Singularity Escape – A libGDX Jam experience
If you know me, you know I’m always brewing game ideas and features for current games in my head. My team member Roby knows this and came to me asking if I’d be interested in entering Fev Games into a game jam competition! This particular jam was of interest because a game we hold near and dear to our hearts (Ingress) was also developed on the libGDX platform. With myself designing the game, Roby as lead developer, Robert Vaughan (#RobWear) doing graphics, and Chris Gheen as a consultant developer; Team FG was ready!
A game jam is a gathering of game developers for the purpose of planning, designing, and creating one or more games within a short span of time, usually ranging between 24 and 72 hours. Game developers are generally made up of programmers, game designers, artists, and others in game development-related fields.
Most game jams have a theme and a time limit that all the developers need to adhere to. This particular jam was set to last 30 days, which we hear is much longer than a typical jam. The starting theme list was open and anyone could suggest a theme (we suggested Time Travel). The final five themes for voting were narrowed down to: Black and White, Life in space, Evolution, Everything is basic shapes, & Low resolution. Of the final five, we were excited Life in space was selected for the theme! Prior to voting though, I started design boarding for all 5 themes to prepare for whatever was choosen. Got those in my pocket for a rainy day!
Start of the jam and holidays
The jam started a week before Christmas day, and presented a bit of a problem as many of us were not only out of town away from our computers, but were knee deep in family as well. While this isn’t a bad thing at all (we love our families!), it certainly slowed down the first two weeks of progress. I was able to get some basic design structure completed, but the full meat of the design document still needed to be outlined to ensure my other team mates had direction when they were free to work on the project. Robert designed a super sexy logo and Roby started development on the main menu. Like I mentioned though, we were all on holiday and much of the work had to wait until after.
The final rush
With the holidays out of the way, we were able to progress a little faster. Roby worked hard on implementing parts of the game with the occasional advice from Chris when issues arose. Robert also worked hard to finish base isometric tilesets for us to craft the rooms of the game.
We didn’t haven’t a playable model until the final week of the jam. It came down to cutting features and making others work with what we had already implemented. An important lesson for any project is: Don’t get caught up in fluff. I have 100 more ideas on the perfect A+ version of this game, but realistically I should have focused on the bare bones. I completed all the basic rooms with tiles provided by Robert, and Roby implemented the final pieces of the game giving us our first working version! Let me say this. It is awesome planning out a project and working with talented individuals wanting to help make it happen! We went through some balancing before we turned in the final version, and though it’s not the fluff heavy game I unrealistically planned up, it’s something we did together and grew as a team.
We’re proud to present the first game ever from Fev Games (technically second to flying MuMu game): Singularity Escape! Let me share a little about the game with you.
Singularity Escape is a top down spaceship simulator. The main character and his two shipmates are making a delivery from a mysterious customer. Big cash payment up front, ask questions later type of delivery. When arriving at the delivery coordinates, they are pulled into the gravity well of an unexpected black hole. The goal of the main character has now shifted from delivery, to survival. Using whatever resource is available, the goal of the game is to see the main character to safety.
Crew of The Gambit
This silver-tongued human trader is the owner and captain of the trade ship Gambit. He is the main character and the goal above all else is to see him to safety.
Top of her class, Cindy is one of the brightest human minds this galaxy has seen in ages. Cindy owes a large sum of money to the Pirates Guild to pay for her schooling, but couldn’t make payments and is on the run serving on the Gambit to pay her debt.
An energy based lifeform, belonging to the only other sentient race Humans have discovered in the universe. SL71b resides in a space suit to emulate human shape and is an expert in engineering. SL71b does not require Oxygen to live.
Try it out and vote!
Now that I’ve told you about the jam and our game, we could really use your help! Voting is taking place until 2/2/16. This was the first game jam for everyone on the team, and though it may not have much polish, we’d really appreciate our fans taking a few minutes to check it out and vote. Check out some of the other submissions if you have time as well, there are some good ones!
Play and vote
Thank you for taking the time. For the love of the game!