Feb 26, 2023
As many of you know, coherence was a sponsor of the Global Game Jam® 2023. In addition to the sponsorship, we also decided to add some additional spice to the proceedings. We announced a $10K prize pool up for grabs for multiplayer games using coherence. Experienced game jammers know that even making a fully working game in 48 hours is challenging enough, but adding multiplayer to it as well? Crazy! Well, maybe not that crazy when you’re using coherence.
There were plenty of teams that took us up on the challenge, so we ended up with 18 submissions. These were then played by members of our team, and feedback was collected. As a result, you’ll see that we particularly liked games that could provide fun for friend groups of any size. Without further ado, here’s how it shook out.
Malditas Raizes delivers an asymmetrical multiplayer arena brawler realized in cute pixel graphics. Players can take on the roles of rabbits or a big potato - the boss of the arena - who has a melee attack and can throw down root-like tentacles (plantacles?!) that hit any rabbit foolish enough to get too close to it. The rabbits on the other hand are able to punch and pick up various new weapons that spawn on the map. The theme is novel for this sort of a game and it can be a lot of fun trying to corner the boss with a bunch of your friends.
Which Witch blew us away not simply based on the clever pun in its name, but also because of the gameplay built around a concept similar to Among Us, and how well it was built and how much fun it was. For many of our team, this game received the highest marks for the fun factor.
The idea of the game is to start with a team of witches who have to cook potions based on recipes by collecting the correct ingredients around the map. However, one among them is up to no good and tries to sabotage the players by turning them into frogs and spoiling the recipes!
It was a very close call between this game and the 2nd place. Room To Grow impressed us in many respects - it’s a joy to look at, the gameplay is soothing and meditative, the way the game handles persistence was exemplary, AND they had excellent pine cone physics in a fully 3D multiplayer environment.
The idea of the game is to start out as a pine cone rolling around the map and collecting the seeds of the plants you come into contact with. When you decide you have enough, you choose a nice spot and go from a pine cone into tree-mode. That’s when you get to plant all the seeds you have collected around you. At any point you can revert back into a pine cone and go rolling around to collect new seeds and to see what your companions have been up to. You can even have some competitive fun trying to reach hard-to-get-to places around the map with friends, overcoming the inherent difficulties of trying to finely control a rolling pine cone!
Congratulations to the winning teams, we’ll be contacting you shortly!
Of course, there were many other games that caught our attention, showed sparks of brilliance and deserve your attention.
It is an asymmetrical co-op multiplayer game with a very strong hacker concept. One of the players assumes the role of an operator trying to hack into a system, and two of his buddies play mobile code blocks in the role of either a Scout or a Brute. While the buddies explore the mysterious and dangerous maze of the computer system, the operator can oversee both of them and piece together the clues that they reveal. The operator has to then break passwords, solve puzzles and challenges using a command line interface, removing roadblocks for their buddies. The presentation is superb and the concept is novel.
Community Garden is a 3rd person tower defense game, where the players are working in co-op to protect the last few flowers from the onslaught of waves of tractors by erecting defenses. The gameplay was quite complex for a game jam game, making use of simulators (very advanced for a game jam project!) and fully realized in 3D, with a charming presentation.
This is a deceptively simple multiplayer shooter where each player controls an ant that can shoot other ants in an ant-nest-like arena. Despite the rather barebones gameplay it is surprisingly fun and engaging, proving once more that classic game modes are classic for a reason. We had a lot of team members whose eyes lit up as friendly vendettas developed and were realized in-game. It gets a special mention also because of the gory way that persistence was realized - when we logged in for the first time, the map was still littered with splattered ants from all the previous GGJ game sessions that took place more than a week ago!
This one stands out as one of the best-crafted and more complete games in the competition. The players play as vikings using nothing but an ax, trying to survive waves of skeletons that spawn on the map. It also has a roguelike element where every skeleton you dispatch gives you coins, and when you die, you can use these coins to upgrade your weapon and your attributes to come back from the digital Valhalla with a vengeance. The multiplayer part of it was played as co-op, with vikings helping each other out to survive longer. The game looks great and is quite ambitious.
RootScape brands itself as a math bullet hell, and so it is! You have two guns, each for shooting different numbers that appear on the screen. The idea is to rack up a high score. If you can do it faster and better than your friends, you win! The looks and vibe of the game reminds you of your school days when small shootouts were carried out with your benchmate on the margins of your math notebooks. The idea is interesting and could be developed further.
Bricks in Space
Someone made an AR/VR puzzle game for the GGJ?! Color us impressed! Not only is it played in VR, using goggles and VR controllers, but onlookers can share in the experience by looking at the 3D AR puzzles through their smartphones, while web visitors can see a simplified 2D view of the game being played out via WebGL clients. The tech behind coherence ties it all together so every move the player in VR makes is immediately synced to all other connected devices. Maybe this is how games will be played and experienced in the 2030s? We can’t find out soon enough!
We’d like to extend our deepest gratitude to everyone who took a risk and tried to push the boundaries of what’s possible, with coherence! Almost all the submitted games showed a lot of promise and several are only a few months worth of iterations away from the quality needed to make them into viable, shippable games. We hope you don’t stop here, but keep working on your amazing games!
This might be a good time to mention that coherence has a free tier for game dev, so if you do decide to take your project further, check it out!
PS - you can download and try out all the multiplayer games on our itch.io page.