The game is available to download and play here! GitHub link included.

Worhol (a sleep-deprived misspelling of Andy Warhol’s last name) was the product of a 48 hour cross-game jam: the first UCI Summer Game Jam, which was built on top of Extra Credits’ first game jam. As is game jam tradition with my teammates and I, Claudia O’Flaherty and Ittai Mann, we got the green light to begin the jam and immediately broke for dinner - a highly recommended strategy. There, the absurd idea of “explosions are awesome, so how about we just blow up a museum?” came up. We spent the last hours of that night talking design specifics, and left early to rest.

By the time most team members were starting next morning, we had a solid character controller (my favorite thing to work on) and a neat mechanic – down-slam to send out a shockwave and explosion-force nearby physics objects – and all that was left to do was make assets. It was a surprisingly fun experience this time around in a jam, where almost all of the code had been made before noon so we just sat around and ripped models online and decimated them into tiny pieces in Blender, while also greyboxing the level for the game. I got a lot of podcasting done that day, and many good conversations were had.

Near the end of the 48 hour deadline, I had just finished modeling a museum in ProBuilder within Unity, Ittai had made swanky materials and an experimental squash-n-stretch shader for the player, and Claudia had made most of the statues and art pieces. We threw all of our work together: all of the models placed in the museum and lighting set up, hastily added a main menu, pulled some music from online, and turned it in! Jam succeeded.

…and then Extra Credits played our game on stream. We had a naïve perception of how the game would perform in the real world, and quite frankly, the game ran like total ass. It almost even took down their stream software, it was running so hot (mostly due to a few statues that used translucent materials and the renderer begging for mercy). The music couldn’t be played on stream either, as it turned out to be copywritten material, and so had to be muted.

The ordeal was a total mess, and you know what? That’s okay. My friends and I had a really good time on that game jam (except maybe Ittai, who got sick halfway through it, poor guy), and the end result at least looks pretty damn fine, almost even Unreal quality if you let a few minor things slide in that comparison.

The biggest takeaway from that jam was learning the strength in underscoping a game idea. Our design premise was immediately up and running, and the rest of the time on the game was spent fleshing out the world with assets and visual polish. It is a takeaway that I may end up using for all future game jams and side projects.