Categories: "Development work"

Global Game Jam Newport


Global Game Jam 

This Friday just passed marked an event called Global Game Jam, of which I took part in. Originally I wasn't going to, as I have enough work of my own to be doing for my third year project, but Charlotte convinced me to go with her and Tim.


Global Game Jam was an event where people all over the world, I think just over 2000 in total maybe, all get into groups and attempt to make games in 48 hours. We started on Friday the 30th at 5pm and then finished on Sunday the 1st at 3pm.


After pitching ideas and everything we all started working on our games, so by about maybe 6/7ish we had started designing stuff, in my groups case I was designing the characters.


We were called Super Cute Animal Attack, our group compromised of myself, Charlotte (my twin sister) and Tim (her boyfriend), Tim graduated from the Games and AI course at Newport, and Charlotte is a film student wanting to get into the games industry, and I of course am a Games Design student wanting to also get a job in the industry.


Our idea we went with in the end was firstly titled "Mmmm" which was a game about the relationship between a Cajun squirrel and a Mexican duck and having to make their way through an area, which was slowly being destroyed by a giant robot koala, think the boss in Dynamite Headdy right near the start, not the cat though. We had a few constraints to the game these being the following:


  • A play session must last 5 minutes or less
  • Theme: As long as we have each other we will never run out of problems
  • Choose an adjective: in-between, rushed or growing


The game evolved over time, including the title of it being changed.


After 48 hours we came up with "Lash La Rue on holiday featuring Juan the duck"


The developed story of the game is:


Best of Friends Lash La Rue and Juan the Duck are travelling the world together. But everyone has their own problems, proud of his culture Juan never leaves behind his poncho, and therefore cannot fly. Lash La Rue on the other hand, is terrified of the water, together they will successfully tour the world's jungles, deserts, wetlands and mountains, and they both know that if they didn't have each other they would get nowhere.
Although, having their own busy lives, the two only booked out a certain amount of holiday for their world tour, with only a fortnight's travel to go, they must be as quick as possible if they want to visit all fourteen destinations before they close, and if they don't work together, they'll only spend their whole holiday arguing


For submission we were asked to submit a press image for our game, ours is particularly nice as we managed to get David Surman to draw the main image for us, the smaller drawn image is also done by Bill Kavanagh (as photos are a big part of the game, this is down to the fact that memories are best kept in photos, in the finished game the two below drawn images will be shown during play, along with others showing the two friends working together).


Lash La Rue on holiday featuring Juan the duck 


You can play a copy of the game from here on the Global Game Jam website, you can also view all the other games made in Newport and also all over the world.


As you can tell from the game, it is in a quite unfinished state, but we intend on finishing the game with a bit of our free time, in fact I have already started on a new splash screen along with the instructions page, which will nicely fit in with the concept behind the idea.


A few bugs which are quite noticeable, which I will point out are:

  • The animations are running too fast as we didn't have time to change them.
  • There are no assets in the foreground as we didn't have time to add them
  • The squirrels can't swim sign is too big, we didn't have time to resize it, although I feel it looks nice large, just it needs to look better.
  • The game doesn't really end
  • The squirrel can walk on water, it was hard to figure out how to stop him from doing it, so it never got finished
  • The parallax scrolling on the background and foreground didn't work
  • We didn't have time to put any other characters in the background which would help populate the space
  • We didn't put in a little orange tree, along with an orange that fell
  • We had to cut out about half the level as it didn't all work properly
  • The duck gets a little stuck after diving in the water
  • They both turn at the same time
  • Plus many more


As you can see from the items I've listed we realise that there are a few problems, but they will get ironed out and then a newer build will be posted up, the version on the GGJ website is 1.0 we hope to have 1.1 sorted at some point, at least with actual titles.


I would also like to point out that the music for the game was created by Rob Bennion who if I get this correct is a Jazz Musician/composer who very kindly produced our group a whole bunch of music in the space of a few hours, while also helping other groups at Newport. I would like to thank him very much for creating so much music in so little time. We will hopefully be using his services a little more while we get the game to a more finished level.


I must say the weekend was an unforgettable event and that it was a lovely way to start the year, and even though we didn't get a completely polished finished game out of it, I'm amazed at what can happen in 48 hours. Of course when sleep isn't exactly involved it's not a good thing.


