Spiral Drift was a game jam game made for the VGDC Fall 2018 Proto-Game Jam. In that game jam, fellow VGDC officers and I had decided not to group up with each other like usual. Instead, we used the jam as a learning opportunity for new devs in the club, some of whom hadn’t even opened Unity up before! In my case, I had 5 others (a 6th had to dip out early, no biggie) on my team, all of whom had little to no experience with Unity and version control. Oh boy, this’ll be fun.
With the jam prompt of “spirals” announced, we began the jam by talking game ideas over dinner and getting Unity and TortoiseGit (my Git tool of choice) up and running. We settled on the game idea of creating “spirals” by means of a car drifting into things to blow them up and leaving cool drift streaks behind. Also included mid-development was a spiral meter that builds up while drifting, and once full, gives you a speed boost. For the look of the game, I suggested we use 2D but have some 3D elements, namely buildings. With tasks assigned and the idea of the game written out, everyone got to work… except for me, kind of.
The thing about working with first-time developers is, they will find incredible ways to break things at record pace, and do so in very confusing ways. For the project, I had started as the musician and person making the player’s car controller, but by the end of it all I became the local Git firefighter. We had a lot of problems working in Git, to the point where I was cursing at The Git Gods on why they didn’t make a dumbed-down mode for this stuff (and I’m not talking about GitHub for Desktop, not a fan). Maybe I should’ve suggested a different Git GUI, but I don’t really use others like SourceTree or Kraken so I wouldn’t know what to suggest. Something to investigate for next time.
The end result of the jam is, well, pretty good considering the experience level of the team. My only regret is not getting the level guy to open up the level more and allow for more object smashing to occur, but hey, it’s just a game jam. Mistakes are meant to be made and learned from, and I can say for sure that the team learned a lot more about Unity in 48 hours than I did in three months when I first started. So there’s that.