The theme for the jam was “Dawn.” I didn’t have time to attend for the whole weekend, so instead of making a game I just messed around with building a pixelated sunrise. I built most of the thing in GameMaker HTML5 (which incidentally now has the non-obfuscated debug mode I was asking for!). I say “most of” because I put the music in by hand.
Building the sunrise was fun. I searched for images of sunrise and dawn until I found one that I liked. I poked around and extracted 15 different colors that I wanted to use and put them in a palette:
It’s an ordered palette — my sunrise generator basically says “if you’re X distance from the sun, fill in this area with a random choice of colors 0-2″ and has some special case rules for what happens when the sun starts to peek up over the horizon. This creates a banding and dithering effect.
The last bit of the experience, where the screen starts to fill up with light, just came from me messing around with the algorithm and deciding that I liked what that particular effect evoked.