UKIE Game Jam 2018

  • Developer(s): A small university team (5 members)
  • Role: Narrative and level designer
  • Engine: Unity2D
  • Programming Tools: MS Visual Studio (C#)
  • Platform(s): PC (Windows)
  • Development Time: 24 hours
  • Release: Late 2018 (the second year of my bachelor’s degree at UEL)
  • Genre(s): 2D platformer
  • Mode(s): Single-player

As a part of a group effort, When Life Hits You was made for the Ukie Student Game Jam in late 2018. We had a little bit more than 24 hours to develop a fully functional game. The teams were graded by Ukie Game judges who searched for games with original concepts, high replayability potential, appealing visuals and impactful stories. Since we had a very limited time to submit the project, we decided to work in a 2D environment, as all of my team members had previous experience with it. The platformer genre was also quickly chosen because it didn’t require a lot of time and resources, as well as it was known to have a high replayability element in its gameplay. My role was to design a level according to our theme and make sure the message behind it was efficiently told.

Since the year’s given theme was “a change”, we thought of a related story that would have a far-reaching meaning behind the game’s platforming mechanics. At the start, the players control a child whose path is filled with evidently easy obstacles. As the play continues, the players are facing bigger challenges and different swapping points in which their character turns into an adult and later on into an elder. Throughout the playthrough, a black wall is slowly moving from left to right, forcing players to move faster. The whole level design and visuals represent human life in which eternal growth creates various ups and downs (showcased by the different elevations). The wall represents time and the pressure it puts on people until they can’t escape it any longer.

  • Embark on a human journey of growth and try to reach old age
  • Use a standard WASD movement and jumping mechanics to navigate through the 2D space
  • Outrun the increasingly fast wall that represents time
Learning Outcomes
  • Participating as a team in a game jam
  • Working under a strict time limit (maintaining a tight schedule)
  • Following the set theme and specific rules
  • Working with an industry professional (a mentor from Mediatonic Games)
  • Improving fast-thinking and design skills
  • Learn how to make design-related compromises and adapt quickly to necessary changes