Dolphin Dive Global Game Jam

This was the first game I ever made from start to finish. It is the precursor to my story of wanting to be a game developer.

A bunch of my friends and I decided to do a game jam without any knowledge of programming, design, or art. We just decided to do it on a whim because we seemed it would be fun and exciting. Working on creating product in two days was exhilarating to say the least.

We went out to sort out roles of who would do what and that’s where our journey began. There were no special challenges in making this game in hindsight but at the time we had no clue where to begin. Everything was a challenge. This is definitely not something I would show to a company I am applying to but this holds a sentimental value for me and it is one of the reasons why I wanted to make games.


The theme for the global game jam was Waves so we all decided collectively we were going to make some kind of dolphin game. From then on we decided what was the one mechanic we wanted. One of my friends suggested echo-location and that was what we went with.

We decided echo-location meant sending out some kind of pulse, and the pulse would highlight objects around the player (dolphin).

Assigning Roles

I ended up assigning roles to my friends based off of the type of people they were and what skills/talents they had. I separated them and gave them tasks for what I thought would be cool to have in a game with the criteria. A lot of the tasks I assigned was research oriented because none of us knew how to make games! We were naive but working towards one goal of releasing a product that can be playable was highly motivating for all of us. Regardless of what we did, we all contributed to the project because even just a little bit of contribution goes a long way.

Learning, Learning, Learning

We used Unreal Engine 4 to aid us in making the game come to life. Our lead programmer already programmed the main mechanic withing the first hour and I worked with him to do the UI programming. We basically followed a bunch of tutorials to get whatever features we had. The last day, the people assigned to story/design of the game came up of levels and props so then the “artists”and I all then learned 3DS Max, a modeling software. Everything in our game was made by us, we did not use any online assets. My main role was to communicate between design and art to have a stable and flowing connection. No one was out of the loop and everyone had something assigned to them.


At the end of it all, we went up and presented our game and people were shocked by our output. The most satisfying thing to me however was the post-discussion. We all took a well deserved sleep and the next day after the Jam, we talked about the experience. We all enjoyed it! Everyone felt like they helped and we decided we were going to make another game! That is when I realized that I enjoyed making games. It did not really matter what part of the process I was, as long as I was there contributing and doing something for the overall good and giving people an experience, that was fulfilling enough.