Global Game Jam 2014 Submission: Monk’s Journey

At this year’s Global Game Jam, I chose to develop a game at Cipher Prime because I usually hang out there almost every week. Also, I teamed up with the a bunch of strangers to seek new challenges. The only lesson I learned there as a frequent game jammer is that I should bring my own large notebook/sketchbook to write down my plan in case there is no whiteboard.

Anyway, our game is called Monk’s Journey.

Here are the links related to my group’s game submission:

Global Game Jam page:
Web Player:
Download (Win/OS X/Linux):

GDC 2013 Day 4

Right after I finished writing my day 3 post at Moscone North Hall, I went inside the expo floor to see what was going in there more. I briefly stopped by at the Havok booth. I learned that they plan to release a cross-platform engine and toolkit called Project Anarchy to mobile game developers for free later this spring. This should help me reduce my time on working on physics simulation.

After that, I decided to play the Japanese arcade game called Gunslinger Stratos again. This time, I recorded the gameplay on video so you could see it in action.

The first panel I went when I left the expo floor was IGDA Annual Meeting. The main topic of this meeting centered on complaints about the night party that occurred on day 2. The female dancers at the party were dressed “inappropriately” or sexually I should state. I heard from somebody on Twitter that a similar incident happened before. It sounded like IGDA needs to improve itself in planning or managing things ahead of time.

After the meeting, I immediately went to check out Sex in Video Games lecture. This panel covers sex and sexism in the video game industry. Like other types of media, sex sells because people like them. BioWare had received negative reactions as well as positive ones throughout their history. Also, 47% of gamers are female. These are some of the things that probably some people already know.

The next panel is Designing Journey, presented by Jenova Chen from thatgamecompany. He talked about how his 2-hour game took 3 years to finish development, from concept to final product. His team started the concept by identifying the emotion. He met with an astronaut who became religious after visiting the moon. That astronaut started questioning about his knowledge about the universe after he saw that the moon was lifeless and barren. Also, Jenova used a color palette analogous to emotions called emotional palette to determine emotions in other games. I don’t remember everything about this, but I remember that action games were in the red zone. I think social games were in the yellow. Journey was somewhere in the blue. Jenova’s team took a big action game, took away background noise, weapons and some characters and added in dessert props that resulted in what Journey is supposed to be. The early prototypes originally focused on cooperative multiplayer, not single player. Jenova’s team had to make the final version of the game single player as well as multiplayer so it can be played when players are alone and with each other. Jenova used the three act structure, which is often used in Hollywood, to make the game more of an emotional ride. Journey’s game world flow is based on this too. He also mentioned that checking fan art is a good way to see how players see your game. I might try that in the future.

After the closing of the convention center for the day, I went to some fancy restaurant called Roy’s for dinner. I ordered 2 Hawaiian martinis, ahi poke appetizer and misoyaki butterfish. They were all so good, I emptied the plates. One martini was enough to make my head feel light. After I finished my entree, I ordered a souffle for dessert. I only wanted the vanilla ice cream, but I ate the chocolate cake as well. When I looked at my food bill, my total was surprisingly high for few orders. I knew the restaurant was expensive, but I didn’t expect this! I’ll have to watch my spending better next time. Oh well, the food was still delicious.