Pyxis — Mayhem Jam 2014

Link : Pyxis (windows only)

Another weekend, another 48-hour game jam. Only with this one, we actually got it more or less working by the end of Saturday and then got to spend¬†ALL of Sunday basically just working on polish. We got to dicker over the font of the title screen and how many pixels to move things to get them centered. I want to emphasize how usually the time constraint means that just doesn’t happen in jams.

Anyway, it’s not letting me take a screenshot, but it’s basically anti-breakout. You play as Pandora trying to keep the evil bubbles in her box and letting hope out. It’s solid and I’m proud of it.

What we did right :

  • We were a small team. It was originally just me plus Sam Arei on sound/music, but we were fortunate to also pick up Elijah Blackwell who managed the production, aesthetics, and images.
  • After quick but intense deliberation, we decided on a very simple core mechanic: paddles bouncing balls around. I was able to throw together a tech demo within the first couple hours. We had no idea how or if it would be fun, but ran with it anyway.
  • Spending time developing what we had. It started out as only a sorta-interesting graphical toy so I focused on ways to give it a challenging objective. Since we didn’t have a strict idea of what the final form should look like, we had a lot of space to play with different mechanics. Multiple or single blue bubbles, different types of evil bubbles, the best paddle configuration, bounce powerup effects… they were all “hey, let’s try this” and keeping the things that worked.
  • Playtesting. Just a few people who hadn’t seen it before in the last couple hours showed us that we needed to revamp the instruction screen font. Getting people to understand depends on lots of tiny stupid things being just right but are invisible to you since you already know.

GGJ 2014 — As We Are

As We Are is a short 5-minute puzzle game where you explore a situation from several different character’s viewpoints. It’s our entry to the 2014 global game jam.

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I’m quite pleased with this self-contained little game. It’s simple (you just move around with the arrow keys) but is able to present comprehensible situations via puzzles (thanks to a combination of the I’m-quite-proud-of level design and clear visual style).

I made a couple of huge layout oversights (incl. one that lets you just skip 50% of the puzzle) but I think they actually ended up adding to the experience. The alternate paths let you feel clever if you find them, and help people who get stuck continue through the game.

Sure, there’s a couple of other rough edges (no clear instructions to use space when you’re a dragon, NPC item stealing noise loop, you occasionally catch on the edges of things, I really wish I had added another level after the first where you play as one of the pink ‘bros), but I am legitimately proud of this. It feels whole.

GGJ page

Direct Dropbox Link

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By Wick Perry | © 2017 Wickworks
Proud to be a member of PIGsquad and Playful Oasis.