Event & My Role
This was my first game jam event! Scorespace Jam #23 was held from December 16th through December 19th 2022 with a theme of "Survival". I joined a 2 person team - 1 programmer, 1 artist - as a UX/UI designer, wanting to jump in with learning about game development. Our artist created the individual art assets while the programmer implemented them into their own engine with myself in the middle making sure everything was visually pleasing.
Things I worked on directly:
Inspiration moodboard, color palette and font selection
Main menu design and game over with scoreboard design
Button and timer design
Name creation with logo design
Background/level design (colors) based on color palette with examples to show to programmer
With this being my first game jam, I was comfortable going with any project idea that the programmer wanted to do. We started with a simple idea about surviving with penguins on ice. This was further defined to ‘dodge the penguins while picking up items to extend the clock’.
The artist created the art assets which included the character, penguins and seals, and the items to pick up. Our programmer worked on the mechanics and designated the aspect ratio requirements. From there, I created an inspiration mood board to determine font, color, and layout.
Pac-Man primarily inspired the font and layout choices in the game. For the logo I chose a snow-covered font with a penguin icon for flare. I chose white, light blue and an eye-catching turquoise to follow the frozen theme. I also found dark gray as a great contrast for font color and overlays.
As my first game jam project, we kept the layout design simple: a rectangular sheet of ice surrounded by water. We worked together to find the right blue for the water, and I added a light gray border around the frame of the game.
I chose a dark gray overlay for the main menu that included the how to play, controls and the credits. It was important to make the button and art assets pop while keeping readability front of mind.
Design & Development
Our programmer took care of the development, but I was able to provide individual assets of my design that was implemented. This was certainly a learning process, but ultimately we stuck to the design and had good feedback on the game which was ultimately made in a 2 day time span.
My biggest challenge was to convince the programmer not to go off script and change colors of the UI elements, primarily the water color to the turquoise which was too bright and overwhelming to have so much volume on the screen.
I was so excited to participate in my first game jam, I truly did not know what to expect. Our team only talked over a group text chat, but we were able to successfully communicate our needs and ideas in the end.
This experience, even though I was new to game development, lit a fire in me to want to continue down the video game design path. This game may not have been fancy or complicated, but sometimes the best things come from the simplest!