Global Game Jam 2018

A game level created in 48 hours by my group of four artists and inspired by Van Gogh’s Starry Night

I implemented all game features except for model and texture creation

A video tour of the level


The theme for this year’s Global Game Jam was “transmission,” and our team of four artists decided to take a much more abstract route to our project (or should I say impressionist). We buckled down to create a game experience where the player would have a feeling transmitted as they explored the level in search for a piece of art belonging to the next art style. Although we only completed one level in the forty-eight hours, we achieved the ethereal feeling we sought to establish with the moving textures and coloring.

The slowly flowing grass and flowing textures on the houses and trees created a sense of breathing and movement while the stagnant, large pieces provided interest points to guide the player around the level and, ultimately, to the next level.

GGJ2018_3I can easily say that I had never felt more challenged in my entire art career as I implemented everything in the engine throughout the jam; I would use material nodes to keep color palettes consistent across all assets, add the soft emissive emanating from the lamps and window, and sculpt the environment in a way that suggests to the viewer that they are walking around the actual painting. Ultimately, I was most excited to have created the shader for the trees and houses where I create this moving “brush stroke” effect that I achieved through the use of the panner node. It was my first time ever making a shader from scratch! I learned so much more about how far I can push textures with the material editor and some logical thinking, and I look forward to seeing how much farther I can push myself now that I have this base knowledge.

I want to take the time to say how much I appreciated working with my team. They did an awesome job getting their work accomplished and being an encouragement to one another. Okay! Bragging moment over~


Below are examples of alpha masks I tested in order to achieve the shader’s swirling paint effect. I had to make sure to make it seamless so that it has a constant flow of movement as the texture pans across the surface. Out of the three, I found that the leftmost one fit the style best where the paint strokes were not only distinguishable from one another, but they were also soft enough that they appear smoothed across at a distance.

I sculpted the level terrain to be similar to the actual painting with the intention that the player would walk into the seemingly flat painting into the 3D level.


Software used (on my end):

  • Unreal Engine
  • Photoshop

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