[psst. you can download the game at the bottom of this post.]

Whoa. Global Game Jam 2014 happened all over pillow castle this past weekend. The team spent Friday thru Sunday creating a game that some called “weird” and others called “oh, okay”. others called it “brilliant”. i can’t source these quotes at all. don’t try. The theme for these years game jam was “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are,” which, if you’ve seen the work we did for Museum of Simulation Technology, was sort of, you know, up our alley.

couchThat actually turned into a little bit of a challenge as we entered brainstorming on Friday night. We weren’t sure what direction to go in, only that it had to be pretty far away from the work we were doing for the unannounced new gamed. We went through all sorts of ideas – from the absurd to the logical – before landing on a somewhat odd premise: “What if you were Medusa, and you had to go grocery shopping?”

Mistake #1: There is a shitload of assets in a grocery store. This will come to haunt us later on.

allenAllen drew up the map of a grocery store because he’s practically lived in them since he was a small child. This whole project gave him mild panic attacks along the way, because he was secretly worried he had been dreaming about quitting his Whole Foods gig and going to graduate school. Luckily he’s still dreaming and making games instead. Zhengyi and Yuxi modeled and textured the hell out of our environment and characters, and Yuxi spent late hours bent over Maya animating our characters (and fishies).

Mistake #2: We didn’t have anything playable until Sunday – we had no idea what was fun.


Albert and Xiao worked on the disparate tech pieces, and we neglected to piece the whole product together because we had such a clear vision of what we were making. This was a Huuuuuuuge rookie mistake. No one has any god damn clue what they are making at a given time. Even us professional game designer magicians.

By Saturday night we had a lot of pieces but not much of a whole. We should’ve been worried. Instead we were laughing at Zhengyi for being such a weirdo:


Mistake #3: The game was too complicated to iterate on sufficiently in 48 hours.

We thought we had created a scoping issues with assets (that we were compensating with awesomeness) but in reality, we were creating just as complex of an interaction set that needed to be balanced and Allen, as the designer, didn’t have any clue how to make it fun. It controls like crap, which we will from this point forward say “is part of its charm!” The good news is, it’s pretty.


Mistake #4: Global Game Jam Judges play your game for 2-3 minutes.

Long experiences are not great for things like Global Game Jam – the most brilliant games we all played that others had made were short experiences that could be repeated quickly. Our’s was a 10 minutes slog with a minute or two of explanation at the beginning. who the hell wants that in a room with 23 other games?

All things considered, the game rules, and we had an awesome time.

We learned a lot about our asset pipeline and the limitations of some of our demo hardware. The new laptops we’re using to demo our stuff are a little on the creeper side (and we made some horrible mistakes in-engine) so we had some major framerate issues. We also learned a lot about the importance of making some decisions and running with them – and while we did that well initially, we settled into a rut halfway through and never really committed ourselves to questioning the direction we were going after the initial vision was created.


ENOUGH CHATTER! Here’s a download link:


Windows Version | Mac Version

NOTE: This hasn’t been tested very much. You need to force-close the window to quit the game. Sorry <3