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Faren's Light at Epic MegaJam 2017

Updated: Apr 19, 2018

Seven days, a cool theme, and three former classmates; these were the ingredients we had to work with for Epic's annual game jam challenge.

Starting November 2nd 2017, Epic began their third annual game jam called Epic MegaJam where hundreds of teams of up to five people were given a theme they've never seen before and given seven days to create a brand new game. Epic had a treasure trove of tech treats for the participants and finalists such as raffling off laptops, gift cards, and software subscriptions.

Seven days is an unusually long amount of time for a jam (most are 1-2 days) but luckily I and some former classmates were in the void between graduation and landing our first job in the industry. In other words, we had plenty of spare time and could think of no better way to spend it than working on a game. We were glad to have a project to serve as an outlet for the nervous energy that builds up when applying to jobs. Also, we looked forward to a game jam where we could sleep, as we'd done a couple 48 hour game jams where you don't really sleep, you just... crash on a couch or the floor for a couple hours and wake up when someone walks in with coffee.

Anyhow, the theme for the jam was the coolest (and possibly most open to interpretation) theme of any jam I've participated in thus far...

"However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light."

After discussing a few ideas, our team decided on thinking of Light as Truth and taking an Orwellian spin on the theme. In our game, the player would play as a spy- deep in enemy territory- creeping through a sleeping city and solving puzzles to get to the printing press at the heart of the enemy's propaganda machine.

Our team consisted of four members. While we all helped a bit with everything- as is common in our game jams at least- our main roles were as follows...

Michael Wille - Project Manager and Level Designer

Brooklyn Hamel - 2D & 3D Artist

Arturo Pineda - Audio Collaborater

Me - Gameplay & UI Programmer

with help from Matt Delorme as our Voice Actor!

We had a lot of fun and each of us got to work on an aspect of game development we enjoy. Brooklyn made some killer 3D models and propaganda posters. Wille laid out a great labyrinth of a level, kept us on track and did created come cool effects such as flames and rain. Arturo and Matt gave us some quality sound effects to work with. I most enjoyed working on a dynamic audio system where the character shivered more or less depending on if they were taking cover near a building or had their torch lit or not. I also got to make a system that semi-randomly populated gardens with plants and walls with propaganda posters. Very cool, I love that stuff!

If you'd like to check out Faren's Light, check it out in my Programming projects. In the future, I'll be posting prior to, during and after the event.

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