Jammin’

Posted on January 29, 2013 By

This past weekend, while the rest of the world played catch with their kids in the yard, worked on their cancer cures, and finally got the car in for an oil change, I was making a video game.

I was one of 10,000+ participants in this year’s annual Global Game Jam, which is exactly what it sounds like: game-makers of all disciplines and skill levels from around the world stop what they’re doing for 48 hours and make a game. The game is based on a theme introduced at the beginning of the jam. This year’s theme was the sound of a beating heart.


I was fortunate enough to team up with some very talented individuals from the local scene: Chris Hill, Travis Powell, Hunter Trujillo, and musician Nathan Madsen. I’d worked with Chris before, but the others started the weekend as strangers (since working with new people is part of the “jam experience”). With these fine folks to handle the heavy lifting of actual programming and creating art, I was able to do the core game design, dialog, and some level design.


We took the “heartbeat” theme and applied it to a game idea I’ve had rattling around in my head for a while. In the game, your friends the dragons have had their noble hearts replaced by corrupted ones that turn them into vicious beasts. You must get close enough to each dragon (who is trying to kill you) to return its noble heart. You’re not a dragon-slayer, but a dragon-savior.


Turns out we didn’t have quite enough time to get in all the features we wanted (like sprites of the hero carrying hearts, or the dialog for the second half of the levels) but I’d call it “done” enough for the purposes of GGJ and One Game a Month.


Okay, that’s enough ado. Here’s the actual gameplay footage of our game, Drakkenhart.

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  1. Garett Bass says:

    Very cool. I really love the cohesive atmosphere you’ve achieved with the lighting, art, music, and writing.

  2. […] — and how I was totally going to fail in that attempt. But then in January, thanks to the Global Game Jam and some really talented partners, I dodged that month’s failure bullet and whipped up Drakkenhart, a short platformer. […]

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