Tempo Tantrum

The music is having a tantrum and can’t decide how fast to play. You move with the tempo, as do the enemies. Watch out for environmental objects like spike blocks, they don’t have ears and will keep moving regardless, so don’t get caught in their tracks when the music stops.

 

Download from itch.io and give it a go. ┬áHere’s how to play:

  • Two players (or one ambidextrous player) race to the end point.
  • Don’t move when the music has slowed down, and avoid anything red.
  • Collect coins to raise your score.
  • WASD moves player 1 (green)
  • IJKL moves player 2 (blue)

The theme for the 2017 Train Jam was ‘unexpected anticipation’, which was pretty challenging to work with. The first thing that came to mind was Johann Sebastian Joust, which fits perfectly but already exists. We bounced some ideas back and forth and ended up wanting to do something similar to Joust or musical chairs with stop and go gameplay, leaving you anticipating needing to stop but not knowing exactly when. The environmental enemies give a nice risk-reward mechanic, do you try to cross their paths and hope you don’t get stuck, or do you go the long way around?

Jammers:

Additional assets:

  • Used the character model and animations from the free Couch Knights sample, which is licensed for use only with Unreal Engine based products

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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