Community Spotlight is here to tell the most inspiring, heart-warming, and successful, not forgetting the unsung stories that sprouted from Global Game Jam sessions during the years.
GGJ brought freedom and friends to DERU’s developers
This is a story from Sam, who is a game maker and part of the game development studio game Ink Kit that made DERU, The Art of Cooperation formerly known as Schlicht, a cooperative puzzle game.
DERU was initially created during Global Game Jam 2014 but all of its developers participated for several years prior at the jam space at the Dock18 site in Zurich, Switzerland.
“Each year the space was growing more and more and had lots of great ideas around but our team started by the wish to work more with Unity3D’s particle system and how we can directly use it to create gameplay and applied the theme to that”, Sam explains and continues: “Also by sticking to that paradigm we made it tremendously easier to not get distracted by ideas not realizable with that and helped make a round jam version of the game.”
The game made at the jam was really close to the final product and most of the levels made in the jam version found their way into the release. Sam says it showed the team again that the time constraint just forces you to stick to your initial idea. That helped in their rather focused game tremendously.
But what is DERU?
DERU is an elegant two player puzzle game with a heavy focus on cooperation and collaboration designed to be played with everybody, kid, grandma or boyfriend or bigger group as it’s all about figuring out the rules of the world and not how to master the world, so everybody can chime in and help. One player takes the color of white and the other one is black, and the levels are made out of white and black streams which are only traversable by the player of the opposite color.
“That forces players to help out by blocking the streams and together the players navigate seemingly simple and beautiful geometric spaces by communicating a lot”, Sam explains.
Over the course of the game the players get different abilities which are often tied to the other player. Player shrinks themself to make their partner bigger for example so they can protect another easier or in bigger streams of color.
Don't overthink, enjoy the GGJ
When asking Sam what he has gained from the Global Game Jam, the answer is short and clear: Freedom and friends.
“Freedom in being creative without bounds and letting go of the pressure of creating the things you are occupied with day by day”, he says.
“Come with no expectations and be awed by what you can do in the short time if you just stick to creating. Plus don’t overthink, you are here to enjoy!”
You can try DERU - The Art of Cooperation demo on Steam.