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Global Game Jam 2009: A Worldwide Report
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Global Game Jam 2009: A Worldwide Report

February 25, 2009 Article Start Previous Page 4 of 5 Next

France GMT +1

In Angoulême, the GGJ was located in the same space as the International Comics Festival. To add spectacle to the comics event, the jam was viewable on video monitors within the festival.

To celebrate and synergize the mixing of the two, Stephane Natkin, the site's organizer and Director of the ENJMIN The Graduate School of Games and Interactive Media, invited the celebrated comic artist Middam, author of Kid Paddle, to add an additional constraint.

So, in addition to the universal theme and play mechanic and the time zone dependent tone words "developing, falsifying, and trapped," Angoulême jammers had to produce language-independent games with the look and feel of comic strips.

At the end of the jam, each participant was awarded a comic strip from the festival and a discussion about the relationships between games and comics ensued.

The jammers were treated to another local resource as well during their 48 hour ordeal and Natkin proved he was a "hands-on" administrator: "As we are not far from the sea, we had an oyster dinner; I was in charge of shucking the oysters."

Angoulême's favorite game was selected by a jury that was directed by Serge Hascoet, chief creative officer at Ubisoft. The winner was The Reflection Fool, a puzzle game where the player has to take into account the movements of both his avatar and the avatar's reflection.

The two move along a symmetrical plane, while facing different obstacles, playing with spatial representation within games.

Ireland GMT

At the Tipperary Institute, Phil Bourke, program coordinator for its honors degree in Games Design and Development, showed off his surviving jammers to the school at large.

"We decided to present all the teams with their (GGJ) pins in front of other students that Monday -- that was a proud moment -- each team got a big round of applause and cheers from their peers and my fellow faculty members."

Though one of the tone words was rushed, it didn't seem to apply to the jammers. Says Bourke, "The guys came up with eight great game ideas and then quickly and professionally selected four for development."

Potential Difference

The Irish local favorite was Potential Difference, a game where each player needs to shoot enemies of an opposite color/charge while collecting enemies of his own color to stem the loss of his rapidly diminishing health.

Brazil GMT - 2

In sunny Rio De Jainero, in the labs of the Universidade Federal Fluminense, Professor Esteban Clua joined the GGJ to "Offer something cool for the CS and Art students in our country."

Tone words "traveling" and "busy" came into play in a head-to-head challenge between two of the jammers. Says Clua, "There was a competition between two participants to see who would go through the whole GGJ without sleeping.

On Saturday afternoon one of them said he was 'going to eat something,' but actually went off to take a secret nap. The other, seeing that his opponent was not present, went to a corner of the development room and also took a 'secret' nap (asking his friends to wake him immediately upon the return of his nemesis)."

Rio's favorite game used the third tone word, "tiny", to spark Escape the Drain, where an odd-couple cockroach and his spider lady-friend have to exploit their "web connection" to escape the downpour from the showerhead.

Venezuela GMT - 4.5

Flex Programmer and Distance Learning Developer, Ciro Duran, ran the Jam at the Universidad Simon Bolívar in Caracas. Their GGJ participation ended up inspiring students beyond the college campus.

"On Saturday there was a special event for high schoolers to get to know the campus and the majors offered there, and you could see the bright faces of the students as they saw people actually making games.

The fave game of Venezuela was Gnaka Gnaka, a shooter with a moral dilemma attached. Up to four players combine into a kind of Marvel Comics Galactus-ish type of creature at points during the game, planet resource devouring team which must ravage a world and exterminate its inhabitants to stay alive.

Article Start Previous Page 4 of 5 Next

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