Friday, January 31, 2014

Global Game Jam 2014: Race the Rainbow

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of taking part in the 2014 Global Game Jam, a game-making marathon held at multiple locations worldwide over the course of 48 hours. The theme was "We don't see things as we are, we see things as they are." After some brainstorming of ideas and quite a bit of arguing, we decided on our game:

"Race the Rainbow" is, as its title suggests, a racing game. Each racer is one of four colors, and various colored tiles are scattered across the racetrack. When a racer is driving on a tile that matches its color, it gains a speed boost; if the tile is of a different color, it takes a severe speed penalty. Thus, although the racetrack is the same for all players, each player sees the racetrack differently depending on the color. (Yay loose interpretation of theme!) 48 hours is never as much time as you think, and I'm glad we ended up settling on this straightforward idea.

I was on composing/sound design duty for the entire weekend, which was a ton of fun: it's been a long time since I've been able to focus just on writing music. I had the pleasure of working with two other talented audiophiles/composers, and learned more about producing music and recording over a single weekend than I have in my whole life. Working with the other members of my team (programmers, designers, and artists) was a lot of fun as well.

I ended up being responsible for the main level theme, which we decided would be of a "modern chiptune" style. I tackled the composition in FL Studio (accompanied by FL-chan :P), which I had finally purchased over the past holiday season. After scrapping my first few drafts, the final melody idea came to me in my early-morning drive back home, and I subsequently put the rest of the piece together over the next 30 hours or so. A bit slow in retrospect, but given that I was simultaneously learning how to use FL Studio, I'd say not bad. Here's the full version of my song, "Chromatic Circuit":

Title: Chromatic Circuit
Date Completed: 2014-01-26
Software: Audacity, FL Studio
Composition time: ~15 hours

All in all, the weekend was a huge blast, and I'd recommend that anyone who has an interest in games check out the next Global Game Jam (January 2015). Check out our official Game Jam page here, and if you're interested in playing our game, you can either download the executable from the page or play in a browser here. Enjoy, and let me know what you think!



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