Opposable Games: Global Game Jam 2013
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Global Game Jam 2013

Posted 2014-02-04 16:04:52 by Lukas

The Global Game Jam was last weekend and some of us from Opposable decided to take part. We consisted of James, Ben T, Owen, Nat, Ben C and myself.  The theme this year was “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are” which proved both intriguing but probably one of the more restrictive themes I’ve seen. As part of the Global Game Jam at the Bristol Game Hub, we were asked to particularly focus on accessibility and allow people with various disabilities to play on a level playing field.

With both these thoughts in mind, most teams decided to make a game which incorporated a person’s disability in their game. Our game wanted to allow a similar pattern allowing both a blind person and a deaf person to play our game without losing out on any information. Our inspiration came from the “Three Wise Monkeys” proverb. The “Three Wise Monkeys” known as See No Evil, Hear No Evil and Speak No Evil incorporated the central characters of the game and we could use each character’s missing sense to create a game involving team work.

Here is the result, Sanbiki No Saru!

og web games HEADER SanbikiNoSaru

The game involves trying to determine which monkeys should and shouldn’t get into monkey heaven. This is done in a three stage process. See No Evil firstly has to determine where a monkey is in relation to himself by using 3d audio to determine whether the monkey is to the left, right or center of him. This then identifies a monkey for Hear No Evil, who can then see the same monkey and also see whether a monkey is good or bad. That player then has to press the good or bad button at the right time for Speak No Evil. Should both See No Evil and Hear No Evil perform their actions correctly, Speak No Evil can then see the monkey and also see whether the monkey is good or bad. Speak No Evil then has to open and close three gates and allow good monkeys into monkey heaven and evil monkeys into monkey hell.

3wisemonkeys ingame

My work on the project was mainly the networking for the game and graphics in the front end. So we used OneTouchConnect to connect the server and clients quickly and easily and I then worked on the front end.

James worked mainly on Speak No Evil’s screen and Hear No Evil and tried to ensure the balance of the game was suitable.

Owen was responsible for See No Evil’s screen which involved trying to use 3D audio to locate where an upcoming monkey is. One small problem we ran into, is that on an iPad, for whatever reason, the 3D audio isn’t anywhere near as effective as it was on a non-mobile device. This made See No Evil’s job much harder.

Nat was responsible for all the artwork on the game and Ben did sound effects and music.

Generally, we were quite pleased with the game. There were definitely one or two bugs when we presented it, but the general functionality was complete. One interesting aspect that I think we learnt is that making a networked game with an efficient pipeline is quite difficult. There is always a need for a local version of the game to allow for testing of new mechanics or features but there is then an extra step of adding that new functionality to the network infrastructure and then testing that as well. It’s an interesting challenge but I’m sure there’s a way it can be lessened.

We will probably clean it up at some point and make another version of the game available to play which has any major bugs resolved. The game ended up receiving two awards including from the venue including game with the best gameplay and our game was ranked the second best game of the Bristol Game Jam. We were beaten by a truly excellent game which I urge you to play as well called Senseless Runner. http://www.atopsecretproject.com/senselessrunner

You may have noticed, I’ve not mentioned Ben T. He decided to defect from Opposable and work on some eye tracking technology with Constance Fleuriot. He created a game/app that allows you to see what you would see if you had Gary Gilmore’s Eyes. Here’s Ben seen through Gary Gilmore’s eyes!

Ben death face.

- Lukas (programmer)

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