Thomas Newsome

I Make Things

IGDA Spooky Game Jam 2018 ~SEARCHING~

This past weekend, I participated in the 2018 IGDA Spooky Game Jam on a team with my friend Kailey (@Kvpm on twitter), and joined by several other DePaul students and alumni on different teams (see below).

I have to say, this jam was one of the strangest and rewarding experiences I’ve had since coming to DePaul. I’m normally one to prioritize sleep, so when  I finished the game on time with only 3 hours of rest under my belt, I felt a bit wacky. But enough about MY feelings, let’s talk about the game!

The theme of this jam was Fear. Our game, Searching, is a game about navigating the battlefield of social interaction, specifically the “Fear” of knowing the right things to say in a conversation with someone you’ve just met. The player moves around the space, and can interact with NPCs by bumping into them. This will start a “Conversation Sequence”, where if you can keep your confidence from dropping to 0 by the end of the sequence, they become your friend and will follow you. There is a garden in the school that also lets the player have self reflection time and they regain some confidence, but can only be used once per play through. 

After the player traverses to the dreaded cafeteria, all his friends leave him because they never truly wanted to hang with him or get along in the first place. This devastation leaves the player with no choice but to talk to the one lonely kid at the lunch table, who turns out to be just as strange, if not stranger, than the player. This change subverts what the player sees as the “correct” responses or statements in the sequence, so they must quickly adapt and keep their confidence up since this is their last shot at a friend. 

Check it out here!

Also, be sure to check out all the other awesome submissions for this jam, there are some crazy cool ones!

Special thanks to IGDA Chicago, The Voxelles, Sugar Gamers and 2112 Chicago for making this event happen.

Technical info: The game was made in Unity and art was made in Illustrator

Credits:

Thomas: Game design, Gameplay Programming

Kailey: Game Design, Art

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