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GaryRichards

Tag is delighted to welcome Gary Richards as our new Senior Game Designer.

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It's a wrap! (Tag Jam 14)

That's Tag Jam finished for another year. While the teams head off to catch up on their sleep please check out the short videos below which show the final output. The six teams managed to produce five playable games in 24 hours which is quite some achievement. The one team that didn't finish with a playable game did produce some great ideas and taught themselves some new skills, so everyone has a lot to be proud of. Scroll down to find out who won the competition!

 

Team 1 - Autobutts "Leaf it Out!"

 

Team 2 - Mighty Morphin Flower Arrangers "Fighting Fauna"

 

Team 3 - Cats in Hats "Rainbow Cod"


Team 4 - Illegal Aliens "Where's Wheelie? Invasion of the Buddy Matchers"

 

Team 5 - Oh! The Hugh-Manatee "Sub-mission"

 

Team 6 - Light Headed "Birthday Bash"

 

Drumroll.... and the winner is....

 


Illegal Aliens with "Where's Wheelie: Invasion of the Buddy Matchers"

Not only did the Illegal Alien walk off with the main prize, but also picked up "gongs" for innovation and best use of the wildcard object. Will done to them, and to the rest of the teams!

The halfway point (Tag Jam 14)

In football terms it's a game of two halves and for us at Tag Jam the first of those halves has just drawn to an end. It's been 12 hours of mixed fortunes for our six teams. Some have made solid progress with everything pretty much going to plan, for others it's been one disaster after another. The good news is that there are another 12 hours to pull victory from the jaws of defeat. Let's catch up with our teams and see how their games are looking after 12 hours of development...

T1 12hour

Team 1 - Autobutts

Well it's a steady performance from team Autobutts. The untextured cube we saw last time has been transformed into a beautiful plate of what looks like bacon. Mmmmm... must be almost breakfast time already! The game is now featuring some rather dashing wallpaper texturing and a big black arrow. Nice. The team report that most of the planned functionality in terms of control and object spawning is now present and they are starting to add more content. There have been a few challenges with Unity, but that seems to be behind them now. Super Marc is delivering some lovely art now and it's looking pretty good for the 'butts.



T2 12hour

Team 2 - Mighty Morphin Flower Arrangers

The MMFA have lots of strange minions spawning and running down the screen before self combusting. The team are looking relaxed and are making very rapid progress through their extensive sprint plan. The code team have been arguing over the benefits of a single trunk or branches, but these minor production issues aside the game is coming along well. The team expect to be at 1st playable within the hour so for these flower arrangers life is looking rather rosy right now.



T3 12hour

 

Team 3 - Cats in Hats

Remember that large, buxom, Scandinavian woman we showed in the last update? Alas she is gone, possibly for ever. The Cats in Hats are using up their nine lives tonight after suffering a number of set backs. Jim Artmaster reports close to eight hours work lost due to a technical issue which even corrupted the backups. The plans to use both motion sensing along with split screen gameplay also ran into a few problems when they learnt that Chilli Source didn't yet support split screen play. Not to be outdone Sean has promised to hack this in by morning, the current status above doesn't look too promising though. Will the cats pull this one out of the bag? Stay tuned folks and don't write them off just yet!



T4 12hour

Team 4 - Illegal Aliens

The Aliens are perhaps the happiest of all the teams at the halfway stage. Basic game-play is in allowing the player to drive around an environment on Oculus colliding with people and the environment boundaries. It's an interesting concept that mixes VR driving in a shopping mall with multiplayer mechanics. We have no idea if this is going to be fun, but right now the team seem on track to have a full playable game by the end of the Jam. Right now they are just a whisker away from 1st playable and last minute issues aside it's hard to see them failing to deliver a solid build at noon today.


T5 12hour

 

Team 5 - Oh! The Hugh-Manatee

The big, bright, yellow submarine is now moving around the playscape! With basic controls, collision and audio team Hugh are on course and looking ship shape. The team feel they are still a little way from 1st playable, but these experienced Game Jammers are playing it safe - expect to see some rapid progress shown in the next update as they get some more of the production art in and less placeholder pink. The code team have had a few barriers to cross getting physics systems working as designed, but that seems to be behind them now.



T6 12hour

Team 6 - Light Headed

The Light Heads have perhaps one of the most interesting game concepts. The premise is that you play as a thief who has broken into the home of a master thief who just happens to be having a birthday party and who has he invited? Yep - all the other master thieves! The player controls their character as they power up their torch by collecting thief thoughts - the more you collect the further the torch beam reaches. Sounds cool huh? Well the early playable shows a lot of promise which a static picture doesn't really convey. If the team can get the player control and movement working fluidly then this could shape up to be a major contender for top spot.

The home straight (Tag Jam 14)

The sun is up, the birds are singing and the teams at Tag Jam have entered the final phase of their epic journey. The night hours have passed peacefully apart from the odd sound of snoring coming from various corners of the studio and everyone is looking surprisingly fresh. Without further ado let's take a look at the teams progress over the past few hours and find out if those lagging behind are on track to make this competition a photo finish, or not...

