These five games BLEW ME AWAY during the Linux Game Jam 2018!

Hey guys! I’ve had a BLAST playing through every game that was entered into the Linux Game Jam 2018. It’s been incredible and I want to thank everyone who participated. If you submitted a game and it’s not on this list, please know that you’re by no means a loser. Game jams aren’t a sport, and they’re not competitive! They’re more a means of testing yourself and seeing what you’re capable of. And you lot? You’re a talented bunch!

Several people have stated they wish they had more heads up, so I set up the next jam a year ahead of time! April 10th, 2019. Be there or be square!

The date’s set in stone, and it should be a good time. It looks like Cheeseness is on board to judge, again and hopefully we can get more people on board to judge, as well.

Speaking of my friend Cheeseness, he’s composed a superb write-up of the Jam. There are a ton of interesting facts, too, like… did you know that nearly 60% of the games submitted to the jam were licensed permissively? That’s awesome! Check out his write-up over on his blog, there’s a link in the description!

But! Let’s talk about my favorites, shall we? I had a very hard time whittling this list down to only five. Virtually every game had something unique and interesting; even if it wasn’t evident on a surface level. However, there were a few standout entries that I feel deserve some recognition. In no particular order we have:

Two Button Knight

Two Button Knight is a combat game that maps all your actions to just two buttons. Hey! Now I get the name!

Two Button Knight is a fabulous example of not having to sacrifice aesthetics over mechanics as it equally delivers both within the short timeframe of the jam.

The game’s controls are fairly robust, especially considering the two-button nature of input. You move, high- and low-attack, parry, and dodge, which, again, is impressive for two buttons.

The game even features a two-player mode, which is lovely.

Going forward, I’d love to see what a more polished experience would look like. With better button combo detection, and maybe a bit more telegraphing of which move the enemy is trying to pull off.

All in all, though, great job Vladar

KILLALL

KILLALL is a platformer that focuses on ‘combat’. Well, I mean, you’re a brick and you ‘fight’ other bricks. And that’s cool. As you move around, the circle around you grows; this circle is your attack range. It’s pretty cool. Your attacks do more damage based on your velocity and what direction you’re moving in!

I’d love to see more from this title, especially a fleshed out visual style. More levels, tighter controls, and a bit more visual feedback. Attack animations, etc. Unity engine is notorious for having strange jumping physics. Smooth this over and your title will be A+.

Great job, WillBl3pic

Wereshift

There’s a surprising amount of depth in Wereshift. There’s action, strategy, and a risk-versus-reward gameplay loop that I find satisfying to no end.

There’s a level of complexity to the game’s design that you don’t readily see in a game developed in 9 days. You have ever-draining health that can be recovered through killing enemies and hiding in bushes. You can also transform between different states.

The game’s visual style is on-point and I found it one of the most charming displays of the jam.

The lack of sound and the somewhat bawdy controls are the only real critiques I can levy against Wereshift. I’d like to see enemies have to draw their bow and take aim before they fire their arrows… something that would telegraph to the player where their arrow’s are going (and I’d like to see arrows move a bit faster). Similarly, I’d like there to be a dedicated attack button instead of having to jump to attack. Perhaps the dedicated attack button would only take effect as the werewolf, giving you more incentive to transform.

Great job, Clipsey and Shramper!

Project AL

Project AL, while lacking in the number of levels, certainly has the most complete mechanics of the jam. It feels like a bit of a cross between a platformer and a metroidvania-style game, which I completely dig.

The game’s graphics are stellar, the music is awesome, and the controls… while a bit stiff, get the job done!

You can morph into a ball to enter narrow corridors, wall jump, and even dash. Collect coins along your way to the exit and you’ll find yourself in a having a ton of fun with Project AL.

I’d like to see the controls be refined. A larger window for dashing after jumps might add more to the experience. Also, having the duration of the jump button control how high and long you jump would make a huge difference in my perceived stiffness of the controls. Also, MORE LEVELS would be awesome, obviously, and if there were, perhaps a variety of objectives to complete in each stage, that would be cool too!

Great job, ObsidianBlk!

Gunship: Tactical Munitions Capitalism

Gunship: Tactical Munitions Capitalism is a puzzle game that utilizes simple monochrome graphics to conceal a deep strategy game.

You get two types of ammunition and each type subtracts a fixed number of points from your score. To gain points you need to destroy the blocks on the other side of the screen. In order to progress, you need to destroy all the blocks while breaking even in your scoring. Planning is required in order to blow up the blocks while breaking even, and the last level is deceptively difficult.

I’d like to see more levels with this title. Perhaps a quick preview of what the puzzle looks like before you play the level the first time. Maybe an additional type of ammunition could shake up the gameplay, or perhaps later levels have a preloaded ‘opening volley’ you have to account for in your budgeting.

But, yeah… great job, Zak Stephens!

Thanks again to everyone who participated in the jam, thanks to the judges who helped make it a reality.

And seriously, you really should check out Cheeseness' post. It's about as detailed and insightful as anything I've ever read.