Spectrum

SpectrumThumb

Spectrum is a game made by a group of students and myself for the Global Game Jam 2012 and is based on the theme of the Oroboros

Technical Details: While not technically impressive, Spectrum achieves a high level of polish and “completeness” for a weekend project. It was very important to me that this felt like a complete gameplay experience. The art and sound took on a very minimalistic aesthetic. All graphics were completed with built in primitives and the audio was very ambient and moody. I could describe the music, but Ian from WhileTrueFork games does it much better here. The game was built with the Allegro library for Windows. Due to the cross platform abilities of the library and C++, it could be recompiled for other platforms.

Gameplay: This game is a part matching game and a part rhythm. Colored bands of light will appear on the right side of the board and begin moving to the left. You must match the color of your band to the approaching ones using the mouse wheel or number keys. Correctly matching causes your band to grow. Failing to do so has the opposite effect. Completing the bar will move you to the next level of difficulty.

Aesthetic: This was the most important part to me. The Oroboros is a very power icon and can have many interpretations. We decided to try and tackle as many of them as possible. For starters, since the Oroboros is a self contained entity, we used only basic and minimal styles. Even the level indicator is just a series of what dots. Another theme of the Oroboros is regret. With that in mind, you cannot lose the game. You can’t even go back a level. You can only go forward. As the Oroboros consumes itself, it always stays the same size. When playing the game, you will notice how the bar shrinks vertically as it grows horizontally. We have attempted to make the bar always approximately the same volume. By growing, you are also shrinking. By winning, you are also losing. Of course, the opposite is true as well. This is a game you cannot win or lose. Actually, I tell people that the only way to win is to not play it at all! Finally, the Oroboros is about pain. We wanted to make the game (not the gameplay) and painful as possible. We juxtapose low ambient sounds with loud crashes. We contrast dark voids with explosions of light. The player is always getting used to one thing before being bombarded with something different. Even the success and failure sounds are based on anvil hits and horns. Very pleasant in deed.

You can download the game from our Global Game Jam page here. I would like to build a web player for this in the future if time permits. We shall see.