The 2011 Global Game Jam took place January 28th through the 30th; a single 48 hour period in which teams would have to come up with and develop a game using the platform of their choosing.
48 hours, 44 countries, 170 locations, 6500 participants, almost 1500 games, one weekend, one theme (“Extinction”).
At the University of Denver, students David Fogle, Daniel Kjellerson, and Stephen Rice formed one such team in an attempt to develop a game using the Adobe Flash Platform. The three students are all dual majors studying in the Animation and Game Development and Digital Media Studies programs at DU. The idea for their game is an interesting concept as it immediately appears to be a regular 2D shooter, but is actually a little more complex than that… if you start shooting at the approaching aliens out the gate, they will retaliate- but if you choose not to start a fight, a peaceful outcome will occur.
Taking into consideration the rich visual history behind Flash, the ubiquity of the platform, and some prior ActionScript experience, the team decided that the Flash Platform would be a good choice for their project, X-Defender.
“We participated in the Global Game Jam in order to further develop and practice our game development skills in an amazing environment. We found ourselves using ActionScript and Flash due to our prior experience as well its accessibility and ability to meet our needs.”
The two classes that were most influential in their decision had been Topics: Introduction to Game Design which is focused on game development theory and creation, and Programming for Play which deals with game and toy development which is taught using ActionScript as the development language.
All of the games created during Global Game Jam are in various states of completion due to the rushed nature of the competition. X Defender though, is actually playable with animated cut scenes, full player control, enemy attack patterns, a boss battle, and background score.
It is certainly a testament to rapid game development enabled by the Flash Platform, and is a stand-out project from a conceptual standpoint as well.
Meet the Students
Designer, In-Game Artist, Programmer, Music Development
Concept Artist, Cutscene Artist, Code Consultant
The University of Denver team was coordinated by Rafael Fajardo.