Señor Destino - Global Game Jam
Posted by Tim on January 30th, 2012
This weekend we joined the Global Game Jam in Amsterdam. The goal of this event is to create a playable game within 48 hours! Our team consisted of five game developers. On top of our usual three-men Reptile team, Bart Delissen joined our team for all the audio and Ramana Kleyn joined us for concept art and animation.
We created a simple Hack and Slash Management game called Señor Destino where you play the role of a mexican grim reaper. It is your task to maintain the balance between heaven and hell by sending the souls of dead mexicans to the right "camp". When a mexican enters heaven or hell they respectively change into an angel or devil. To increase the difficulty to maintain the balance the angels and devils return to the mexican village to steal more souls for their own camp to disrupt the balance.
During the brainstorms of the game we tried to stay close to the given theme of this jam. The theme was an image of an Ouroboros. We interpreted this snake as an mechanic of eternal return. The player has to stay within the endless loop of managing killed mexicans as long as possible. The old aztec god Quetzalcoatl is often linked to the Ouroboros image which inspired us to define a south-american/mexican styled game. A lot of inspiration came from the "Dia de los Muertos" (Day of the Dead) where the skeletons are very colorful.
After 48 hours we succeeded in creating a playable game. We got some great responses and people really liked the game and especially the art style. We presented our game together with all the other contestants when we heard that we made it into the top 3 based on the official report of the judges! We were starting to get really excited when we got a lot of votes from the other jammers as well!
The moment of truth was there. The number three was Frag Frogs! Our chances to be number one was increased! The number two was Bezircle! We were starting to smile and shake each others hands and thinking that we DID IT! Number one! Catch 22! uhm...what? There was no way to mix those names up, we were simply vaporized from the top 3?
What happened? After judging all the games and announcing the top 3 winners the judges were told they forgot to judge one last game! This last (great) game forced the jury to come up with a new top 3 at the expense of our game. Unfortunately they didn't share the new top 3 with us or the other jammers which caused a lot of confusion during the ceremony. Although we really respect the great top 3 games this really felt as a slam in our tired faces.
Luckily we got enough votes in the end to win a honourable mention with the audience award, so it was a happy end after all! In the end it was a great experience with a good spirit and a lot of great games. We will definitely return next year and reach that top 3!
We are planning to fix some bugs in the build we had to send in before the deadline, give the game a better winning condition and add a score system.
You can download our entry here. Or you can watch the gameplay video below!