JournoDevSwap: First fully working game

JournoDevSwap: First fully working game

By Mark Backler

October 6th 2012 at 4:00PM

Keith Stuart and Theo Chin grab a head start in the Ukie game jam

[For their third challenge, our developer-cum-journalists were tasked with uncovering a news scoop from the game jam – You can find all the JournoDevSwap articles here.]

At 2:30am this morning, student programmer Theo Chin clicked ‘Play’ and the first fully working game prototype of the jam came to life.

Journalist turned game designer Keith Stuart took to the controls and a crowd of now slightly bedraggled looking developers and journalists crowded round to watch him play.

The other coders looked on enviously, knowing that the best way to succeed at a game jam is usually to get a core concept up and working as soon as possible in order to allow plenty of time to iterate on it.

This ensures time to balance the game and make it as fun as possible, perhaps even with a bit of time to polish it at the end if the participants are lucky, or haven’t been sleeping too much. With a lot of the other games either not working or only partially working at the time, this represents a formidable an advantage for the duo.

The game features the perhaps over-excitingly titled, “dual button controls”, one of which Stuart uses to control the upper character (currently a cylinder) and the other for the lower cylinder.

Pressing each button will cause its corresponding character to swap between two positions: one above the line it’s attached to and the other below it. Squares race towards you from the right-hand side of the screen and you must avoid them using the two swap buttons in order to prevent them pushing either of your characters off the screen.

When asked about their success, Chin stated: “We went for a simple concept that we knew we could do. It was deliberately much simpler than our previous ideas.”

Getting the full game up and running first is no doubt a sizeable advantage, although the other teams will be hot on Stuart and Chin’s heels. Will it be enough to win them the coveted Dev-Journo Swap-Up 2012 trophy?

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