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A year in review (2016 game dev edition)

Posted by Will Hart on 2017-01-15

Looking back, 2016 was a fairly big year for me. I travelled a bit, finished up some major work projects, moved house (to a different hemisphere) and started a PhD! I thought it might be nice to look back at the year in review for my favourite hobby - game dev.

Game Jams

I try to do game jams when I can, as its a great way to test out ideas. Obviously juggling family life and game jams can be a bit of a challenge, but I still managed to release five games for Game Jams in 2016!


A terrible game jam game (size: 551x500px)

Ludum Dare 34 Link

This game was an example of what happens when you try to balance family life with a weekend game jam! To follow on from the Button Simulator, I decided to make another game using ReactJS. The theme of the jam was "shape shifting" and I wanted to see if I could use React to simulate physics. Basically the idea is there are a whole lot of shapes which swirl down towards the centre, and you have to press keys to match the shapes before they hit the centre. Its not the worst game I ever made.

Clockwork Dragon

Clockwork Dragon - a game I'm not unproud of (size: 731x500px)

Ludum Dare 35 Link

I'm actually fairly proud of this game - I think its probably one of the best games I've released to date. In this voxel adventure, you are a steam powered dragon that flies around scaring villagers to steal their gold. Use the gold to upgrade yourself, and follow along with the story.

Missile Commander

Missile Commander - a game made in about three hours (size: 596x402px)

Game Dev League Artificial Intelligence Jam, itch.io link

I wasn't going to take part in this game jam, but changed my mind at the last minute. Hence this game was made in about 2-3 hours, and it shows! Its kind of a cross between Interplanetary and just about any artillery type game ever made. Fire off missiles from the surface of the earth and hope to get the enemy before they get you.

The Eridanus Monument

Eridanus Monument - my attempt at a more narrative game (size: 473x312px)

Game Dev League Area 51 Jam, itch.io link

This was probably the most experimental "game" I've made to date. Its a hand-drawn story driven narrative game. There isn't a whole lot of game play, so I guess its almost semi-interactive fiction. I'm pretty proud of it, even if the "critical reception" wasn't great.

GitHub Game Jam (November)

I also participated in the GitHub November Game Jam, and along with Zentropy built up a functioning RTS, and a solid entity component system framework which I hope I'll have more to say about later.


I tinkered around quite a lot with Blender and MagicaVoxel in 2016, mostly in the low poly style because thats about all I can manage. Here are a few things I worked on.

A random low poly landscape

Low poly scene (size: 1337x746px)

Some random medieval game assets

Some medieval game assets (size: 1536x864px)

Four seasons

Four seasons (size: 1536x618px)

Camping under the stars

Camping under the stars (size: 1152x618px)


Well I'm pretty excited for 2017 both professionally and for game dev. I'm working with Zentropy from the GitHub game jam on some new ideas and our ECS is maturing rapidly. I'm hoping I'll have a lot more to talk about this year, and this time in 2018 :)