Chicago Game Jam: Lose Your Lemmings

I already told you about my awesome team (and our odd yet fun decision to feature lemmings). But I didn’t yet tell you how long and hard we worked, if we placed in this competition, or show off some of the awesomeness that was completed. So let me do that here. A post Game Jam recap if you will.

Action shot of lemming duel. I created the background image, Lemming ball, and animation sprites that were used here. So much art, and so much fun.

Hackathon = No Sleep

Hackathons are notoriously known for being round the clock events where the participants scramble to get their work done. some never leave the premise during the competition time, and most do not sleep. Our group was no exception to this. Most of us stayed and worked through the night. One person worked remotely overnight and video called with us via google hang out. Only one member left to go get a few precious hours of sleep, but for everyone it was a long night. I finally fell asleep in my chair for 5 minutes after my work was done and we had finished breakfast. But by 10am we were all sitting down as each group took a turn to present their game. That was a straight 24 hours of work. Crazy.

Epic end screen. A fabulous collaboration with Rachel Ponce. As you can see I had a lot of fun with this painting.

The Goal is to Lose

Every year the Game Jam gathers participants and waits till teams have formed to reveal the theme everyone must use. This year the theme was ‘the goal is to lose’. They referenced games such as Lose Lose, 5 Minutes to Kill Yourself, and even the Wii Fit. Losing as an end goal is a concept that isn’t addressed much in games. Perhaps because it’s such a challenge. We kept going in circles trying to think of something where the goal was to lose, but mostly ending up with concepts that were more than a little psychopathic. In the end each team came up with their own way of tackling this dilemma. You can check out Chicago Game Jam’s  page to see some of the examples, and I highly recommend it, they are some wonderfully clever games.

This is the beginning screen. I created the concept art and collaborated with Rachel Ponce as she put it all together.

In the end, Lose your Lemmings didn’t get any prizes, but I still feel like a winner. Playing the completed game was so much fun, not to mention meeting so many talented and passionate people.

The Game We Made

Lose Your Lemmings is a multi-player game designed for iPad and keyboard. iPad was probably the most fun as you direct your player around by tilting the iPad, and the steeper the tilt, the faster you go. You play as the brown ball of lemmings, and your opponent appears on your screen as a red ball of lemmings. You start out as an equal size on a grassy field with a brick wall around it and a mysterious hole in the middle. When you ram into the other player on the screen you can knock off some of your lemmings onto them, making you smaller, and them bigger. The end goal is to lose your lemmings so that you can fit through the mysterious hole to freedom. You do need someone else to play, but if someone else is out there and ready it’ll connect you and play. (Give it a try, sometimes I sit around hitting the refresh button on the page, maybe we’ll get a chance to duel each other).

A second action shot from the game. No substitute for playing it though.


2 thoughts on “Chicago Game Jam: Lose Your Lemmings”

  1. Ha, thanks for giving me credit for my *stunning* button design on the game’s splash screen ;-) Seriously though, your lemming art was fantastic. Our game definitely would not have been the same without it!

  2. Well they were very nice buttons and worthy of praise :) (I wish I had an image of the Lemmegedon screen though, that was definitely your masterpiece). It was a great Hackathon Experience on team Lemming.

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