Global Game Jam 2020

Global Game Jam 2020

This was my first attempt at a game jam using UE4 and the 4th Global Game Jam (GGJ) I participated in. I like to go to UNC Chapel Hill to participate in person for these so I made the trip out there and met up with a composer friend who wanted to do the music for the game.

We watched the opening video where GGJ tells everyone what the theme is going to be, it was “repair”. We then tried to come up with some ideas and attempted to team up with the other people participating but my need to use UE4 seemed to complicate that. We settled into the idea that it was just going to be us working on it and kept brainstorming ideas.

We came up with the idea to have a babysitter that was watching a child but the child would constantly be trying to destroy stuff in the house. It was the babysitters job to go around and repair all the broken stuff before the parents came home.

For this project I used free 3D assets I got from the UE Marketplace and free characters/animations from Mixamo.com.

I spent a lot of time setting up the characters and their animations, it was the first time I was attempting it on my own and I had to reference tutorials for just about every step.

I also ended up spending a lot of time on the level layout. I think it ended up looking really awesome but I spent so much time on it that I ran out of time to program most of the game mechanics.

I got stuck on building out the AI as I had never worked with the Blackboard system in UE4 before. I watched a handful of tutorials but was still unable to get it to work properly. There was an inconsistent bug where the character wouldn’t move to their first target location every so often, I ended up coming to the conclusion that I couldn’t fix it during this jam and moved on to implementing the music.

We decided to use FMOD to help us implement audio into the game and so I set off to figure out how to install the plug in and get that working. In the end it was easier than I thought it would be and I got the music into the game no problem.

That’s just about as far as I got with this game. Admittedly, I bit off a lot more than I could chew for someone who was just learning UE4 but I don’t look at it as a failure. To me it’s more of a learning experience that I can use to look back on and measure how far I’ve come.

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