GMTK Game Jam 2021

2021-08-15

The GMTK game jam was held between June 11th and June 13th this year. It was one of the largest game jams of all time, with 5'761 games built during the weekend. I endeavoured to create a game from scratch, writing all the code myself and making all the assets with what small amount of artistic talent I have. For the SFX and music, a fantastic composer offered their services - something I greatly appreciated!

I used a simple JavaScript game engine called KaboomJS. I have nothing but praise for this engine. It's super simple to get into, with a fantastic website detailing its API with dozens of examples to guide you. It being JS is a massive boon to me personally since it means its easy to develop using VSCode, as opposed to something bulky and slow like Unity, and there's a huge wealth of tutorials and libraries for JS that other game engines lack. The engine is, admittedly, a bit limited, with effectively no physics to speak of, but for the simplistic arcade games I'd choose to develop in a game jam, it is as perfect as can be.

My result of the jam was a hectic bullet hell-like space shooter called Triple Threat. It got a surprising amount of praise; a lot of people said it was an interesting concept and quite fun once they got the hang of the controls, and of course many people praised the fantastic music and sound in the game. The greatest compliment I got was knowing a few people were able to smash my very own highscore - one got a monumental score of 560, well over double what I ever achieved at my own game!

Screenshot from Triple Threat.
The player ship, on the left, is composed of three seperate components, responding to the Game Jam's theme of "Joined Together".

After the jam, I cleaned it up a little, responding to some player feedback regarding the controls and implementing music and SFX mute button for accessibility reasons. Overall, it was a fantastic learning experience and I loved working with everyone and seeing other people's creations.

I also uploaded the game to Newgrounds, which is a great feeling. I've used Newgrounds to play online games since I was a kid, and I know young me would be super happy to hear he eventually managed to get something he made up there.

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