After mucking around with games for the better part of 10 years, I finally participated in a Ludum Dare (33)!
For those of you who don’t know, Ludum Dare is a global game jam: a hackathon in which one creates a game around a surprise theme over the course of a weekend. It’s global in the sense that anyone can submit entries remotely or host their own jam as part of the weekend.
I thought doing LD33 would be a good opportunity to get more comfortable with Unity, and indeed, I learned a lot (occasionally the hard way). The result, our glorious entry, Space Ram, (although I will never cease to mention that I voted for the alternate title, “Ramsey the Rokgobbla“) is a time-attack game where you play a galactic devourer of worlds: the only problem is, you’re a veritable space guppy—hardly large enough to devour an asteroid!
Our take on the theme, “You are the monster”, sees Space Ram gobbling up small moons until finally he is large enough to swallow gas giants whole! Also of note is the ‘ram’ attack, shattering planets into conveniently smaller fragments to eat. Beware the humans, who have sent fighters and battleships to hunt you down before you become too powerful to stop, which, if all goes according to plan, will be shortly.
Featuring a dynamically generated universe each game and given five minutes to grow as large as you can, Space Ram plays like a single, randomly generated Katamari Damacy level meets Osmos, the pioneering iOS physics/scale game (for lack of a better description). It’s fun to grow and to dwarf objects that once took up your entire screen.
Although we weren’t able to get every feature we wanted before the conclusion of the jam, we worked on Space Ram a little the following week to get the game more playable. I’m proud that we were able to get a dynamically spawning universe on this scale that mostly works, pretty cool AI for the human battleships and fighters, and even had time for some cool little features, such as a minimap —
The graphics are awesome, courtesy of my coworkers, pals, and jam co-participants, who were great sports about trying out a game jam for the first time: Kevin Davis and Matt Fry!
If you’d like to download Space Ram, check out the following directory and click on the latest zip file for your platform. Game is best played with an Xbox 360 controller on Mac OSX. Unfortunately, the key mappings may be off for Windows/Linux, so you’ll have to use the keyboard in that case
We’re in talks to maybe brush up the game into a really polished, single-level, dynamically generated Katamari-type of experience, so stay tuned!