecafe GeekTime (which is a single location of GGJ in Moscow, which is a shame) has nothing against already formed bands. As a result, only a few (of about 30-40 people that made it to the Moscow GGJ) came alone, looking for a party.
And yet it moves
I guess, not many of wannabe indies think about motivation. You are on fire with your wild ideas and dreams, what could be possibly wrong? But then… you know it. The passion fades, the inner deadlines are broken, and turns out the project is far from being a piece of cake. It’s getting harder and harder to just put yourself to the project and start working. And the work itself happens rarely (and if it happens, it starts usually from “ok, where we were…ohh, shiii, I can’t even remember!”). You already know the end of stories like this, right? The bad one.
A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine gave me a nice hint – major media company looking for game journalists for one of its franchise. I instantly thought about it like a good side-job opportunity. A nice match to my skills and interests. I was working as a reviewer for a small news site in high school days and my last full-time job was in scenario department. What could go wrong?
Winter holidays and trips are done, so we are…em..I mean, we are done with vacations. Almost.
Just a few days ago, I was riding in a metro, on my way to “Sokolniki” station. The world is a cruel bitch, ya know? We are getting older with every year, and simple things like hanging-out with friends are turning into nearly unsolvable puzzle. Everyone has a lot of work, things to do and not to do, some even have their own families and stuff… And, under these circumstances, it feels just like a miracle, when we finally can find a time to hang-out all-together.
We met each other (our team and some good friends of ours) at 23:30 and set sails to “JustJump” – one of the largest trampoline arena in Moscow. Aaand as you may guess, that 1 hour of jumping (and falling into a foam pit) was crazy, fun and full of positive cosmic rays. Plus! Arena is completely empty during a night time, and cheaper, too! Hmm… may be we should pay a visit to this place in a future?
Okay-okay, let’s get back to work for now. I mean, seriously.
Heroes of thermo-morphing
What can be more fun than snowboarding? ‘Course snowboarding with friends!
So, on the past Saturday, we opened snowboarding season in “KANT” – the only place where you can (almost) normally ride, without leaving the city. And yes, it’s open air which is kinda cool, in all senses. Why “almost”? Weeeeell, because it’s awfully short. Reaching the bottom in a minute, maybe two – depends on your laziness and speed.
Moreover, Dima a.k.a Stranger, our code-wizard, was on his first ride! I mean, the very first! And ya know what? He was absolutly focking awesome. Ok, maybe it’s because he skating from time to time, but still. Dude rocks.
What was less awesome, that is Stranger and Roll were late. Our team and some other good friends of mine agreed to met at 13:00. Almost everyone showed up to 14:00. Except those two. So we did around 5-6 rides, had a lunch in the nearest cafe and wait, wait, wait… At last, they arrived – in 16:20. On our attempts to know “WHAT TOOK YOU TWO SO FREACKING LONG!?!?!?” they simply answered, dat they were “thermo-morphing their boots”. Lol.
You know, life is like tetris. Have a different kinds of activities which are perfectly represented by these tetra blocks. Some of them are “want to do”, some “need to do”, and some are somewhere in the middle. And each damn day you have to find the best-like combination, and make it fast – because clock is ticking and blocks are falling right on your head.
So we are. Trying to find dat best combination, every day juggling with work and fun.
Ok ok, let’s cut the crap – what about our uber-awesome-megahit next game (don’t laugh, I’m dead serious right now)? Well, it’s making its way, slow but steady. I hope we’ll be able to achieve some meaningful milestones in development and announce our project by the end of the year. That’s it.
And may the Force be with us all.
MMB 2014 spring
Well, I must admit the past weekend were probably the hardest days in our lives. Why so? Because of the sadomasochistic event called “MMB”.
MMB stands to “Moscovskiy Marsh-brosok” (I believe it’s “Moscow Cross-Trudge” in english). It is held twice a year (in mid May and in late October) and every damn time it brings lots of pain and suffer. The deal sounds like an easy one: you need to walk for almost three days (from Friday evening till Sunday afternoon/evening), making your way through the forest from one checkpoint to another and navigating with a paper map, a compass and your brain. The whole trip separated into three major parts. Each one of them has its own start and finish points and a few checkpoints in between. At the end of each part a camp with MMB organizers were so you can take some rest, refill your water supplies in a nearby river and, what is the most important, get a map for the next part of the trip, awaits you. But organizer’s camps won’t wait for you forever though – if you are a slowpoke and didn’t make it in time… well then, each map contains a few spots where you can catch a bus or a train and safely leave. Ah, one more thing: ‘bout checkpoints. Technically, you can skip them if you wish (like we did -_-, took only 4 from 66 in total), but you will have a bitter result at the end, cause each skipped CP makes a penalty for you (or your team, if you ain’t solo) with extra hours.
So… dat was the second time we were participating in MMB (the previous one was in spring 2013), and, unlike a year ago, WE FOCKING DID IT!!! We made it in time to the very finish!! At 20:52, Sunday, Dividebyzer0 successfully reached the last camp. It has been ~70km through dense forests and fields, mud and water, under the sun and rain, day and night. Heck, every time I recall it my feet are in pain again.
A little photo archive from the MMB waiting you here.