Global Game Jam 2022 (Mew Mew Mirror)
Global Game Jam 2022 was a whole new beast this year, it lasted 10 days and was a hybrid event where participants could be both remote and/or in person. I joined the Central Florida jam site again this year after having such a good time the year prior. After putting together a team, mostly comprising of prior year members but also having added a couple of newbies, we got to work.
The theme this year was Duality, which from the start felt like a double edged sword. We decided to go with the lower hanging fruit in design terms which was “opposites.” We felt that the more intense duality related stuff (human nature, quantum physics and such) wouldn’t allow us to create an interesting game within the time constraints. The idea we came up with was a Side Scroller Puzzle Platformer game where you play as a pair of magic-wielding anthropomorphic cats. They get separated with one being pulled into the mirror dimension and must work together to solve puzzles in order to progress.
Going into this jam I knew I wanted to create an epic boss battle so I assigned that task to myself and started knocking it out first thing. I wanted to have a fun, dynamic boss fight that challenged the player by pitting them up against interesting, elemental based mechanics which would match/reinforce the lessons learned throughout the rest of the game. To do this I decided on a 4 phased fight that changed as the player ticked away at the bosses health. Each phase gets more difficult as the bosses movement patterns, attacks and behaviors change. I spent most of the jam designing and building out this fight but I also had some other responsibilities since I was leading this group.
I also took on the additional roles of Producer and “IT Guy” for this jam. I managed all 8 members of our team, letting them know what we needed them to work on in order to reach our goals. I also set up and ran both a Perforce server and a Jenkins build automation server for us to use. This way we were able to have source control and have the most recent build automatically created every time we pushed an update.
We used a cartoon water material, a single asset pack for our VFX and Mixamo for our animations, everything else was created during the jam by the team. I implemented the audio using FMOD which our sound designer had experience with and I created the enemy AI/Boss from scratch using blueprints.
Our team was spread out around the country and some of us were registered for the Central Florida site while some were registered with the Playcrafting site in NYC (the largest jam site in the US). Both jam sites held a sort of competition where they would vote on the best games created during for the jam. Mew Mew Mirror came in 2nd place/Best in Show at both the Playcrafting site and the Central Florida site. This came as both a surprise and a huge honor.
Our game didn’t quite come out as expected, we ran into a lot of issues with getting our art exported correctly and ran into some hindrances with Perforce not liking the FMOD plugin. All in all though I’m extremely proud of our team and what we accomplished in such a short amount of time. Coming in 2nd place twice feels pretty good and just leaves that much more desire to come in 1st next time.