Saturday, January 31, 2015

Paper! Its the Next Big Thing!

I am writing this blog post in 2015 and while I am all for making use of innovative technologies in these years of great technological growth, I cant pry myself away from using good old paper. Why you ask? Well because paper feels good. It feels good crush it, good to fold it, good to to cross out words on it. I use paper because it is satisfying to make progress when you keep track of your progress on a physical object. I use paper for any sort of temporary list and then as I complete tasks on the list I cross that item out. Each line drawn through an item is its own tactile reward. And when the list is all crossed out I crumple it up and slam it in the trash bin. VICTORY!!!
I keep a note book for keeping notes and then I have a list of tasks on a piece of graph paper.

Another Benefit to keeping track of these things on paper is that it isn't as easily hidden as an Excel document is. When my tasks have a physical presence I tend to remember that they exist which helps with reminding me to keep track of my progress. 

Paper obviously has limits. For example working on paper in a team is much more difficult. In team based situations I like to use a Dry Erase Board or as recently discovered during the game jam, Sticky Notes. Paper also has the downfall of not being electronic so backing your tasks up doesn't prevent them from being lost or being thrown out accidentally but that happens very rarely. Call me a Cave Man if you want, Paper Development is super rad.

Friday, January 30, 2015

New Year New Jam!

The Global Game Jam has come and gone once again. This year yielded surprisingly good results compared to my previous two years. On my team this year was Myself(Jon Harwood), Noah Hildebrandt, Jack Cieczka, Jeremy Lecus and Scott Schmeling. All a bunch of awesome dudes that I love working with. Our game this year winded up being a sort Lemmings/Puzzle platformer type game called How To Game Design where you play as an unseen human wielding a dry erase marker that must guide the stick man Mr.Lemmings to the end of several Levels.
As you can see the art style uses photographs of the actual white board that we had in the room where we were devving. I dont think I could be more a fan of this art style. I think just such a clean and sensible style for a jam game. I also really enjoyed the developing the primary mechanic of the game. The primary mechanic is that you use your marker to place down a green circle and when an object touches the green circle they teleport to the polar opposite side of the circle. Its a Mechanic that I don't think was fully explored in this game so i'm thinking that I might use it for another game at some point.

 My role on the team was general programmer and build master. Overall this game was very simple to program and didn't have very many challenges. Development was overall a very smooth and pleasant experience this year which I enjoyed greatly. Not that that I don't like a challenge but it was refreshing to do a project that actually went entirely according to plan for once.
Our Progress about 24 Hours in.

Overall I would say this jam was a huge success. We made a successful game and even got the majority of the vote when it came to who at MATC had the best game this year. I'm immensely satisfied with HTGD. Please Check it out! :3

Global Game Jam Page: