In June 2021, my frequent co-conspirator Thomas sent me a message asking I wanted to participate in a game jam that weekend. I had never done a game jam before, but it was something I had been meaning to try for a while, so of course I agreed. And then he told me the game jam had already started, so we had less than the allotted 48 hours to make a complete game! The game jam was the GMTK Game Jam 2021 and the theme for the jam was “Joined Together.”
We brainstormed for a bit and Thomas came up with the idea that we are the pilot of a spaceship in a shoot ’em up game (which I learned that weekend are also called shmups) but the controls are malfunctioning because some of the controls get joined together. This could mean that the forward button and the left button are joined together, so when you try to go forward, your ship will also go left, and vice-versa. Or possibly the fire button is joined with the right button, so every time you fire, you ship also goes left, and every time you move left, your ship also fires the weapon.
We wrote the game in C# using Unity. I had no experience with Unity prior to this game jam. Thomas had a little more experience with it than I did, but not a ton, and he had very little experience with C#. It was sure to be a learning experience for both of us, and it was.
Our game submission didn’t place highly in the overall rankings, but that wasn’t really our goal. We just wanted to build a game quickly, and we managed that. I even think the game is fun to play.
We greatly enjoyed this game jam, and in 2022 when the same jam ran again, we eagarly participated again.
The game is available for free for Windows, Mac, and Linux at https://kedge8bc.itch.io/malfunction.