Coding Club’s ‘Game Jam’ Brings Out Creative Challenges

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Vladimir Semyanko

Semyanko’s game, titled Icarus, has taken many hours of work and development.

Lucas Moore, Editor-in-Chief

Combining coding, creativity, and problem solving, Green Hope students are creating video games. Green Hope’s Coding Club is hosting a “Game Jam” through May 14th, where students test and develop their coding skills to create a real, playable game.

Vladimir Semyanko (‘23) is participating in the Game Jam, and discussed his experience with the Green Hope Falcon, starting with the theme announcement.

“When the theme of the game jam (Under the Stars) was announced, a whole ton of ideas started popping into my head on what the game should look like and what it should be about ranging from categories like bullet hells to dungeon crawlers. Eventually, I settled on a basic idea of a Foddian 2D platformer,” he said.

Foddian games, such as Getting Over It or Jump King, are games where making errors while playing can cause you to lose a massive amount of progress. Semyanko based his game, titled Icarus as a reference to the iconic figure in Greek mythology, around this premise.

“The basic idea of the game was that you had to climb from the earth to the sun, but if you accidentally missed a platform, you would continue to fall until another platform catches you, which could definitely lead to some major loss of progress,” Semyanko said.

With the main idea decided, Semyanko knew he needed something to make his game stand out from the rest.

“That is when I decided to take away jumping and replace it with rocket jumping: a mechanic that is usually found in first person shooters where if you shoot the ground with an explosive whilst standing over it, you will launch yourself into the air and gain speed. This was the perfect mechanic to not only add some spice to my game, but increase the difficulty and give myself a chance to get creative with level design,” Semyanko said.

Creativity is encouraged in a Game Jam, but Coding Club Co-President Vaishy Kumar also spoke to some of the other skills developed by competing in such an event.

“Not only are Game Jams a fun experience, but they also test how you work under pressure, time-management skills, and ability to adapt and learn new things,” Kumar said.

Knowing where your skill and limits lie and choosing a project off of those factors can help create a game that truly exemplifies your skill as a coder.”

— Vladimir Semyanko ('23)

One component of this is knowing your limits, which Semyanko feels is one of his most important skills in this event.

“Many beginners enter a Jam with a way too ambitious project in mind than what the time frame allows, but at the same time, some developers completely overestimate the time given them and make a project that isn’t worth that much. Knowing where your skill and limits lie and choosing a project off of those factors can help create a game that truly exemplifies your skill as a coder,” Semyanko said.

The Game Jam ends on May 14th, and winners will be announced on May 19th.