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Wild Magic

Updated: May 17, 2021

Full game page with download access here. Wild Magic is a game made in a small team for the Game Maker's Toolkit Game Jam 2020. Under the theme "Out of Control" we designed an arcade-y top down shooter where the wizard you play as must use spells to take out dark magic hands that are invading their halls, but the spells prove too strong for you to fully control. This project managed to place in the top 20% of over 5000 entries for this competition.

I worked on this project alongside Ben Brook, John Washington, Joey Belt, Alex Compton, Spencer Hamm, and Greg Gonzalez.

I worked alongside the team to break out our initial design, program character control and mechanics features, implement controller support, and integrate visual effects and game feel touches including screen shake, particle trails, and rumble. I also worked on level design, but due to competition time constraints that work was cut from the final build.

I spent key attention to my implementation of game feel in our build, as with the prompt of feeling out of control, I wanted to sell visually and tactilely the power of the spells you were firing and how your character is barely holding on in using them without being disorienting or otherwise awful to play. I spent much time fine tuning the camera shake that varies in intensity and frequency depending on the casted spell, as well as tying this to varied vibration effects if the player was using a controller.

Working on the project in a game jam context was actually fairly smooth. We settled on a concept fairly quickly and were able to iterate significantly over the weekend of production, with only minor source control foibles stalling any progress. As this project was done 100% remotely across multiple states, this was expected. We still learned a lot about remote source control on working on Wild Magic, and how to best prepare and schedule check ins and commits to minimize conflicts.

I am very happy with the final game we produced and am very happy with where we placed in the game jam. After wrapping, we did a post mortem of our work and determined what we could have improved and what lessons we can take with us. In terms of improvement, we understand that having less shots per spell pickup would do a lot to make the combat feel snappier and more impactful, as well as keep a more dynamic transition between in control and vulnerable and empowered while out of control. Furthermore, we were interested in taking these systems that we set in an endless arcade-style arena and build levels that can challenge the player in both navigation and combat.

If you would like to see the game for yourself, the full game page with download access is up on here.


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