Silent Buddhist Chase

Silent Buddhist Chase Splash Screen

Now that’s one strange name for a game and I must admit that is randomly generated. It’s now 8:35 on Sunday morning and I’ve been up for the last 16 hours after four hours sleep. Before that I stayed awake for about 34 hours. Why? Global Game Jam. That’s why.

This year I wanted to do something different. When this year’s diversifiers were announced, I knew I was going to do something that involves location tracking and therefore happens outside. So I was pleasantly surprised when the theme was announced – it was a sound of a heart beating and now I had an idea, concept and way to make a game that makes people run. And so the development started. I had set my target to be a game that involves geolocation, Facebook integration and other small things like that. Then I remembered that we must release everything, even the source codes, under Creative Commons and I ditched a couple of my additions since they would’ve involved some proprietary server code.

About the gameplay then. Goal of the game is to follow the path of the Buddha, represented by a marker on the map, for as long as you can. Game keeps track of the distance traveled and marker spots reached. When player reaches a marker, the marker gets randomly relocated in the vicinity. The victory condition here is determined by each player themselves: you may stop when you hear your own heartbeat in your ears, which can happen quite fast while running through deep snow. After the condition is met, player has an option to post his or hers progress to Facebook for followers to see.

Of course I didn’t want the jam to be too easy, so I chose a completely new framework, Appcelerator Titanium, and fully event driven system for the game… and went cross-platform with targets set to iOS and Android. After an easy start I hit a brick wall when I started to deploy my game to android for the first time. Pretty much everything that could go wrong went wrong and there’s a video that summarizes what was going on quite well (only in finnish though) on the FinnishGameJam’s YouTube channel. Also linked below.

Anyway, after banging head against the wall, running around seemingly aimlessly during the testing (thanks Viivi for helping out) the game is now completed for this jam. Of course there’s still some refactoring to do and I need to package the distributable version for the GGJ site itself, but for now it’s the end of coding. I might have to do a couple of SFXs for another team, but it’s no biggie at this point.

During the weekend I managed to:

  • Sleep too little
  • Build a game that utilizes geolocation and can post updates to Facebook, if user allows that
  • Create music and sound effects for another team
  • Help a couple of other teams with their audio work
  • Learn lots of new things about mobile application development

All in all, it has been quite relaxed jam this time – hanging out with other devs, derps and derpettes, playing board games, fooling around.. you know, doing things that happen when you lock up 90 game developers to same building for a weekend. Fun times!

Oh yeah, if you happen to have an Android phone, you can download the .apk file and install my game to your phone from below. Please do remember that the game isn’t even a beta version and you will most likely be running outside with real traffic while playing so please be careful out there, I will not take any responsibility for injuries caused or not caused by playing or observing someone playing my game. The software does not collect any data from it’s users, it only needs Facebook login for the completely optional part of posting “runs” to Facebook.

Download .apk