Mario Kart insipration favourite at Global Game Jam

3 February 2012

Global Game Jam

Catch Me If You Can: Team leader Jacob Toye experiments with game design during the Waikato leg of the Global Game Jam.

A game created by three University of Waikato graduates was voted site favourite at the Waikato leg of the 48 hour Global Game Jam.

Catch Me If You Can, a multiplayer racing game, was created by Jacob Toye, Dave Leaver and Jeremy Moore and inspired by Nintendo 64 classic game Mario Kart.

All three graduated from Waikato around five years ago and now work as programmers and developers at Smartrak, a GPS tracking and fleet management company based in Hamilton.

48 Hours of Fun

Global Game Jam brings computer enthusiasts together to create video and board games every January. It encourages experimentation and innovation - participants come together for 48 hours, form teams, and develop games around a theme that is announced at the start of the event.

Team leader Jacob Toye says the most important thing behind creating the 2D game was ensuring it was easy to grasp and fun to play.

Catch Me If You Can is a running race game with the bonus of power-ups. You race against your opponent over platforms and through water, all the time having to duck and jump over obstacles.

“As the game took shape we decided to add power-ups, things like bombs, boosts and fish projectiles, which you pick up during the race and can use against your opponents.”

Four players can race against each other at once, controlling either by keyboard or through an Xbox controller.

“Towards the end of day two we had people playing the game who would stay on and play a couple of rounds which was really encouraging,” says Dave.

Each year the University of Waikato hosts a leg of the Global Game Jam. Organiser and computer science senior lecturer Bill Rogers said this year 50 programmers, designers and artists met at the university to take part.

“It’s great to see graduates come back to participate.”

Latest stories