the universe within…


The universe within was created during the Global Game Jam 2012. It was a small collision avoidance game built in HTML 5 using scanned sketchbook artwork. The gameplay comprised of avoiding obstacles that would fly toward you in waves as the backgrounds would constantly zoom in, transitioning from the Universe all the way down to the subatomic level. The inspiration for the design came from the IBM Powers of 10 video, as well as Buddhist mythology.


Our game was given “Best Overall” by the NYU Game Center judges. It was also written about the next day on Kotaku.


Our team comprised of 5 people with a lot of overlapping roles. 3 people wrote code, 2 people created art, 2 people created the sound design, and we all collaborated on the overall game design.

My contributions the project

Game Design: I worked to distill the IBM powers of 10 video into a design framework that could practically be recreated using our art constraints. I also came up with a story driven reason for avoiding the collision.

Art: I created half of the level art, by hand, in my sketchbook.

Production: I finished my tasks early, so in the last few hours of the jam I worked with my teammates to see what their needs were pertaining getting everything finished by the deadline.

Project Design Goals

  • Have a playable project in less than 48 hours.
  • Learn about personal game development chops and grow.

Availability: The universe within was released on the web via HTML 5 and on the iPad using a wrapper. Due to various issues, like the need to constantly keep an Apple developer account active, and yearly renewing URLs, as well as ever evolving browser requirements, the game is no longer playable.

A video of the experience can be seen here.