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7DFPS: after the dust has settled

Aug 21, 2013 - Elliott Draper

I thought it might be fun to look back at 7DFPS, now the dust has settled, to look at what went right and what went wrong with the development of Velocity Ball. The observations here might be useful to other people doing a time limited game jam in future, and certainly will help me to solidify my experiences to make next time around even better.

Positives

  • I learned a lot about Unity, in a very short space of time
  • I shipped a pretty much complete (if a bit buggy, and short on content) game concept in 7 days
  • 7DFPS gives you a spotlight, so a bunch of people have played the web and Mac versions!
  • I think the game idea has a lot of potential, and I’m left with a lot of ideas on how to improve it and extend it

Improvements

  • I probably spent too long on a few bells and whistles, then had a few late breaking physics related bugs that were tough to fully nail down and fix before the end - specifically I was messing around with the image effects to create the splash screen loading into the main game, as well as alternate camera angles for the main menu, and the goal line cams that show on big screens above each endzone
  • The game doesn’t have much longevity, and isn’t particularly taxing as the AI is fairly one directional at the minute

On the whole though, it was an enjoyable exercise, and Velocity Ball is definitely something I’d like to continue working on and building out from the prototype it is now, into something bigger and better.

Other entries

Another bonus of course was being able to take a look at what other people can get done in a week - and it’s pretty humbling and awesome to see some of the amazing things people did. Some clearly focused on short, polished experiences, while others worked on a broader, more ambitious vision that had a little less polish, but there were some gems in there. Here are a few of my favourites, after having gone through just a small percentage of the 167 games that were finished.

Escape Sequence

Really polished, with the design fitting the concept perfectly - the idea is to escape each maze, with them seemingly getting tougher and tougher, on your way to the escape pods

Root Arena

Old school style fragfest, frenetic multiplayer action - a great variety of weaponry, and it even has it’s own stats server and leaderboards, great for bragging rights!

Hunting Anubis

Nice change of pace, aerial combat - good style, was hard to test the actual combat as no one else was on when I tested it, but I can imagine it’d be quite tense!

Beyond Perception

Another innovative idea, this time a puzzle game set inside museum paintings, 2D puzzles in 3D - nice to see such an abstract, fresh concept squeezed into a game produced in such a short space of time

Superhot

Incredibly stylish aesthetic, with a great unique selling point in that time only moves forward in the game when you’re moving - would make a fantastic full game

Unity

Worth noting that all of the above games were built using Unity, just like Velocity Ball - I’m not sure exactly, but it seems like a good majority of the games were built with Unity, quite possibly as it lends itself so well to being able to get something up and running in a very short space of time, without really having to sacrifice the quality in visuals or fidelity that you might have expected from such a rapid tool in the past.

Over to you

How about your 7DFPS? What was good, what was bad, and what would you do differently next time? And what are your favourite games from the jam? Sound off in the comments, or hit us up on Twitter.




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