~50 teams all came together in Portland to create their 48-hour jam entries based on judging criteria determined by Cartoon Network. At the end of the weekend, entries were given a short polishing period for their projects, then a winner was chosen! 16 Finalists received prize money and will have their work published in a Cartoon Network Game Jam bundle! The winning game jam team got to negotiate a contract with Cartoon Network to provide the services to bring their project to fruition as a fully-fledged mobile app starting in May 2016.
The prompt for the jam caught everyone off guard I think. We were aware of the IP about 2 weeks in advance and were trying to come up with ideas that we might have been able to repurpose for whatever prompt issued. All of our ideas went out the window when the prompt was dropped however.
I got very lucky in finding my team mates, Alex Yao (Game Design & Engineering) and Bill Kiley (Music & Sound).
Each team was given a character from the "Hero Card Pack". Which ever character they drew was that team's prompt for the entire jam. Make a game centered around this character and this character's super power.
We were a little baffled by our character initially, but quickly came up with some really fun ideas. We instantly thought, "Space Egypt"!
So with a quick google search of "Space Egypt", we had our art direction--with bright blues, magentas, and yellows.
The OKKO IP only consisted of a few short cartoons and a mobile game at the time of the jam. The way we approached the game, was not to win necessarily, but to create a compelling story that could easily be turned into another short OKKO cartoon.
The game's direction hinged on Miss Mummy's father, who we created ourselves. This is where Mummy Dad was born. The idea was that Miss Mummy is ancient (she's a mummy afterall). KO (The main character of OKKO) has been tasked with going back in time and helping Miss Mummy coordinate the delivery of "valuable goods" that her father is ordering from his phone from Space Amazon.
The objective of the game was to reconfigure items that are spawning in the pyramid in order to balance and steer it to a safe landing. This quickly becomes cumbersome as many boxes can make it hard to maneuver inside the pyramid. There's also some pesky dinos that pop out of some of the boxes that you need to throw out of the airlock in order to avoid them destroying boxes and diminishing your score.
As I mentioned, our quick search for "Space Egypt", rendered us with a bunch of vibrant pictures we used for inspiration. This inspiration can be seen in both the environmental art as well as the characters.
One little nugget of awesome is I got to help design the laniards everyone was wearing during the jam (including Rebecca Sugar!).
I'm not at liberty to say if we did or did not make the top 16 games at the moment! I will keep this page updated as I learn what Cartoon Network has planned for the game as well as what is happening with the documentary my team will be appearing in!
If you've got a job that seems perfect for me, let me know about it! If you wanna get coffee or a beer, let me know about that too!