Happy Ball

Happy Ball is my submission for Global Game Jam 2018. It's a first-person puzzle game where you help a ball reach its destination to unlock the next level. During this jam I wanted to make a game with a clear finish point as a lot of the games I have made in the past were endless or simply didn't have an end goal. 

What is Global Game Jam?

The Global Game Jam is a jam that takes place all over the world, you can go to a site set up by your university, workplace, or just made with friends. There are no restrictions on team sizes. you can work alone or with a group of all your friends. At the start of the jam you are given a theme, this is usually one word, you then go off with your group or alone and make a game to go with the theme within 48 hours. The theme for this year was "Transmission", so our game was built around transmitting power-ups to balls in order to complete puzzles. 

What was my main goal?

My main goal of this jam was to make a game with a clear finish as most of the games I have made in the past are endless or don't have goals to work towards, this is because making levels is time-consuming. During this jam, however, I was working with my brother who is interested in game design, meaning that I can focus on programming and he can make levels and models.

What went well?

We were able to agree with an idea fairly quickly, meaning that we could get to work on our tasks quickly. Being able to work with my brother was good because I could focus purely on programming the game while he made the assets. Because of this, we were able to progress a lot faster than if I was making the game alone. After some playtesting we added the high score system which was definitely the reason our game was voted the best at the jam, it gave the game more re-playability and added some competitive fun.

What didn't go well?

One thing our game doesn't do well is instructing the player what to do, when you first open the game it is not obvious what to do, and once you find out you are meant to shoot it's not obvious that the door has opened and you can progress to the next level.

If I continued development what would I do next?

If I was to continue this game I would change how the visuals of shooting work because right now it looks like you have to lead your shot and most people assume you have to, I will also add instructions so that the player knows what they have to do.

You can find the game here: https://elliot-chester.itch.io/happy-ball