Category Archives: Game Jam

Game Jamming

This weekend we will be embarking on a journey into the jam… of games.

Stuart, Alex and I on a team against other teams of fellow AIE members at the AIE floor. The theme was announced at 7pm which ended up being…



(I know, that’s from “Inception” but screw you).

After much discussion and broken bones (I wasn’t there for that part)… we decided on a game idea. The idea is basically checkers but with ninjas. There will be 2 players, each with a single ninja. The ninja can move to any square in a 3×3 area around it, but the catch is that when the player does this he can choose to create a ghost ninja that the other player cannot detect (they just see a normal ninja).

We thought hard about how we would do this without networking and thought that the best thing to do would be to have the player choose between 4 different coloured ninjas and they select one by dragging it down onto the board in the position they want the ninja to move to. But I hear you say “But the other player will see this won’t they huh? huh?” Yeahsss… But to do this they can either left click or right click and then drag the ninja onto the board. depending on which of these you do, the ninja is either clones or moved. The reason we have colours is mainly so someone can actually remember which of THEIR ninja is the real one. (I know I’d forget).

We don’t have a name yet, but in the code we called it “Shadow Clone”.

So that’s the planning stage. Look around for more posts to continue the plot of the ninja.

Game Jam progress

Friday and Saturday Morning.

Which seemed like the same day, we had Alex pump out some pretty sweet looking grass, rocks and bamboo for the level textures. Then after a few hours we had a state machine going. The state machine was my handy work and I managed to get it to run everything from the game playing state, and calling the ChangeState function on the same state again reset the game. In the meantime, Stuart was working on the getting the player to move around and we were both deciding on some key concepts like how Z ordering would work.

Not really much to show at this stage of the jam; just core mechanics needed to build up from.

Day 2.

We have not had very much sleep. I got about 5 hours (accidentally. I was only going to have 3, but I felt awesome after it…) and when I got back to the room we were in, Stuart had pumped out the code to get the players moving in the squares which was wicked.

From there, Alex had done a nice looking Ninja. We were planning on animating the ninjas but only towards to end of the jam if we had time. Alex had also re-made the graphics to a new style and made a start on the HUD graphics.

I implemented a camera controller with smooth movements which looked really good. This was done by a Camera class with a normal position and a target position. The camera would ease into the X and Y of the target, getting slower the closer it got. This is my favourite formula in programming ever. We also got the graphics in and had the ninjas moving around which looked nice.


(This is still the old graphics)

At this point, the ninjas simply teleport to their position without any way of knowing what’s happening. So we planned on adding in an explosion which I made a start on in Flash. It turned out really well in the end after a few attempts. I tried to make the smoke pull inwards towards the centre of the cloud as it moved upwards. After that I added a purple tint to it so it looked like a ninja puff of smoke. I then exported it into a PNG sequence for importing into XNA.


At this point, Stuart had left for a concert so I began implementing more smooth ninja movements and getting the camera to position its self on the players properly.

More updates to come!