Hours 5 – 7: #GGJ16

So this weekend was the Global Game Jam! My first Global Game Jam, although not my first game jam generally. It was a lot of fun, and I used a few of this weeks’ hours recording stuff for that. Sadly I had a bad foot this week and as such my recording hasn’t been on schedule, but i’m sure i’ll catch up with that at some point. For the meantime, I’m going to write about the jam, what I got up to and what stuff I made in the time we had.

I decided to be ambitious (and maybe stupid) this jam, and instead of pairing up with a developer, I decided to make my own game. As I have almost no experience making games, other than making the sound side of things, this was a bit of a mistake from the offset. I should really have found someone who could actually put the game together for me. But that’s by the by.

One of the diversifiers was to make an audio-only game. I saw it the night before the jam and loved the idea of it, so much so I decided to pursue it as an idea for the weekend. The concept of an audio-only game was something that i’d never really considered, and after haven given it some thought, I decided it was a challenge I loved the sound of (pun kinda intended).

The theme for the jam was ‘Ritual’ (or maybe ‘The Ritual’ different places said different things), so I decided to make my game about a detective, investigating some kind of ritualistic killing. Despite initially setting out not to just make an interactive story, it quickly became clear my best bet was to do just that – make narrated sections, with some NPC interaction, that the player would decide how to navigate through. I wrote a quick VO script (full of my best 40’s slang-isms) and my good friend Dan Berry (from the previous blog post) popped up and recorded a few lines for me. I also had some help from my fellow jammers to record a few lines.

I built all of the scenes piece by piece – the background ambiences, object interactions and the voiceover – each would have been triggered at different points depending on the players interactions. My friend Katie Tarrant wrote some seriously incredible 40s jazz tunes for the game – frankly i’m more sad the game didn’t come together because no-one got to hear those incredible tracks than because of my audio or the concept haha. seriously talented composer.

Below are just a few example clips that I recorded for the game:

 

Of course, I tweeted my progress during the event – and this sparked some fantastic interactions with people on twitter. It became clear to me that my original idea of an audio-only game being just a trivial fun concept for most gamers – is actually a reality for blind gamers. There is a blind gaming community – albeit not a large one, but there is one for sure. an enthusiastic one, for sure. I spoke at length to Brandon Cole, who is something of a vocal advocate for the blind gaming community, who gave me some fantastic tips and advice on both the game content and the challenge of making a game for the blind community. Brandon gave a fantastic talk at GDC some years back, which was a great resource during my weekend.

As a result of the game idea I explored at the jam, I have decided that i’ll pursue the idea of an audio-only game properly. Brandon expressed the blind gaming community’s desire for a really great audio-only game – expansive, complex, not patronising, solid gameplay, solid story etc. I feel like that’d be something i’d love to develop. I’m unsure of my next moves in regards to the audio-only game project, but i’m hoping they’ll come soon.

Thanks again for reading!

-Barney

http://www.barneyoramgameaudio.co.uk

Hours 5 – 7: #GGJ16

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