Third time lucky!
After weeks of building the suspension and the hype, dropping hints and voting, it finally arrived. Our Game Jam! Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t a winter addition to our pantry – it’s the biggest event of the season (we’ll discuss this again after our Christmas party). A Game Jam is similar to a Hackathon, with the obvious distinction of making games. Traditionally, there is one theme for the entire event and all teams interpret the theme any way they like. This was our first Game Jam with a single theme, so it was a whole new spin on a well-known event! If you’re wondering how to make a Game Jam happen, here’s the recipe – read on :)
Step One – The Calm Before the Storm
As many as 62 people applied for our Game Jam this year and so we created a magical number of seven teams. The exact team-member list was kept top secret, under lock and key, until the very end (or the very beginning). However, we wanted to keep everyone on their toes to get the hype going, so every day another team member was revealed. Every morning you could hear the sound of drumrolls and you could cut the tension with a knife, everyone wondering whether it was their day. On Game Jam Eve everyone was beside themselves, and the mood of the entire company can only be described as the day before school holidays – it’s a normal day, but no one takes it seriously. The teams were buzzing with ideas, mild trash-talking, coming up with team names, puns and general merriment. At the end of the day, everyone reshuffled their equipment and left the company to get a good night’s sleep – the last one in a while.
Step Two – The BrainStorm
Good morning Game Jam! At 10 o’clock sharp we randomly selected our theme for the weekend – This is fine. Whether that was the one you were hoping for or not, you were stuck with that and good luck! However, we all accepted that, indeed, this was fine. And so the brainstorming began, everyone bursting with ideas, everyone else cutting them down. Great expectations and reality checks constantly at war. Slowly, everyone’s ideas were born and the creative process was on its confused, winding, obstructed way. Each person had a part to play, and at some point, each person was probably the one doing the snack run. Time was a merciless opponent, galloping through seconds, minutes, hours. The first few hours everyone guarded their projects jealously, no one wanted to influence or be influenced. Midday, on the other hand, people started mingling, admiring other projects, even helping and giving solutions to each other. Someone had a playable snippet by nightfall, others had gorgeous art, others tons of content – but everyone had something to show off. Some stayed until past midnight saying sleep is for the weak, others went home for a power nap or two. Suddenly, Friday became Saturday and people returned, rolling straight out of bed to continue work.
Step Three – The Eye of The Storm
Today everyone started to feel the stress of an only-48-hour-long project. Some people waited around for the moment to become valuable game testers, mingling, playing board games and chatting, others typed furiously trying not to look at the clock counting down. The demons within were slightly calmed by the arrival of no less than 26 Jumbo pizzas which soon became pure fuel. In the afternoon, most of the teams had something playable to show and no one was hiding anything anymore – you could only see people patting each other on the back. At midnight, the clock struck pumpkin time and a wild raucous of cheers vibrated throughout the entire company – everyone’s games were in! Some were laughing, some were crying, some were sleeping while standing up but everyone was celebrating, congratulating and hugging. It was definitely more than fine.
Step Four – The Rainbow After the Storm
After all that hard work, it was probably the hardest to pick out winners. We had 6 categories for awards, as suggested by the participants of previous Game Jams. The award “Megasuccessful Hit” for best game, “Replay Value Over 9000” for best gameplay and “Artistic Masterpiece” for best art, then honourable mentions for “Best Animation”, “Best Content” and “Best Sound”. Practically the Oscars! Seven magnificent teams to choose from – how do you decide? We had a PvP, platformers, a point-and-click adventure, an endless runner, and an FPS. There was football, fantasy, retro, adorable, Christmas, music, voice acting, puns galore and whatever else you could wish for! Representatives of each team had to present their games in 10 minutes and after that we all had an hour to test the competition. Finally, everyone voted and after the votes were in our winners were:
- Sweet Team Number One for Best Game
- Sweet Team Number One for Best Gameplay
- Pun-Pek for Best Art
- Pun-Pek for Best Content
- Team Seven Goes to Eleven for Best Sound
- KUDVIS for Best Animation
Congratulations to our best teams and we hope they have a blast together with their awards! We’re already looking forward to our next Game Jam :) You can see a sneak peek of this one in the gallery below ;)