I was lead programmer for Ghost Town Gunner, made in a team of six for the College Game Jam – optional theme “Connection.” It’s a mouse-only top-down shooter where the gunslinger and bullet are connected. The only way to move is to shoot and teleport to your bullet.
After a team brainstorming session, I developed the initial prototype for the game’s movement system. During the week, I took on a primary programming role, fine-tuning the movement system and adding a slew of visual effects: a shader that leaves a trail of ghost cowboys as the player character teleports, and bursts of sand as he skids to a stop.
I revised the shooting system to pre-calculate the bullet’s path for pin-point accurate trajectory lines – no physics simulation here! – and integrated weighty sound design with a powerful slow-motion effect for a sense of catharsis.
I also contributed to the game’s cartoonishly Western visual identity, crafting the menus and UI elements as well as procedurally generating some environmental obstacles with Unity’s Houdini plugin. They’re the jagged rocks in this screenshot.
With a day to spare, I whipped up a pastiche of Western film music to accompany the game’s lighthearted tone. You can listen to that music here.
The game placed in the top 10 and received an honorable mention.