About Me

Virtual World

I developed the first version of this game for the Rome Global Game Jam of 2015, my second GGJ. I arrived pretty late at the jam and all the groups were already formed (I don't like premade groups in jams in general -.- what's the point?) so I actually decided to meet about all the people at the jam, chat around and live the atmosphere of the event, thinking back, it was the best idea. Nonetheless, I had to stay in a place full of talented developers for a couple of days, and the inspiration to develop a game came quickly. I put together some ideas, mainly to create some kind of rope to traverse the level. I ended up spending so much time creating the shader for the ground, to make it looks like it's moving if you stay close enough, but due to the actual gameplay that requires staying in the air, nobody ever noticed that. I modeled some primitive trees and use the excellent material system of Unreal Engine 4 to make them look at least good. Talking about Unreal Engine 4, I remember I was the only developer using it at the jam, at the time it still required a monthly subscription so most indies were staying away from it, at the end of the jam the game was looking so good (for a jam game) that I probably convinced some to switch to UE4 (were is my money Epic?). In the last few hours of the jam, I rushed to create some proper gameplay, it was possible to move around and shoot, but that was it, have fun shooting the air with style! In just one hour I create: health/damage system, dynamic enemy spawning with increasing stats, base enemy and a boss fight under the level, the player had to kill him to win the game. I was so stressed at the end of it that I prepared the game to be played and I left it there! I was not able to stand it anymore XD. I went around the jam looking for other games, but people started to play my game and surprisingly even liking it, even if it was too hard. I remember a couple of people complaining about the enemy of the game, and I couldn't bother explaining them the game, so I was going along with them trashing the game: "Yeah, they should remove those stupid enemies!".
At the end of the jam some people were approaching me and asking for the name of the game (to pick the "winners" of the jam), I didn't have it, I made up a name and ask people to wait for me to put my games amongst the competitors! I arrived around the fifth place for "best gameplay", I was strangely happy, the game was able to reach a good result even with an actively bad marketing. Mostly the best thing about the game was its ability to make me knew other developers, to start conversations. I still keep some contact with some of these developers today.


In June 2015 I picked up the game again for the monthly Epic Jam. I decided to scrap all the gameplay elements and build something around the grappling hook mechanic. I got reed of all the enemies and instead, I focussed on the strong point of the game, the movement. So the objective of the player now was to collect spheres around the map and shooting some targets on the way. Simplifying the game allowed for a better experience. The problem was that there was not a proper tutorial but only a description of the game that nobody was reading, the "judges" of the Jam did not understand the grappling hook mechanic of the game and spent time only walking around the level, needless to say, I was disappointed. The unwritten "Rules of Every Game Jam" says: "have patience and understand the game before saying it's s***" but even with such rule, a good game should not require a tutorial, the game itself is the tutorial. The game probably needs a little handmade introductive section to let the players understand the grappling hook mechanic of the game.
I may get my hand dirty again with this in the future, the basic idea is strong for a small fun experience.
Strangely enough: it's a fantastic game to learn how to play First Person Shooters...


This is the Global Game Jam 2015 version (it was called SUPERGRABBING ^^")
You have to collect the green spheres (to increase your damage) and fire at the enemy!


...and here you can download the Epic Jam Version
You have to fire the yellow spheres and collect the green ones.