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Faif! (And why we love game jams)

Faif is a game we created for Ludum Dare 28. Theme was 'You only get one'. We were not supposed to participate this time due to personal reasons but hey, Monday came and we made the game in less than 12 hours. We cannot help it. We love game jams!

Nico Saraintaris

December 17, 2013

3 Min Read

Last Ludum Dare (#LD28) was kind of weird for us. We’d decided to skip it (busy weekend, one of us turning 30, etc.) but on Monday (the last day for jamming) we had an early meeting, talked a little about how awesome the theme was (“You only get one”) and took the day off to make a game!

Talk about crazy, heh.

We pitched some ideas, evaluated its scopes and decided on one. We were going to make a small game built from scratch designed exclusively to fit the theme.

And hell we got it right. You can play it right here.

But before talking about the game itself, I’d like to say something about these jams we happen to love. This was our 5th jam (three LD’s, one #7DFPS and The Walking Dead Game Jam). Radius Minigolf, Antarctic Glitch, Galaxel, The Narrow Path and faif... every one of these games wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for these amazing jams and all its constraints!

Radius Minigolf, Antarctic Glitch, Galaxel, The Narrow Path and faif.

Faif - Making a game in less than 12 hours

Take faif for example. Theme was “You only get one”. The core idea of the game is making a selection of five adjacent tiles in a grid and after doing it so, the game would randomly choose one. If it weren’t for the theme, we would never come up with an idea like this. Ever.

So we had the core idea, now we needed to work on the gameplay itself. We decided that the player should battle against AI in a turn-based game scheme and we chose iconic RPG elements to make different types of tiles: a sword would attack your enemy, a heart would give you a life and a skull would take out one.


When we had a playable concept, we noticed something we’ve suspected. As the game progresses, the grid was full with skulls! Not the dumb AI nor the player would select them. So we decided that the attack (sword) would have no base attack and for every skull in the selection it would get +1.

So, if you select 4 hearts and a sword and you get the sword, your attack is 0. But if you select 1 heart, 2 swords and 2 skulls and you get a sword, your attack is 2! Got it?

Battling with the odds

So hey. We think we have an interesting concept here. Luck is a decisive factor in the game, sure thing, but as all Hunger Games fans should know: “may the odds be ever in your favor!”.

40% +1 life / 40% +1 attack / 20% -1 life

Early post-compo version

We did not have enough time for sound design on Monday. So we released on Tuesday an early post compo version with some sound FXs!

What’s next

We are really pleased with the results of the jam. We think that working on more types of tiles, investing some time on visual feedback and adding some tweaks to the gameplay, faif is going to be an interesting title. Imagine a campaign mode against different types of enemies and hey! Think about multiplayer! Also, faif is a perfect fit for mobile devices, so there we go!

Give it a try here!


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