Nearly a year ago I submitted Audo to GMTK Jam 2020. Since then I’ve learned a lot about myself, my aesthetic, and my craft. So with this anniversary I wanted to put my personal spin on a classic.
With this year’s theme of
joined together I was reminded of a few playground games I played as a child.
From the shower, where the best ideas emerge, I invented a game that I would definitely play which combines Red Rover with Snake.
You can find the rules in-game.
For its digital analog, I aimed to prototype the basic mechanics and make it fully accessible. The game simulates a playground where computer-controlled players join the offense as the segmented worm grows. Each player is an actor with dynamic behavior depending on whether they’re on offense or part of the worm. And their positions and roles are fully communicated with directional audio cues.
My experience with this jam was unlike the other shorter ones I’ve participated in. With the game concept fully playable on paper, I went into its development with an unusually unified vision. This ended up being extremely helpful, because this was the first jam I’ve joined where I wasn’t able to dedicate myself to the majority of its duration. So the sound design is perhaps my most minimally synthesized to date.
During the jam you may have played some early unversioned builds. With the condensed time scale of the jam I didn’t have time to tag or communicate the changes. Here’s a summary of them now:
- Saturday afternoon. This was the first playable build with the core game loop and mechanics realized. I was happy enough with this progress that I made the GitHub repository and itch page public. After this I had to sign off for a social obligation.
- Saturday night. Before bed I had enough energy to add pleasant vector graphics and an accessible train length indicator. By the way, did you notice that the game is completely playable with audio alone?
- Submission deadline. This morning I polished aspects of the sound design, difficulty curve, and scoring. Wow! I felt like I was just getting started. Pencils down.
I’m pretty pleased with how I managed my time and how this evolved throughout the jam. I hit my goal of having the core game finished at the halfway point, and spent my remaining time polishing it for submission. Don’t worry if you missed the early builds—this one is certainly superior!
The future of Wurmus
Like my previous jam submissions, I can’t promise future updates for Wurmus. However, there were some areas for improvement that I’d like to possibly revisit. Specifically, improvements to offensive behaviors and positioning of the train could lead to more varied and emergent gameplay. It would be nice to have an options screen with audio and controls settings, too.
As always, thanks for playing, and thanks for the good year!