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Petri Dish: The Extinction of Color

Petri Dish: The Extinction of Color

What do you get when you put 11 randomly-matched game developers, artists, and musicians together and ask them to create a game in 48 hours around the theme of “extinction”?

Petri Dish!

Developed at the 2011 Global Game Jam in Orlando, Florida, Petri Dish: The Extinction of Color is a fast-paced multiplayer territory-control game in which four players vie to spread the color of their organism onto a 10×10 board, scoring a point when occupying an unoccupied or opponent-colored tile, aided by a handful of randomly generated powerups.

Two of the organisms are controlled by players through the arrow keys (green) and WASD (blue), while the remaining two are AI-controlled. Gameplay lasts 3 minutes, after which the highest scoring organism is declared the winner.

Petri Dish was written in C# and XNA by Hector Llanos and myself, and features original art by Benjamin “Polygoblin” Leary, Levi Parker, Cody Brunty, and Jason Ayala, as well as original music and sound effects by Caught in a Dream. The design came together organically out of a quick brainstorming session at the outset and several prototype iterations throughout the weekend. The remaining four team members played a support role.

In addition to the tight time constraint of 48 hours, the Global Game Jam had the additional challenges of an unknown unifying theme and collaborating with complete strangers. It was an amazing experience that I would not hesitate to recommend to both veteran and budding game developers. I am very proud of the end result, and more importantly, of how well we gelled as a team.

One final note: in order to play the game you must install the .NET 4.0 Framework as well as XNA 4.0 (both included in the download). My apologies to non-PC owners, there were no other Flash developers in the team! 😉