Monday, 3 March 2014

Cyberpunk Game Jam - Postmortem


The jam schedule has been updated accordingly since participation in this particular jam.

The Jam

From the 1st - 10th of March the online game entitled the Cyberpunk Game Jam is taking place. The theme for the jam is this image:

Theme Interpretation

Cyberpunk isn't something that I would normally be interested in but participating in this would be to attempt to do something different and out of my comfort zone. It is interesting to see a concept art piece as theme for a jam – something quite different from the norm of other events. One thing I already like and strikes me about the theme is the neon pinks, greens and blue colour palette which would be interesting to explore in a game prototype.

We can get an idea of setting and environment from the image by the vastness of build-up civilisation that appears to tower upwards - creating a sense of density and over population. Similarly we can establish a great sense of height through harsh expressive vertical lines, alongside the backwards lean of which the main silhouette figure appears to lean/teeter over. The figure in the scene appears to be wearing some form of leather jacket, with boots, dark trousers and gloves - connotations of rebelliousness and anti-establishment could be associated to the figure, perhaps some ‘biker’ culture or urban free running subculture by the dark clothing and punk hairstyle.

A sense of urgency is presented by the nature of the falling figures in motion below, one could assume that the characters are escaping from something or someone - we can even assume that these figures may have run into trouble with the law of some kind. It is clear that the image is not set in the present nor past, but the future by the nature of the human form being merged with what appears to be electrical components intertwined onto the body - appearing on the arm, face and back of the figure. I am unable to grasp the gender of all figures in the image, so this is unspecified. The omniscient presence of the observing silhouette reminds me of how gargoyles appear to observe from great heights - perhaps giving us an idea of why this figure is here.

I am unable to make out any definable language or linguistics that could give us a sense of culture. I get a very futuristic 'Tokyo' vibe from this image due to the vastness of colour, form of shapes and symbols that run down neon signs and by the way they are presented to peak out of buildings - but this could be anywhere, perhaps even an alien culture located in another world.

The Game

Had a go at making something for the Cyberpunk jam, wasn't overly keen on as time went and ended up eventually scrapping the idea - unfortunately I didn't submit to the site as the build was to a minimal playable state. My goal was to prototype something really simple for this jam but unfortunately wasn't interesting enough to peak my interest for further development. Players simply press spacebar key to stab a sharp object into the area which isn't the flesh of a human hand.
The game is entitled ‘CyberPain’, and is essentially a cyberpunk themed digital version of five finger fillet. A simple animation of a sharp undefined cyberpunk object hovers over the characters hand across a continuous path.

What Went Well?

Deconstruction of Theme

I was able to deconstruct the theme into some potentially interesting interpretation. I attempted to summarise some of the areas in which led me to come to some brief conclusions. Analysis is something I know I need to improve towards as the deconstruction of games/art/film etc. can be a wonderful way of learning techniques that can be applied to Game Design.


I was able to further develop my some Actionscript 3.0 technical skills. Having a basic understanding of programming is important for any designer as it allows you the open up code, tweak variables and prototype mechanics to get your game feeling fun” Because of this project, I have become an avid prototyper – allowing me to become skilled in technical areas of game development. As you become stronger in prototyping and coding, it opens doors to what is possible for you to create in a jam single handily - often gradually increasing the scope of your projects as you grow braver and become more skilled.

Conclusion/What I Learnt?

Due to external commercial project commitments, the participation in this jam was merely a feeble attempt. Though, write about it feels necessary in that it was a clear attempt at the jam. This un-pursued prototype might one day be returned to if I have any interesting way of expanding the idea.


The following tools were used during the participation of Cyberpunk Jam, I was able to develop some minor skills in these areas.

Game Engine
Programming Language
Paper Prototyping
Adobe Flash CS6
Actionscript 3.0
Adobe Flash CS6

List of Illustrations

Cyberpunk Theme (2014) Available: Last Accessed: 2014


Christer Kaitila (2012). The Game Jam Survival Guide. Canada: Packt Publishing. NA.

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