T1 20hour

Team 1 - Autobutts

Continuing on seemingly unhindered by the lack of a professional game artist, team Autobutts are now showing an interesting look and feel for their game. The game has the player stacking various ingredients, moving them around using tap and drag, to create the tallest tower before the whole lot comes crashing down. The game uses two player head to head networking and some nice physics. The team are happy with progress with some improvements to the physics, some bug fixing and some front end and ceremony are still to be added. The version we saw didn't have screen scrolling enabled, but with that completed and assuming the game translates well on device this is looking like it will be a fun little game.



T2 20hour



Team 2 - Mighty Morphin Flower Arrangers

The MMFA appear to only be around half way through their backlog at the 20 hour stage. It says a great deal for the level of their ambition that even though their game is perhaps only 50% complete it's already quite playable. In the game the player shoots different coloured petals from the flowers at the bottom of the screen to stop the invading minion hordes. Flowers vs Minions. That could be a great game title... sounds a little familiar though? The team still have some GUI and audio to go in, but due to the lack of time remaining have decided to keep powerups and an Android version on the back burner.



T3 20hour

Team 3 - Cats in Hats

Team Cats in Hats have been up against some fairly large problems right from the start of the Jam. First they lost art to a systems failure and then they discovered (or rather hadn't done their homework) that Chilli Source didn't support split screen. Well not to be detered they have battered on and whilst not being openly confident, they are still in a position where they could pull it altogether at the last moment. Their concept is rather ambitious for a 24 hour Game Jam and includes motion control in additon to that previously mentioned split screen mode. Good news is the motion control tracking works, split screen has been hacked in and there is plenty of art. Can they pull this cat out of the bag? The next four hours will tell.



T4 20hour



Team 4 - Illegal Aliens

It's fair to say the entire studio is interested to see how the Aliens get on with their game given their chosen platform is Oculus. We're not sure if Oculus is running Game Jams to generate new game ideas for their hardware, but it might be a good idea. Certainly team Illegal Aliens concept is quite original. The game is played by two players. The first player takes the role of the navigator. They are shown a top down map of the shopping mall and the location of the target character and must shout directions to the second player who is the driver (wearing the Oculus headset). It plays a little like a mix of Crazy Taxi and an abusive Garmin. The team are well on track in terms of the game-play functionality and are now focusing their time on improving the driving mechanics and adding visual polish.




T5 20hour

Team 5 - Oh! The Hugh-Manatee

The bright pink background has been replaced with an abstract underwater environment in this 2D side on maze adventure game. A few game elements such as the win condition and audio are still to be added before final game-play balance and improvements are made. Word is that Brek has recorded all the audio himself using just his vocal chords which could be amazing, or awful. We expect to know very soon how that creative decision pans out. Team Hugh have gone through the night with no sleep and no showers. We're keeping our distance.



T6 20hour



Team 6 - Light Headed

All the major game mechanics and visual assets are now in the game and playable. Progress has been steady and the team are now looking forward to being able to spend a number of hours polishing what they have and adding some nice ceremony and visual effects. A leaderboard has just been added and work is ongoing to naturalise this so it is more consistent with the look and feel of the game. There have been some scaling issues with art assets through the night, but keeping to a well known game engine and game genre seems to be paying dividends for the Light Heads. The character already shows some smooth animation and is fun to play with, so with a few more hours of work we think this game is going to be hard to beat.

Development Art (6 hours)

We are at the 6 hour mark. A quarter of the Tag Jam time has passed and the teams are starting to pull together some more advanced visuals. A couple of the teams have early builds with elements animating onscreen and basic menu and control systems. Here are some examples of early visual work from each of the teams. Tweet us and let us know which are your favourites and which team you're backing to be the winner! #TagJam14

Team16hourart

Team 1 - Autobutts

We were promised pink cubes falling from the ceiling. What we got was this rather sad looking untextured cube. Don't panic yet Autobutt fans, there is lots of time for Super Marc to sort these visuals out.

Team26hourart

Team 2 - Mighty Morphin Flower Arrangers

Strange, rather evil, things are afoot for the MMFA. Lots of teeth, large ears and horns featuring in their early art.

Team36hourart

Team 3 - Cats in Hats

At Tag we like large, buxom, Scandinavian women so Cats in Hats are onto a winner here! Low res 3D in full effect. Hopefully in the next 6 hours this lady will get some eyes.

Team46hourart

Team 4 - Illegal Aliens

A gallery of famous and infamous faces grace the screens of the Illegal Aliens. One wonders where this will end... we are slightly concerned.

Team56hourart

Team 5 - Oh! The Hugh-Manatee

We all live in a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine, a yellow submarine! Hopefully this one comes with some sharp cornering capabilities.

Team66hourart

Team 6 - Light Headed

It's a self-portrait. A rather cute one as well. Just wait until this little guy is animated - you'll fall in love all over again!