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Posted by IcyEyes (546 posts) -

Last week on the Unprofessional “Fridogs” show, Drew revealed “Giant Bomb Jammers” a Giant Bomb themed and windjammers inspired fan game created by myself (Isaiah Kelly) and featuring the amazing artwork of Supernormal Step and music of Midnight Brown (feat. Jeff Gerstmann).

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Watching the duders play something I actually made was both amazing and terrifying. To see Jeff Gerstmann examining your baby is nerve racking to say the least. However, everyone -besides Jeff- seemed to be overly impressed with it, which I suspect had something to do with alcohol, but in any case the whole thing went off better than I could have ever expected. It was a great honor and I felt extremely privileged to have played a small part in last week's awesome show. Thanks Duders!

Where can I get this?

Unfortunately, the game is not currently available for download. The version shown on UPF was a pre-alpha build that I feel needs more work before releasing it into the wild. I do, however, plan on getting an updated public release out as soon as possible, so I can start gathering feedback. I've already gained a lot of very helpful input just from watching the duders play it on UPF.

The Back story.

The origins of this project can be traced back several years to when I first began to experiment with pixel art of the Giant Bomb crew. The end results were better than expected and this inspired me to try other things. I've been dabbling in game development for many years now with not much to show for it, but I'd always thought a Giant Bomb themed game would be really cool. Naturally, this led me to the idea of a Giant Bomb themed Bomberman clone, but after working on it for about a week I lost interest. Probably because I'm not a huge Bomberman fan.

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A few years after that in late 2012 I decided to try making a dual-joystick shooter named “Gerztron” that built upon my original pixel art style. Food Fight influenced the design quite a bit; I liked the fact that the characters in Food Fight always faced you, and their legs simply flipped from left to right depending on their movement. This meant you didn't need to create sprites for every direction! I made a ton of progress and learned a lot of cool techniques on the project, but ultimately it had to be put on hold indefinitely.

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Then came the news of Ryan Davis's death in 2013. This made me really want to do something for Giant Bomb and the community. Something that would celebrate our community and perhaps, honor Ryan's memory too. I also thought this would be an excellent chance to leverage some of my unused assets. After the rise of Windjammers I decided that this would be the perfect kind of game to build using what I already had. I technically started work on Giant Bomb Jammers on Christmas Day 2013, but work continued on it sporadically between other things, so progress was very slow.

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When the news hit that Vinny would be moving to New York, I realized that the duders might never have a good opportunity to try out this game together after he left. So I worked frantically to get it into a fully playable state before the going-away pizza party, but unfortunately, I just didn't have enough time. But this did help propel the project forward, and a few weeks ago I finally got it to a state that I was happy enough with to show off. I thought it would be a fun idea to reveal the game on Unprofessional Fridays. So I emailed Drew the latest build and was pleasantly surprised to see it played on last week's episode.

What's next?

I've decided to port the game from GameMaker to Unity, primarily as a learning exercise. But this is no simple task so the next update is going to take a bit longer than usual. I'll be putting out a public build for everyone to try soon after. I'm also going to try and make a development blog post every week on its status to keep everyone informed. So stay tuned.

Thanks for reading!

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#1 Posted by seemah (123 posts) -

Super interested in a weekly update on the progress. Keep up the great work!

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#2 Posted by Ford_Dent (799 posts) -

This looked fantastic on UPF, so I'm interested in seeing how it comes together.

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#3 Posted by OGJackWagon69 (236 posts) -

It looked really fun, you should update the roster though for sure with the new hires at giant bomb and throw in some frequent guests and friends of the site too like Dave lang, John Drake, John Vignocchi, Cara Ellison and make them secret characters or something

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#4 Posted by Wario64 (29 posts) -

The game looked super fun when they played it last week. Great job dude

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#5 Edited by hmoney001 (1074 posts) -

Keep at it duder!

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#6 Edited by cooljammer00 (2932 posts) -

I dunno, Jeff seemed to like it. He was just pissed at the constant own-goals he was scoring.

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#7 Posted by hammondoftexas (1204 posts) -

Watched the guys play it live on UPF, was pretty impressed! I'll definitely play it once you have a public release!

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#8 Posted by forteexe21 (1584 posts) -

Its better than whatever Dave Lang can come up with!

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#9 Posted by csl316 (14199 posts) -

It was awesome, well done.

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#10 Posted by Casty (77 posts) -

@icyeyes How was working with GameMaker? Are you limited by it while making this game, hence the switch to unity? Just curious since I have been looking at GameMaker being the engine I would mess around with in the future (for a 2D game).

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#11 Posted by dkraytsberg (106 posts) -

@casty: Gamemaker is a great place to start, if you have never made games before, especially if you have never really programmed things period. GM lets you use menus and drag-and-drop type controls to make games like this one surprisingly easily. It has a more "real" programming language inside it called GML, similar to Javascript and the like, which you can use to get the game going exactly the way you want it, but is not necessary to start. Its really the only starter-friendly engine i can think of. Unity is a very robust and complicated tool, which is usually used for 3D stuff, since Gamemaker can't really do 3D. However, for something in 2 dimensions and not overly complicated, such as bombjammers, Gamemaker is exactly what the doctor ordered. If you have a background in programming, I actually recommend LOVE. Its a neat little framework that can get killer 2D games up and running pretty easily, but its all code and no GUI, so be warned. Good Luck! PM me if you have any questions

@icyeyes: Love the game, but where's Ryan? No playable character or even homage to Taswell, which made me sad :( Other than that the game looks great, keep it up!

