JetHack is a first-person platformer about jetpacking around a cyberpunk city, hacking into and breaking mega-corporate advertisements. It was made for Global Game Jam 2018 with the theme of “Transmission”.
I programmed the jetpack mechanic and the game-managing scripts, lightly processed some audio and implemented it, and designed the “golden path” elements of the level design, and 3D modeled a very primitive flying car along with a spawning system to create air traffic that’s just barely noticeable in the final product.
When the theme of “Transmission” was announced, my entire group immediately went towards the idea of transmitting information, and the “noise” of information we all experience. But we had to walk ourselves away from the cliff of trying to make a complex political simulation or a highly abstract puzzle game and instead settled on something simple and tactile - using a jetpack to run around a simple 3D environment to destroy things. We then thought of hacking because oh man I love cyberpunk, and from there I talked to our other programmer, Chris, about making the hacking more performative than skill based. There wasn’t really room for us to make something like Quadrilateral Cowboy, which had inspired me, so instead we agreed to have the player gesture towards that sort of ingenuity by playing copy-cat to our silly cyberpunk jokes that Lucas wrote.
JetHack has become one of my more successful projects, with over 4,000 views and 2,000 downloads on Itch.io, and I’m super proud of it. It’s the game that got me to over 20,000 views on Itch.io, and that was such a rush. I’d love to come back to the project and mess around more with level design and create a stronger golden path for the player, seeing as that was our #1 challenge over that rushed weekend development.