GameHack 2012 – Captain Obvious

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

GameHack 2012 by Shaz

Captain Obvious - GameHack 2012

Captain Obvious – GameHack 2012

After the great experience at the MolyJam game jam I decided to go to another. This time it was GameHack 2012, organised by TIGA (the trade body for the UK games industry) and BlueVia. They did a great job and obviously went to some effort to make the whole thing enjoyable for us game developers – so cheers!

Held at Pinewood Studios just outside of London each group had 24 hours to make a game. I teamed up with fellow London indie dev Quantum Sheep (QS) and experienced illustrator and animator Old Kipper.

Although we hadn’t met (in real life) before we all ‘clicked’ straight away and had a lot of fun making our light hearted entry: Captain Obvious under the team name Team Obvious. (Obviously). It was also nice to get a mention from  Sony and BlueVia as being one of the highlights of GameHack.


24 Hours To Make  A Game

GameHack 2012 - Quantum Sheep and Old Kipper

GameHack 2012 – Quantum Sheep and Old Kipper

24 hours doesn’t sound like much time to make a game. And it isn’t. 1,440 minutes. 86,400 seconds. How ever you say it you have to keep the focus tight if you’re going to have a playable game by the end of it

QS had come up with the initial concept. He suggested using an endless runner style of gameplay as both he and I had experience with that style of game.

We all use the same SDK to develop games with so QS and I co-coded the game while Old Kipper concentrated on the artwork. This isn’t something we’ve tried before so it had some challenges.

Old Kipper got to work on the first few images while QS and I spent a bit of time figuring out what game elements we could work on in tandem.

I find the most fun part of game development is the beginning of a game. The part where you are all excited to start a new project. The possibilities seem limitless and if you have a group of people that all get on creatively and personally  it’s a great time to bounce ideas around and have fun with the concept.

GameHack 2012

GameHack 2012

Being conscious of the 24 hour time limit we focussed on making the elements that would provide a complete game loop. In other words, get the basics done first and add the details if we have time. Luckily Old Kipper was churning out the animations at near light-speed so we had no lack of visual content.

In fact there were a fair few animations that we just didn’t have time to get in the game. If you watch the video above you’ll see the main character has a really nice transform animation with the vehicles. Midway through we decided that this was one of the most interesting elements of the game. So we gave the character a few different vehicles to transform into to cover land, sea and air. They didn’t all make it into the version we presented on the day but fear not! They shall see life another day…

The End Result

I was pleased with how Captain Obvious turned out. The video above is pretty much what we presented on the day. In a very short space of time we had managed to make a fully functional game. Not the biggest or longest of games but a game nonetheless. And one with a nice charm and invitingly non-serious tone. We’ve decided to make it into a full game so will spend a some more time adding the ideas that we didn’t have enough time for in the jam.

And here’s a video showing some of the other games that were made at GameHack 2012:

And here’s what GameHack looked like in time lapse, courtesy of Michal Stefanow:

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