Yes, that was the theme of this years Global Game Jam. The fourth year we’re jammin’ as KJ Interactive and the third year we’re doing it over at LBS Stockholm.
This year however we could not manage our own site at LBS Stockholm as the GGJ organization did not allow minors, it’s unfortunate as we had a lot of very excited teenage students go from full on excitement to sadness. We of course could not let this stop us! The site might not have been officially participating but we were there in spirit. *heroic music plays *
Our programmer Krister, who also works at LBS Stockholm was responsible for the event at the school, and while Jona, our technical art director was full of energy Krister was coping with a severe cold and all of the responsibility of managing the event.
We decided to work with two of the students that is part of Red Line Games and we wanted to try out VR and HTC Vive, a risky move as it was new techknowledgey for us and as Krister was running around putting out fires until late at night the first day, the rest of the team started producing graphics.
Doing some testing
Early the next day we started seeing major issues, the tech did not work as expected and plenty of hours later we had to come to the conclusion that we needed to scale it down, not wasting any time we rushed to have something done until the deadline. A day later and no sleep we just managed to have something we could stand by and we do believe that after all our troubles we came out with something of value as the others really enjoyed playing it.
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Global Game Jam is as you most likely have figured out a global event, during the last weekend of January every year game developers from around the world gather during 48 hours to create a game based on a common theme, this year the theme was RITUAL!
KJ Interactive (Krister and Jona) came up with The Shakespeare, a game where Tommy previously to making The Room records a pilot in his garage and by the sheer awesomeness and quality of his work… Well you have to watch the above video to find out.
For those not yet initiated into the glory of The Room, let me just tell you this. It is an EPIC movie of love and betrayal.
K Ok, so I’m Krister, the programmer of the group. The Shakespeare game was a nice level of complexity for a jam, the two biggest features code wise is that of the rhythm based gameplay where you have to press the correct button att the right time to score points, regardless the other system will continue to drive the story forward making sure Tommy is at the correct position at the correct time doing what it is he is suppose to do.
Krister, you can show this thing, you coded it!
I don’t really have anything fancy to show as my work is just about code, and even if the code itself can be presented in different nice looking colors I choose not to, but rather link you this fine looking color palette and trust that Jona, the technical artist has plenty to show, and… It is Jona after all and he would not be Jona unless he made some kind of sound, something he can talk endlessly about.
Now, let’s see this from my, Jona’s perspective. For this year’s Game Jam we wanted to create something which would just become a one shoot, something we could just as well show off through a video and not really have to worry about once it was done.
More than that though, we wanted to see if we could get some views and followers to our social networks for our upcoming game @EcoTalesGame on Twitter, always trying to get an extra follower.
Still, more than that we wanted to create something we could laugh at, so when we heard the theme and read the extra challenges, a game about Tommy Wiseau channeling Shakespeare in some sort of ritual felt like an obvious choice.
The first thing I did was create an OST, I got a hold of some piano tunes free with no strings attached and went to writing a song, you can listen to it HERE. It told the entire plot line, in the end the play deviated a bit but, well, no one listens to the lyrics anyway, right?
As this was a game jam, the time limit is the main thing to take into consideration when planning out a project, we wanted a nice character and I decided upon a style I personally love, big heads and small bodies.
I used zBrush to build a base for Tommy, rewatched The Room and took screenshots of him in various poses.
Take special note of the butt, if you’ve seen The Room, I know you remember it, doesn’t it bring back joyous memories?
Here’s the final model, I’m quite happy with it considering it’s my first attempt at a caricature, what do you think, leave me a happy or mad tweet @EcoTalesgame!
Knowing beforehand that skinning the character, sculpting, texturing and retoppologizing, not to mention animating it would take quite some time, I decided that the rest of the artwork would be things that Tommy himself could’ve made in his garage.
After creating a small ”room” with a feel I felt matched Tommy himself I set about creating cardboard cut-outs, painting quick sketches of the main environments and characters Tommy would interact with.
I gave Krister a script and he set about making Tommy do the things he had to do, following the player’s inputs, you can think of it as a guitar hero clone without the beat playing into it.
(See the picture I put in Krister’s section of the post.)
After the first draft of Tommy’s act, I created a voice over track with everything Tommy would say as he acted out the play, since this took place in Tommy’s garage, being recorded for the first time in history, I tried to keep the acting on a level suiting the actual movie.
Things still felt empty and I spent a lot of time creating, normalizing and cutting sounds from free sources around the web. Having the cut-outs make sounds as they were raised and lowered, dragged and pulled added a lot to the feel of the game. Finally adding in “Boos” and “Yays” for failed and successful button presses did the rest.
As any full-blood The Room fan knows, there are a lot of things which relate to spoons inside of the The Room, this is why, there is a nice physics particle effect getting activated whenever the player presses the correct button combination.
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