A few weeks back (three to be exact) Siewart van Wingerden and myself, participated in a game jam. Which is a weekend (Saturday until Monday) where a team of game designers build a game around a certain theme. The theme of this year was minimalism. For what you might think: “That is kind of a broad theme.” Which it is, but that allows for great variation between the mechanics and direction of the individual games. A requisite if more then six hundred games a year are submitted to the contest. You need to differentiate your game from the rest if you intend to win.
In the case of Siewart and I, we like to build easy to play games, with an easy learning curve. However, are difficult to master. So the idea of a 3D infinite runner was born. Since we both love the genre.
The first idea was to create a runner in which you needed to navigate a square room by walking on the inside walls to find an exit. But programming and artistic difficulties led to an easier concept. Running and jumping. The final idea is that of running and jumping along randomly generated obstacle courses without falling and getting as far as humanly possible. With of course, in the end, getting a higher score (measured in meters ran). To add extra difficulty we created a mechanic that the level eventually starts falling apart behind you and eventually caches up to you. So you constantly need to be on your toes and keep running without stopping unnecessarily.
The theme of minimalism is found in the aesthetic of the game. The minimalism color pallet and shapes made only from cubes gives the game a simplistic look. Inspired on the all too familiar dutch art movement, “De Stijl” or in English “The Style” with artists like Mondriaan and Rietveld. Also, the music is very ambient and fits the theme very well, at least to our vision.
In the end, we think the game is fun to play and fits the theme. We have received tremendous feedback and are thinking about further development. At least, if we at least end up in the top ten pro-cent of the competition. We had a blast making the game and competing in this game jam as a team, but even more by getting all the reaction from the players. We hope you’ll enjoy this game as much as we did, making the thing. And, until next time!
The game can be found below, or on Siewart’s web page ld26.siewart.nl
A review of the game can be found on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GUNhbPvS1U
The article on the design of the game can be found here.
The Ludum Dare website: www.ludumdare.com/compo