B’ak’tun

1st Place winner in Project Nightlight 2012
2nd Place winner Judge’s Choice Global Game Jam 2012 at DePaul University

B’ak’tun, which is a Mayan word for a specific cycle of days (the 13th cycle will be complete on December 21st!) is where this game about life, sacrifice, and rebirth gets its name. In this autorunner style romp you play as a butterfly roaming free and committing as much suicide as possible – why? Because you are not just butterfly, but also a phoenix-like god whose deathly ashes bring life to the wasteland below you. As this deity you must give your infinite life to infinite death to bring up your finite score which comes from your contribution to nature. The difference between this game and other autorunners is that your mission as this butterfly is to seek out the hazards and be hit by them while avoiding things that slow you down – if you hit too many non-deadly obstacles the adventure is over. It’s fairly face paced and currently in a beta status while we seek out our options for creating it on other platforms and scheduling it for a full release.

Some features it includes are:

  • A mesoamerican artyle complimented by an entire score of building music depending on your current power level.
  • Procedural obstacle placement with some serious design intent (thus not completely random).
  • Face paced but whimsical gameplay.

This game originated from a concept at Global Game Jam 2012 amongst myself and some peers. We developed a majority of the current beta in those 48 hours and won second place for the Judge’s pick, we added some tweaks to art and fixed a few bugs and submitted it for Project Nightlight 2012, a game development competition held yearly at DePaul and won.

My role on this project was that of Lead Designer (I was the only game designer for that matter), and officially Team Lead for the Game Jam event – whether or not I maintain that status for this title depends on future factors. We plan on getting this game released potentially on some mobile platforms.