Super Cute Animal Attack did also want to do their other game, which we also hope to do, either while finishing off Lash La Rue on holiday or once it's finished. I won't be posting up anything about it though as it hasn't been started, but it is a bit simpler than our Lash game and both myself and Charlotte agree if we went with it we would have had a finished game.


Either way expect more small games coming out of this blog.

Void Updates Part Five


I produced these boards to help explain the progression that is involved with the Anemone Sea space, they go over the important parts which make up the level. I felt it would make modelling the level easier for us in the production stage, as when seeing the layout sheet it looks quite daunting. And without explanation it won't make much sense to anyone who reads my blog.


Anemone Sea progression


Anemone Sea progression 


Anemone Sea progression

I really like the progression images I drew for the Anemone Sea, I think they're much better than my ones for The Reef.

Void Updates Part Four


Along with some help from Rob I managed to produce a layout of how the Anemone Sea will take place.


Anemone Sea Layout


I'll just give a brief overview of the path that the character can go along, I won't go into depth on the spectacles that the player gets to witness. As you can see that when you play the game and it will be more exciting.

  • The player starts off in the top left-hand corner of the screen they then traverse along the edge to where there is the whitish square which is a ledge.
  • They will then go down onto the cluster of pads, following the curve round, then following it curve again.
  • Then leading down into the waterfall and then into the whirlpool. You then continue right, passing the starfish on the ledge then following the curve of all the pads until you get to the black shore line.
  • If they then carry on they will make their way to the next area to explore through.


I realise it's quite a large level, but it's the first thing the player is going to witness and I wanted it to be impressive.

Void Updates Part Three


I have spent a lot of my time trying to design the layout of The Reef (which is the final combined space), although I didn't make one to the best of my ability in the end, even after numerous designs. One thing I did do, as well as trying to create a mood board for The Reef, was ideas of progression within the space. So an overview explaining how objects in the space can interact with each other to create different ways to move throughout the level.


I will still attempt to design a a final version of The Reef, which sadly will be done during the production stage.


In the mean time here are my ideas of progression.



The Reef progression


The Reef progression


The Reef progression


The Reef progression

Void Updates Part Two


My next submission for our work was the dress assets I produced, that would populate the spaces. We won't be putting too many of them in the levels, but enough to make it look less empty.







Void Updates


In time for the mid time presentation I decided to get together a game play storyboard/map as a record for the order of all things. It follows the game from start to finish, I'll briefly go through the order of it all now.


Page 1


The game starts off in the beacon chamber, where the character is lead through a short introduction cut-scene, the player is then thrown into the game, by looking out onto the edge of a ledge.


Page 2


After this the player then progresses onto the first level which is called the Anemone Sea, which is made up of a sea of anemones along with orange pads that are floating on the surface of these anemones, making them sway in different manners. The player having to then jump from platform to platform to get to the end. (the pads in my storyboard are how they were in concept, they have since changed and can be seen in later work I have done)


Page 3


They then go through the Emerald Cavern where the players state changes to a heftier version which removes their ability to jump, making the ways to progress through the level different than previous. Having to push rocks and fall onto fat starfish which propel the character through the air.


Page 4


Page 5


The next area is Shimmering Towers where the player becomes a light puffy version of the character, which floats around in a pillar filled area, the character is controlled by the environment, this is done by air vents that have grown out of the pillars.


Page 6


The final area is a combination of the three called The Reef, where the player has to use all their abilities in one space to progress through the area. The choice of character state is controlled by a "state change fountain" and if the player walks through them they will morph into the other state.


It is a rough layout, but that's all storyboards are in the end, after having these images we were able to remember which order the game comes in.

Starfish are so interesting



While working on assets needed for the game I've been looking at reference material, and I must say Starfish are so beautiful, it's probably due to being wet so they tend to glisten.


 © Mike McCaffrey & Conservation System Alliance


I also really like the next image, it looks more to me like they're cuddling, they are doing more though, but it's just scary how they are so vivid it makes my eyes think they aren't actually real.


Found on

Nice coral images


I found some really nice coral images, other than the one I posted previously,




These are just a few examples of the images I found, which in total came to about 100. These photos in particular came from Marine Life Photography, I found various others on other really good sites, one of which I lost the link to, they were really amazing looking images, but I won't post them up as I can't fully reference the website they came from.

I really do enjoy researching things before helping design them. I've managed to see so many different varieties of coral that I didn't even know existed. I've put some of the most interesting ones on my walls in my room, so I am then influenced by the right things.

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