Making a game in 48 hours seems a massive task, yet it’s something tens of thousands of people do every year at Global Game Jam, an international game jam for developers of any type and skill level to come together and create something new.
Though game jams—gatherings of game devs to create games in short spans of time—can vary in size and the given amount of time, Global Game Jam is the world’s largest physical jam event, this year taking place in 78 countries.
This was my first year doing GGJ, and my first year doing a game jam in general (I have since done one more, where I co-created a card game!), and I was honestly hesitant about the whole thing, because what am I, but a writer? I thought there was nothing I could possibly contribute to such a short game. Turns out narrative can be pretty important to even a game made in 48 hours, who knew?
There was one game that completely caught my attention in the lead-up to Melbourne’s massive gaming convention, PAX Australia: Hollow Knight, a gorgeously atmospheric action-adventure platformer with a healthy dose of challenge.
Hollow Knight is being developed by Team Cherry, an indie company based in Adelaide made up of Ari Gibson, William Pellen, and David Kazi, with a release planned for the first half of 2016.
Set in a bug-infested cavern system below an eerily silent village, Hollow Knight is filled with all kinds of strange creatures and wonderful sights. I’ve always been a sucker for platformers with fascinating worldbuilding that you can explore for hours, and from what I’ve played of the Hollow Knight beta, it seems to be shaping up to be exactly that. Though the gameplay can be difficult, it never feels punishing.
I had the opportunity at PAX Aus to interview Willaim Pellen and ask him a few questions about Hollow Knight, influences, Kickstarter, and taking the leap to full time game dev.