I shipped a game! Aztec Ride Now on Android! in October, I participated in Ludum Dare 47. I was asked by some developers I met earlier this year at a virtual conference if I wanted to jam with them. I agreed. Little did I know how fast this development ride would be!
We all started the jam a day late. As the story goes, Omer asked Idan to participate in the jam. Omer is the programmer and Idan is the artist/programmer. They had another mutual friend on the team named Ori and he with the programming. The team is mostly from Israel. Apparently, we all started the jam a day late because Omer asked them on a Saturday and the jam started on Friday. All they were missing was the cheat code, me, to write the video game music!
We had our theme for the jam, “stuck in a loop” and the theme style they chose was an Aztec rollercoaster. Simple, effective and brilliant honestly. However, I admit I didn’t know what kind of music I was going to write. What does “Aztec music carnival” sound like? Haha Ori sent me one or two examples of basic carnival music and I…..took that and…guessed. Somehow my brain translated what needed to happen. The easy part was understanding that it needed to be catchy and loop-able. I would have liked to make the music adaptive but considering that I came onboard to the jam on Sunday I didn’t have that much time to do that. So, I streamed the composing process on Twitch and the devs watched as it was composed in real time. This allowed for quick approvals. Within 4 hours I finished the track, did some live instrument dubbing with a Native Flute, Djembe, Kalimba and a customized shaker that would shock you if you knew what was inside.
The second day I worked on sound effects about eight in total. Very challenging in its regard for it to be unique. One thing, the team and I discussed was having the passengers scream as they fell out. We joked and said “like the Wilhelm scream”. Well, I thought to myself that sound byte is so old and out played. What if I just recorded a newer version of it? So, I did and in one take.
No overdubs no re-records and that is what captures people the most besides the music. I did these the day before I spoke at GameSound Con while watching some of my peers talks.
I wanted to mention something very important. THIS WAS THE BEST GAME JAM I HAVE EVER BEEN PART OF! The reason is because Omer, Idan and Ori already had a Discord setup and rather than just having it in chat and updating, they had a voice channel set up too! We all hung out in the voice chat Sunday and Monday until the deadline and even after the deadline! More impressive for them because they were across the world so I can’t imagine when they slept – if at all! Still, the communication and camaraderie was solidified through this! It helped knowing and having the engine and repository tools too and if I was stuck we positively worked towards solutions. We helped each other! This was a dream team! It showed too!
Soon after, we became the most highly ranked Ludum Dare 47 game, a myriad of streams and blogs reported on us, tagged us in tweets, videos and more! We received high accolades from the community and became the top three in the entire jam! We were highly advised by others to bring it to mobile. So, the team did. In later October, Idan told me in the beginning of one week that Google Play was reviewing the game for submission and that it would take a while. Friday of that same week, Idan tweets! “Surprise! Now we share share! Share tell the world!” And so I am telling you, Go download “Quetzalcoatl- Aztec Ride” the Android version. The PC version is still available but the game-play goals are different. Enjoy!