Thursday, April 5, 2018

#BeerSK - Post Mortem

I had intended for the #lowrezjam to be a singular excursion, as I knew that some projects at work were about to ramp up. However, twitter alerted me to Bar SK's first birthday celebration and accompanying game jam. I've always been interested in Bar SK; It's a bar in Melbourne that's themed around game development, particularly experimental games. I haven't been yet, but it's definitely on my bucket list.

The rules for this jam were more focused on technical requirements to fit their setup, but the general theme was beer and Bar SK itself. While unofficial, there had also been a growing trend around "trashgames", a niche of intentionally/unintentionally rough/punk/'bad"/unfinished/'quick games that had somehow also grown into a secondary theme.

Timeframe for this jam was about a week, but it ended up being a pretty busy week at work, so I only really managed to have about 1-2 nights and a weekend to get things done. This was a pretty quick and cool jam, and aside from any feedback I might've gotten if I had managed to visit the bar that night, there's not a lot to follow up on, so I'll keep this brief...


- I got a lot done in very little time! I think the majority of the gameplay was programmed in a night, and most of the art done in a night and a half. While there's not a lot to the game itself, and the loop does kind of end pretty abruptly, and it's not really clear what the goal is initially, it stands out as looking unique and offers a different experience to most of the other games in the jam.

- Aesthetically I think it turned out pretty good. I would've liked to have spent a bit more time on the UI and maybe the beer, but generally, it stood out and made for some good gifs.


- The sound is absolutely trash. I had no idea what to do and couldn't find anything to match so I think I ended up just making a bunch of mouth noises for everything.

- I didn't really think hard enough about the core gameplay before building it... I had a pretty clear vision in my head about catching beer and glasses colliding; I managed to capture almost exactly what I had in my head in that regard. However, I was going for something competitive but it never really felt like you had that much control/there wasn't really enough challenge. Instead, I pivoted into the game being more of a "compatibility test" thing, but it would've been better if I could've communicated that better.


Pretty sure it was something like:
Day 1 - Core gameplay
Day 2, 3 & 4 - Nothing
Day 5 - Art
Day 6 - Art, title screen, score screen, gameplay loop
Day 7 - Sound effects, tap movement patterns


As I said before: I'm pretty happy with how this turned out. I would've loved to have been there on the night to see it in action (still hoping to get there some day), but I've seen it in the one of the photos from the night. A screenshot from Beer Buds is also used as the header image for the Bar SK Beer Club meetings, so that's pretty cool too.

Will definitely consider getting involved again for the 2nd birthday party.

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