Game jam Manchester - 29/8/2013

For the last couple of months I have been attending a gathering of young people who are interested in all things tech and mentoring anyone who was interested in game dev as its usually a good way to get young people interested in computing. This gathering is called "@CoderDojo" and is held in the Northern Quarter in Manchester at @MadLabu18 which is only 20 mins from where I live and there are many more @CoderDojo 's being held all over the world.
It was through @MadLabu18 where I heard about about the @McrGameJam which was held @MadLabu18 on 28/9/2013.
As I have never been or done anything like this, I decided why not and purchased a ticket for myself and good friend Mark @maycontaingeeks who was also interested in the game dev process (he mainly wanted to know why it took me so long to develop Spectrangle360 :) ).

So on the Saturday morning I set off there with just my laptop and VS2010 installed, I had already decided that what ever I would be developing I would be using C# and the #XNA framework. Before the event we had already been given 5 themes to the game jam and the themes they had chosen where "Climbing, Inversion, Robots, Stealing and Hats" with the challenge of creating a game which would include as many of these themes as possible.

When I arrived, there where a few people already waiting outside for the place to open and after a few introductions I got talking to a guy called Phil who told me he was an illustrator and was hoping to group up with a developer, this worked out great as I really cant draw for toffee. Soon after my friend mark arrived where he had already been thinking about a game design which would include some of the themes.

From this Mark explained that the game would consist of a single platforming screen, where some hats would drop down from a tube. It would be your job as a relentless robot to collect these hats and throw them in the correct delivery shoot. Throwing the hats in the matching shoot would gain more points, the game would have a time limit where the final score would be displayed for each robot, oh yes Mark wanted it too be multi player too :S

So after a pretty full on day and some excellent image delivery from Phil and some great jokes and cajoling from Mark we manage to get some form of a game working. We didnt manage to get half of the game mechanics in we wanted eg multiplayer, matching hat tube scoring etc.. but we did have a pretty complete game with a proper beginning and end and a goal to collect 3 hats, not bad to say I had never attempted a platform game in #XNA with proper collision.

At the end of the day we didnt win the game jam but we definitely had fun doing it and I think hats all that mattered :), I would definitely attend one again in the future. Hats off  :) to the organisers and everyone else who went. 

Anyway here is a link to the code, again please excuse the dodgy coding and such, when your in a rush you definietly have to cut corners in terms of nicely tested code etc.. However if you do use any of it in some way I would hope that you email me at jaywroe (at) and just throw me an email with what you thought of the code and how you will use it.

Post tinkering

After spending another 1:30 hours I managed to improve the performance of the game when it initializes and when the robot is moving around in terms of collisions with the hats. If I ever get bored or have some spare time I might add the other features we wanted to add and see where it goes...who knows I may recycle some in another game jam.