Game Jams are filled with games that envision wonderful worlds but continue to use outdated interaction paradigms like mouse-clicks and key-taps. During the 48 hour "Hectic Games Jam" (July, 2014), we decided to pursue something different.
"Golden Fleece" is a Projectile Kinect game. In the game: Armies of vikings are trying to steal your gold and you have to physically throw balls at them to make them go BOOM!
The game was specifically designed to allow for an abstracted form of human interaction beyond precise touch screens and keyboards, in this case, it used a Kinect to calculate projectiles near a projected surface. This allowed for game designs where an unlimited amount of people could come join in on the fun, and for unexpected tactics and collaborations to emerge between players.
As a game that broke from the traditional social and interaction paradigms – Golden Fleece became the winning game of "Hectic Games Jam" and has been exhibited at multiple locations.
Team & Role
Our awesome artwork and animations were illustrated by Julian Wilton, whilst Xavier Ho worked on game logic and really cool animated touches like explosions. We all crossed paths and helped each other, but it was largely modularised which allowed us individual autonomy and responsibility. I focused primarily on the design, user testing, and building of the physical interface of throwing projectiles at a wall – crossing over occasionally to assist in sound design and game design logic.
Stable versions of the Kinect & Desktop versions are currently offline, but our Source Code is on at bitbucket!
2014, July 21st
As part of the 48 hour "Hectic Games Jam #2" at St Leonards Tafe (July, 2014), we created the Kinect game Golden Fleece. Basically, a bunch of vikings are trying to steal your gold and you have to throw balls at them to make them go BOOM!
Early on, we explored creating a more artistic interactive installation. We ended up adopting the novel input paradigm of 'ball chucking' provided by the Kinect.
Our three person team worked really well with one kickass artist and two developers. At the very beginning, with the artist on preliminary static assets, the two devs worked on distinct tasks; one on setting up the software environment (game setup, assets), the other, on the hardware environment (kinect) and physical setup.
In terms of workflow, we were largely able to work in parallel on distinct portions of the project which really helped. We also coincidentally ended up taking 'shifts', which minimised the time when all of us were asleep simultaneously (I'm not sure how exactly this benefited flow, but somehow it seemed to nicely help keep the momentum going).
Things that worked well, and should try keeping in future:
- Synchronous workflow with distinct roles
- Don't have everyone sleep at the same time
Things to try differently in future:
- set up a source control environment early
- perhaps don't try to mix both processing and eclipse dev environments (if so, keep the functions distinctly separate)
- modularise unique functions (e.g. kinect input) to a separate program and use OSC for communication
Though the game is built for Kinect input, we've kept it modularised enough that porting it as a Desktop version is quite easy, and tablet and smartphone versions are possible.
It was a really fun experience creating the game, play testing with others greatly helped prioritise solutions to buggy experiences, and inspired us with new ideas along the way.
Overall, it's very enjoyable watching players run, jump, shout, and hectically throw balls at our work. :)