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Plant seeds in the garden. Move flowers to your tombstones to win!
I thought the weekend at OMSI went pretty well overall. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would!
The PIGSquad area was about 5 8-foot tables set up in a U shape, and we had about 5 games on display (Mimic, Modulus, Pixel Arts Game Education demos, Major Magnet, Ghostly Garden, and the guys from ILoveToJam showing off Quick, Choose Your Weapon - Major Magnet dropped on Sunday so I had the whole table to myself). Both mornings were kind of slow, but we had pretty good traffic from 12 to 4. We were never overwhelmed; it felt like we had a fairly steady stream of players - lots of kids! Given that the PIGSquad table was moved indoors at the last minute, we were afraid we were going to be mostly abandoned, but that wasn't the case once people came inside during the warmest parts of the day. Not much in the way of critical feedback, but everyone who played it seemed to really enjoy it, and we even had a couple repeat customers (they came back a little while later to play it again). I love people's reactions when I invite them in to play our "competitive gardening game" :)
If you missed out and want to try Ghostly Garden for yourself, here's where you can download it!
We added a couple minor art and music assets, and took take of a couple bugs since the TechFest showing. We would love to have you stop by and give Ghostly Garden a play!
Officially the PIGSquad Summer Slow Jam #3 2015 has come to a close, and I'm pleased we accomplished mostly what we wanted to get out of this project. We still have plans to tweak it some more and put it up in more places than just the Tinderbox cabinet, so stay tuned!
A bit of history about Ghostly Garden. The project was born from the first Summer Slow Jam 2015, where a handful of us met for the first time at the Lucky Lab Pub in NW Portland. The aim of the first jam was to create a project designed to be able to be shown off at various events, while the creative prompts were a series of themes that (to my knowledge) are themed nights for project presentations at OMSI at some point later. Of several prompts to choose from, the two prompts we focused on were "Seed" and "Spirits" (we also started with "Explosions"), and through some brainstorming came up with Ghostly Garden. A week later we had our game. Up until that first jam showcase, we hadn't fully tested the control scheme, but by the end of the night we had run a full tournament between everyone present!
This most recent jam was structured around building a game for the aforementioned Tinderbox cabinet. Since we had already built a multiplayer game knowing this jam was on the horizon, we opted to spend this jam working on Ghostly Garden some more rather than build a new game (theme: Aggro-Party!). Given our varying schedules, the 10 day jam allowed us to fix a few of the glaring issues from the first version, and we worked in the 2vs2 game mode specifically for the arcade cabinet.
It's pretty cool to see Ghostly Garden up on the cabinet screen (and the huge projection screen we had at the TFNW showcase!), and it's really satisfying to see everyone who plays the game enjoy it. It's really nice to be able to make a relatively simple game and have it be fun. I was also stoked about Will and I having a much better setup than I did last time I showed off the game at the July Drink n' Draw - two laptops with controllers and signage this time!
That said, there are still a few kinks left in the code to work out. Personally, I'd like to see an art overhaul - it looks fine as a game jam game, but I think it could look better...but I'm not the artist, so I can't go making too many demands. We're trying to figure out how far we want to push this project, if it's worth putting out there, if it's worth monetizing it at all. At the very least we'll put what we've got up at various sites for download, and of course you can play it when you can on the Tinderbox.
If you've played Ghostly Garden, we'd love to hear your feedback! Did you think it was fun? Would you download this game for yourself? Would you like to see it on any other platforms, possibly even mobile? Any other features you think would be cool?
1v1 is currently stable and live. We are working on getting 2v2 version of the game working. We have a few bugs that need fixing before releasing that version including:
Update it works =D