• Zain Dib

Global game jam 2021(29-31 of january)


As I am writing this, it's 02:15 in the morning I could get to sleep, but I'm still active, with the new work I have each week I tend to take a nap from time to time, as I'm too tired to do anything else, I get some sleep and then start working on creating some graphics. Although it has been some time since I last began a bog, it's the new year, and nothing really has changed the restrictions continue to tighten which makes people miserable since they cannot function to their former life to what they were used to before this epidemic. I mean I can't even visit someone special, which without an critical reason- Medical, work, education, doctor appointment otherwise I'll be caught on a £200 fine this city is getting more and more expensive.

Anyway, last December I was able to produce some good results for landscape, animation and other figure characters which I really am proud of, a year ago I wasn't as refined in fact quite rusty and lacking prior knowledge of anatomy, but now at speed I'm going I can see myself really becoming better as an artist.


This year was my first Game Jam, in retrospect I should have my second I was offered the opportunity to attend another game jam earlier last year. However, I refused as I “wasn’t creatively available” because I enjoyed my time away from University after graduation. However. So yes this year was my first Game Jam. However, I had made games with groups before more time than not; it didn’t go as planned. Once I worked on a game called the last champion set in roman times It was okay. However, we had only one programmer with about eight artists- the lack of communication left a sore spot for me as one moment I’m heading the creation of the coliseum the next someone else is, and I’m not told. It was annoying especially as everyone wasn’t cooperative - not naming names but I know the faces.

The second game was much easier helping a programmer with a VR game, and the only issue was texturing the models, they didn’t show in the game engine, turns out it was the format of the texture. Hence, I just used simple lambert material, and it showed.

The third time was the worst, sixteen artists and three programmers you know how this would end up. Lack of communication, centralisation or management, division soon set in with factions forming into two groups. Everyone putting half effort in because they were busy with other assignments then COVID explodes. Everyone just did what expected to develop the criteria not caring about making a game; the general attitude towards the project was apathy. It got annoying as I felt I was putting more effort than I should have. And now we are up to date with my resume of game projects.

The theme of the game this year was -LOST AND FOUND- which was a friendly theme to have as we have a character or entity finding an object that is important to them (for me it’s just finding a 4TB hard drive that had lots of personal information it). Until I can get permission I will be referring to my peer in the Jam using nicknames, there was the lead programmer Stef, who put in much work working until 3 AM, then IT who was terrific, doubling for a modeller and texture artist in Blender. However, she was new to it and became better as the days rolled to the finale, the old man who was the oldest of the group was a support capacity focused on the main menu with Stef but ended up getting food poison midway through the Jam, and Anna Stef girlfriend who was an artist for animation and film who helped tremendously with the modelling, texturing and rigging of the duck. Finally, me who was the lead artist of the game. I did a bit of everything from character designs concept art sketches and contributing ideas to further develop the game.

Serious production of the game titled Duck trip started on the 29th of January, I joined the discord (you got to love COVID-19) and proceeded to join everyone in the concept phase wherein pre-production everything was still new and laying the foundation for the game to grow, the game had three levels one in a museum where the duck toy escapes, the second in a Forrest inspired for a park in japan and third, would be a forest to then transition to a building where the duck unites with its owner. We all used Miro to collaborate to synchronise our ideas for the game.

The next day started around 10 AM; we began the coding process using Unity for the engine, creating character designs. Modelling texturing, I remember saying that “today I think we got 40% maybe 35% of the game finished” midway through the Oldman got sick and retired, I was feeling tired and creatively bankrupt, so I dipped out. At the same time, both IT and Stef began putting work into the game until around 3 AM – I’m not a night owl more of an early bird, but this reminded me of University all right.

31st of October the pressure was on. Everything was coming together, and it was apparent we could not have three levels for the game. We had to compromise certain expectations of what we had for something that could be submitted on on time. It was as good as it was going to get, we finished, but I was sad later on as I would no longer work for them on something at least not for now and was back to the same routine. We proceeded to give a presentation later Tuesday, I believe, and it was fun. This game jam was a wonderful experience I befriended every one I worked with that I keep in connection to this day.

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