Night At The Park – Game Jam Project

Night At The Park was a team project I worked on during one of Edinburgh University’s Game Development Society Game Jam’s. My team consisted of myself, an artist and my friend Sangseo Lee.

The Game Jam began with a theme which was Shadows. Games were required to include that theme in some manner.

My role on this project was as a designer. In addition to spearheading the game play and mechanics design, I hand crafted the following two levels using the Tiled map editor with assets our artist made, as well as free resources on the net.

night_at_the_park_level_1
Level 1

The games concept was (as I recall) based on an episode of How I Met Your Mother. We tried to imagine how the unfortunate character had to navigate Central Park to retrieve his clothes while staying hidden.

The central mechanic of the game was around a ‘stealth meter’ which behaved akin to a life bar that decreased based on the state of the player. If the ‘stealth health’ reached zero the player would lose the game.

If the character was within the lit areas the stealth meter would fall, and would fall at a faster rate in the higher light intensity tiles. If the stealth meter reached zero the player would lose the game. We planned to extend the functionality to add patrolling guards for more dynamic game play.

night_at_the_park_level_2
Level 2

In the end, though we did setup a code framework using the core mechanic, and a system to produce more levels, we unfortunately didn’t finish in time. Nonetheless it was indeed a learning experience, particularly a lesson on judging feasibility given a strict time frame.

The code and assets for Night At The Park are available for download here (compiling the project will be required to play this game for that you will need a working Java  development environment with the Slick2D Java Game Library).

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