Bratislava Game Jam 2016

 

A year has passed and TOFF Games visited Bratislava Game Jam, organized by Mlady Pes (thanks guys <3 ) and after last year, we reorganized the team and came up with a new strategy.


GameJam

 

This year we decided to dive deeper in Unity, and we put together a team where all members could tinker directly in the editor no matter what they were working on. We borrowed three developers from VECTARY (Roman, Yanchi and Teo), and met with a talented artist Nero. Strategy, where even the designer is working directly in Unity, programming GUI and animations, worked out nicely, and we submitted a richer game than last year with a different setup. We didn’t win, but we had a great amount of fun and it was, of course, also a great learning experience. (and we were on the short-list for the winner, a little bird told me :) ) Behold, the ROLLIN CUBES :)
rollin_cubes

Cubo is a cube. He’s kinda lost in life, and he got really lazy and fat lately. He can barely move without sweating. One day he decides it’s time for a change. But then things spin out of control.

Cubo moves by rolling and jumping. Game reflects it’s moving habits, Cubo learns by trial and error how to find balance between being fat and being fit, live long and prosper.

Finding balance in healthy life is the core statement of our game and reflects this game jam’s topic – Transition.

If you’d like to play the jam submission, here are the links to download:

Team credits:

  • Roman Danielis: Math, Physics, The Matrix Architect a.k.a Level Design
  • Yanchi Toth: Programming, Scripting, 3D modelling (making burgers)
  • Ondrej Nero Sova: Art, Graphic Design, GUI programming
  • Matej Teo Zilak: Game Design, Sound programming, Voice Over :D
  • GrandBeats: Bestest Music Ever

See you next year!

TOFF Games at Bratislava Game Jam

Bratislava Game Jam

TOFF Games took part in a game jam last weekend!

Bratislava Game Jam was an event organized by Mlady Pes NGO happening from 11th to 13th December. It was a two-day hackathon with the goal to create games, accompanied by lightning talks about game development. During the whole event, guys from GrandBeats were giving a helping hand with creating music and sound effects for teams. (and they had a brilliant talk about importance of sound&music in game development, btw!). The topic of the jam was announced Friday morning, and the main theme “Educational games” was specified with sub-theme “Languages”.

Two days. Me as a game designer and programmer (and representing the “T” from TOFF), and a great team of talented people I was able to put together; Katka as ideamaker and copywriter, Adam as game designer and artist, Miska as artist.

 TOFF Games Presenting Jam

48 hours – 4 people- as a result here is our game – Stack That Word! Playable prototype provides an opportunity to try to make a mound of things which are necessary for your unforgettable weekend on a festival. Why play it right now? Because you can be prepared for the next summer and make your essential vocabulary necessary for the best summer of 2016 right now.
If you want to know, what could you find in a good party, or what should you pack for a roadtrip to Russia or are you hipster enough, our game will give you an answer, but you will have to wait until we finish the full version :) For now you can build a tower made of pictures of festival goodies – correct answers for our first question. In case, that you can’t see the picture, don’t worry, you can try to make a tower for your perfect festival again.

stack_that_word
How does it work?
Clicking on a button with a correct answer for what you need on a festival will change to a perfect picture (picture is more memorable), from answer to answer your tower will be higher and higher and what now? You learned new words. Congratulations!

Wrong choice will disrupt your tower, but you can try to build your tower again.

stack_that_word_2

Download the playable Android prototype right now and get hyped for the full version :)

qrcode

We all had a great fun at the jam and would like to thank the guys from Mlady Pes for organizing such a wonderful event. Thanks also to everyone who participated, it was a great time and we are looking forward for to seeing you all again! And now excuse us, we have to finish our game :)

Testing the technological capabilities

After the decision that we are going to make a mobile game, and knowing the game idea, the question about technologies for the project came up for us to answer. Since Fusky and me, Teo, have experience in the field of development of web/smartphone apps on HTML5/JS platform, we know that using one codebase for all platforms can save a lot of time when developing a hobby project. So our first try would be creating the game in HTML5 and JavaScript. On HTML5 there is a nice little platform that could also help us creating common game parts, like the login, multiplayer rooms, leaderboards, etc.. The platform I’m writing about is Clay.io. At first look it is great, and it also claims it supports mobile development. So I decided to make a small test – create a very simple game using JavaScript, implementing the Clay.io platform for a few simple tasks, and use Phonegap to build a native mobile application from the code.

 

The simplest game that came to my mind was a number guessing game. In fact, I always make this game when I learn a new language, or want to test something out :) It is really very simple: the computer picks a number from a certain range, gives you x attempts to guess it, and only hints you if you should aim lower, or higher with your guesses. For the JS implementation I decided to go with AngularJS, and I put together the game basics during a Sunday afternoon. Here I found out a small limitation in HTML5 and a problem with cross-browser support of the <input type=”range”/> tag. It isn’t supported in Firefox, and in Android Gingerbread’s native browser.

As next step, I implemented Clay.io login, and leaderboards to the game, and also added two small achievements, just to try out also this feature of this nice platform. Here came another problem with 2.3 Android’s browser, and Clay.io login overlay. The overlay element keeps moving higher/lower on mobile screen in this browser, and you have to tap the login button quickly in order to make the shaking stop. It’s a huge UX flaw, but it’s still usable with a bit of effort. Otherwise Clay.io worked great, and implementation was really quick and painless.

The last step in my hocus-pocus was to build a native app. Using Phonegap was simple and easy as usually, I just got stuck on a small problem with linking the AngularJS library – in HTML code I used the link without specifying a protocol, thus starting with src=“//angular…..” . In the native app, of course, the protocol had to be specified. In performance matter the native app was working well, only the same problem with Android Gingerbread and Clay.io login overlay occurred, which was expected.

 

One test is still left to be done, and that’s testing out canvas graphics on mobile devices, but my conclusion so far is, that developing games on HTML5 can already be done nowadays. The worst problem is the cross-browser and cross-version optimization on mobile devices, but I think that it’s still worthy, because of the cross-platform support you get back. I think maintaining one codebase while your game is published on Android, iOS, Facebook, Chrome store, etc., etc. is priceless. I still would recommend using Clay.io if you want to do common game-related tasks quickly, but the older, but still widely used devices would need a little extra effort optimizing all the glitches present. You certainly need to consider own implementation based on the needs of your game.

 

You can check/play with the game source code on GitHub or play the published version. Or you can download the Android APK.