Global Game Jam (2024)

Game Designer & Unity Developer


Created with Unity during Global Game Jam 2024. A 2D platformer game for WebGL where you toggle coloured blocks on/off to escape each level.


I collaborated with Matthew Miner to bring this game to life during the 2024 Global Game Jam. The theme, "Make me laugh," didn't directly influence our game mechanics, but we infused it with a select few elements you may notice.

Our journey began on a Thursday night when we used Discord and a Google Doc to brainstorm ideas and share interests in technologies. Our past jam experiences guided us towards simplicity to ensure a complete game within our tight timeframe. This decision eliminated many ideas, but our proven process allowed us to revisit prior brainstorming documents, leading us to a cool concept we still believed had potential.

The inspiration for our game dates back to a 2014 game jam project called Bursting With Colour. It featured toggling pairs of colours to navigate a procedurally generated platformer level, a mechanic that was an absolute blast and easy to grasp. In 2020, we reimagined this concept at another game jam, focusing more on the puzzle element, but didn't choose it. It was inspired by the movement of the enemy Hothead from Super Mario World, which I combined with colour-toggling blocks to create a casual mechanic suitable for mobile.

Once we settled on the game idea, we used Github Projects to divide tasks throughout the jam. This helped us stay organized, especially since we were jamming remotely from different time zones. Clear task assignments made it easier to track progress, and is a helpful reference if we revisit the project in the future.

On Friday, I focused on programming the game's architecture, using a framework inspired by prior jams. I created the level selection screen, gameplay UI, and win/lose modals using UI Toolkit. I delved deeper into UI Toolkit, learning how to implement looping animations which can be seen in the level selection and victory screens.

Matthew tackled character movement and level architecture. Unity's Tilemap component made level building a breeze, while character movement required more intricate work. By the end of the day, Matthew had implemented clockwise-only movement, gravity with vertical screen wrapping, and more. Legend.

Saturday I unfortunately had other plans, but I managed to design a level, which ended up being level 7 in the final build. Of our small selection of eight levels, it's the one I'm most proud of because it's likely the most challenging puzzle and also features a timing challenge. Due to time constraints, the remaining levels had simpler puzzles. Matthew continued his work on character movement and implemented our art assets using a free online resource.

Sunday I was back in action. With Matthew's code refactor I was able to easily implement a "squish detection" when the character is occupying a space that has a coloured tile enabled, which triggers the lose modal. I implemented similar logic to detect if the character had reached the exit tile, which triggers the win modal. I made the UI scale with many aspect ratios and spruced it up with animations, maybe getting a little carried away. I added SFX and music from free online resources, and recorded two unique SFX that can be heard when being squished and when completing a level.

Matthew further enhanced character movement, enabling counter-clockwise movement, which was essential for level design. He also improved squish detection, reattachment after falling, implemented keyboard controls, and ensured the camera zoomed to fit each level's size. Our game loop was complete.

Monday was my bonus make-up day for missing Saturday. I fixed a number of UI related issues, designed 7 more levels, and lost hair creating a WebGL build so that I could share our project with friends the following day.

Together we created Huedini, a game with a name too clever for its time. Player feedback has been positive so far and I'm tempted to continue developing this as a mobile game with more levels and mechanics! You can play it in your web browser now (desktop recommended).