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#12 Edited by FLStyle (6337 posts) -

Great job! I enjoyed watching that a lot, glad to see SNS's Persona staff images still getting use.

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#13 Posted by Ronin147 (93 posts) -

@icyeyes would you want to source some of the work out to the community, I'd be interested in helping.

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#14 Edited by gablekevin (187 posts) -

@icyeyes: This was one of the coolest things i think i have ever seen and its awesome that you would even take time out of your day to do this. Why are we giving money to these Kickstarters for games that are being made for Joe Everyman when we could be giving it to you who is making a game that is for us. All im saying is i have never given money to a random internet thing but i would be glad to throw you some beer money if it helps you stay motivated to see this project through to the end. Im sure there are plenty of other duders here that wouldnt mind sending you some frog skins also. Im not sure of the forum rules for posting donation links or what but if its against the rules pm me and i will send you a few dollars. Thanks for the hard work

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#15 Posted by cooljammer00 (2932 posts) -

@dkraytsberg: I would think having Ryan as a playable character might be a bit too macabre

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#16 Posted by development (3015 posts) -

Was wondering about this. Take your time releasing the public builds, dude. I'd rather play a large update than an incremental update. If Rust, Dayz, and Starbound are any indication, hype fades fast. Keep us wanting more.

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#17 Posted by Jams (3043 posts) -

The game was great and all but you should really consider tightening up the graphics on level 3.

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#18 Posted by Popogeejo (622 posts) -

So what are your plans beyond porting to Unity? Are you going to employ character unique moves eventually? The different valued score zones? Different arenas?

I know you'll want to get the foundations locked first before this more complex stuff but I'm curious as to long term plans.

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#19 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (7304 posts) -

I'm really interested to see it's development and finally play it. Great job duder.

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#20 Posted by Warren2007 (50 posts) -

Cheers, IcyDuderEyes

everyone on this site is proud to stand under your flag

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#21 Posted by Dryker (775 posts) -

Totally stoked for this. Does it play like the original Windjammers?

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#22 Posted by IcyEyes (546 posts) -

@popogeejo: There are a lot of things I'd love to do/add to the game, but my time is limited and this is just a free fan game. So I don't want to over promise or get too carried away with it. It's something I'm very bad at :( So I'm going to just focus on getting the core done for now. Then we'll see where it goes from there.

@dkraytsberg: I plan on adding Ryan to the game somehow, but I want to be very careful with how I go about this. I agree with Cooljammer00, making him playable might be a bit too much.

@gablekevin: Thanks duder. I'm extremely flattered. While donations would be very helpful, I don't want to do anything in that direction until I look into the issues this may cause further.

@ronin147: I would love to get the community more involved, but I'm not exactly sure how I want to go about that yet. In any case, you can always send me your ideas or suggestions.

@casty: I plan on making a more in-depth blog post about my experience with GameMaker and Unity in the near future.

@forteexe21: Well, anything is better than a turd!

@cooljammer00: Maybe I should fix it so Jeff always wins? This was, however, one of my favorite moments from the show:

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#23 Edited by dkraytsberg (106 posts) -

@icyeyes: Yeah I understand your reservations about Ryan being playable. However, he is always around. There is art of him everywhere, half the Giantbomb users have him as their avatars, and almost any video you watch from the archive has him in it. Its not like we aren't all talking about him constantly and missing him greatly. I imagine having him in the game as a totally op/ridiculous character would be a high form of praise, and I know know I'd pick him every time. But whatever you decide will be great I'm sure. Excited to play this!

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#24 Posted by Jimbozu (71 posts) -

@icyeyes: John Drake (I think, it might not have been drake...) was suggesting in chat that Ryan be a judge, so he's in every match.

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#25 Posted by IcyEyes (546 posts) -

@dkraytsberg: Those are all good points, heck, even I have an avatar of Ryan! But I think actually playing as Ryan is a little different. I'm probably just being overly cautious here, but I want to make sure I do this right. I personally have no problem with it either way.

@jimbozu: I've already been thinking about making Ryan the referee, like Hello Kitty in "Sanrio World Smash Ball!" Then I can have him start each match and call the scored goals. I think this is the best way to do it. Then he'll be a small part of every game!

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#26 Edited by RipMurdock (71 posts) -

@icyeyes: This is awesome man! I can't wait to try out the public build. Keep up the good work!

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#27 Posted by RipMurdock (71 posts) -


@icyeyes said:

@dkraytsberg: Those are all good points, heck, even I have an avatar of Ryan! But I think actually playing as Ryan is a little different. I'm probably just being overly cautious here, but I want to make sure I do this right. I personally have no problem with it either way.

@jimbozu: I've already been thinking about making Ryan the referee, like Hello Kitty in "Sanrio World Smash Ball!" Then I can have him start each match and call the scored goals. I think this is the best way to do it. Then he'll be a small part of every game!

I totally agree with both points. Way to go duders!