Boops, Beez, and Bears

In Boops, Beez, and Bears, your voice is your weapon: hum, whistle, laugh, or cry – whatever works for you, just do it fast! It’s a cross between between a horde-mode survival game and a participatory art experience; best enjoyed with a crowd, who are likely to be amused by your vocal antics while avoiding the annoying beez.

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SharedJamUI plugin for UE4

I’ve started a plugin that implements some useful base widgets and a simple menu manager to create game user interfaces in Unreal Engine 4. It’s sort of a spiritual successor to the SharedXNA library used in most of my XNA games.

It’s open source under the zlib license, mirrored to GitHub at https://github.com/joat/SharedJamUI. There’s a bit of usage information in README.md, but it’s pretty early and should be considered ‘jam quality’ code that hasn’t been really battle tested yet. Drop me a line if you end up using it and have some feedback.

Global Game Jam 2017

For the first time, we’ve actually got a couple of sites in the triangle area for the 2017 Global Game Jam, but the one I’m attending and focusing on is the UNC / NC IGDA site. As part of this, I’m giving a two-part talk with Travis Thompkins at UNC about game jams and using UE4 on Tuesday, Jan 17th at 4 PM.

Here are the slides for the first part of the talk (game jam thoughts):

Game Jam Workshop – Part 1

They’re not really meant to stand alone so I don’t know how useful they’ll be in this form, with the exception of the resources links on the last few pages.

Store all the things!

[From the archives: Built in April, 2012]

Initial thought process:

I did some searching for designs and found a picture of a wood storage cart that looked quite nice at ShopNotes. The actual plans for the cart aren’t online so I improvised based on the photo and cutting diagram.  I also adapted it to 6 feet as I have limited space in my garage and seldom work with anything larger than that.  My ‘schematics’ (really just math to see how much wood to buy) are below:

design sketch
design sketch

[Edit] Also found an underdocumented spreadsheet and a VCarve file I used to verify the measurements I came up with (though I ended up shifting the shelves down a bit so I’d have a 5th open-top compartment):

Measurement Verification

Time to go shopping:
Supplies

Some build shots:

I probably went a little overboard with the screws and glue; the thing is built like a tank.  Finished shots:

 

All the things meme originally from Allie Brosh.

Super Simple Slime Kat Slalom

A 1..4 player local multiplayer game where cats (made out of slime) compete to grab snacks and get the best spot on the colored couches, strewn about in a lake of lava because why not.

Created for the Simple Jam in a weekend using Unreal Engine 4.12. Simple Jam aimed to keep things manageable by limiting the number of rules and assets to 5 each. Here is how I spent that budget:

Game rules:

  1. Roll down the ramp
  2. Transform to start flying
  3. The floor is lava, so don’t touch it
  4. Grab some snacks
  5. Secure the best seat on the couch

Imported assets:

  1. Chamfered cube
  2. Sphere
  3. Lake water setup (stretching the definition just a teensy bit)
  4. Cat model [saved for later]
  5. [saved for later]
Menu screen
Menu screen
Gameplay
Gameplay

Turns out learning Z-Brush in a few hours is not actually a thing, so there’s no cat model yet; use your imagination. I’m watching Z-brush tutorial videos now and will probably work on it a bit more post-jam as I had a lot of fun making this.

You can download and play it from itch.io (Windows only ATM).

Angry Duck Diver

Angry Duck Diver was created as part of the 2016 Train Jam (March 10th to March 12th).

It’s a bullet-heavy vertical scrolling shmup/STG which contains neither ducks nor diving. Instead you have to constantly balance your avarice and cowardice, building up bonuses and choosing the ideal moment to bank your points before you are destroyed.

The theme was maximum capacity and I interpreted that as a risk/reward mechanic where you increase your bonus gauge as you approach maximum capacity, but you also increase your hit box and risk destruction, losing all your unbanked points.

Train Jam
The Train Jam was an amazing experience, both as a jam and as a journey. The scenery is gorgeous and inspiring, and jammer disciplines seemed much more diverse / evenly spread than I’m used to at local jams (which tend to skew heavily towards programmers). I’m certainly planning on doing it again next year. However, one downside was the venue for the theme announcement/team formation before boarding the train; it was narrow and loud so it was hard to hear pitches or mingle with different folks pre-jam, and so I didn’t form or join a team before we got on the train.

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Unstoppable Grave Looter

An intrepid grave looter accidentally disturbed the ritual of the groundhog and was cursed to never stop running. Trapped in an eternal hell, they fall back on old habits and decide to loot some graves.

  • Each grave you destroy will either provide delicious loot or disturb the dead.
  • Collect ingredients to perform rituals that cleanse the restless dead. When enough have been gathered, cross over the altars dotted thru the cemetery.
  • Use your shield amulet in a pinch, or gather more armor from the merciful angels.

Made for the 2016 Global Game Jam

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Cowtastrophe

Cowtastrophe is the game I worked on for the 2015 Global Game Jam (Jan 23 .. 25). It’s sort of a co-op cow sandbox score attack thingy.  We start by assuming a perfectly spherical cow…

Premise

Overlord Phil has ordered all of his minions (that means you and up to three of your friends) to bring him cows, lots and lots of cows!

What do we do now? Cooperate to make Phil happiest or compete against the other minions to raise your status. Poor cows…

How to play

  • Gather cows and deposit them into the ‘teleporter’ (marked by a hovering sphere) to gain points.
  • The overlord is a very fickle boss, changing the desired type of cow frequently. If you fulfill his current order, you’ll get lots of points, but any old cow will keep him pleased for a bit.
  • Feed cows hay first to fatten them up.
  • Keyboard+Mouse:
    • WASD to move
    • Mouse to look around
    • Space or Left-Mouse-Button to activate your cowscoop
  • Gamepad:
    • Left Stick to move
    • Right Stick to look around
    • A to activate your cowscoop
Gameplay shot 2
Gameplay shot 2

Team

Additional credits:

Download

Download the full package (including project files) or just the packaged game.

Tested on Windows and Mac, but the packaged release is for Windows only.  Multiplayer requires multiple gamepads (use the ~ key to enter the console and type  to add a 3rd or 4th player).

Tappy Chicken

Tappy Chicken is the first UE4 game shipped on mobile platforms.  It’s a very accessible one-button game, and you can download the entire game source assets and blueprints from the UE4 marketplace for free.

The shipped version targets the following platforms:

  • iOS: iPhone 4 / iPad 2 or above, running iOS 6 or above.
  • Android: Devices with an OpenGL ES 2.0 GPU that run API level 9 (Android 2.3) or above.
  • HTML5: Browsers that support WebGL (Latest Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Opera)

Download it from the App Store Get it on Google Play See the HTML5 Page

Tappy to Flappy!