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My first IRL game jam!
I have done a couple of game jams in the past, but they have always been just me (in my PJs) at home in front of my computer. Sometimes I’d team up with my sisters, sometimes I’d team up with my friends and we’d work through Google Hang Outs (since we are in different countries).
But I’ve never tried actually showing up to a venue and working on the spot with a bunch of other people.
I went to Global Game Jam’s Taipei venue, and I’d have to say the organizers did a very good job. Thank you organizers!
The location is big enough for the amount of people (there were 70 of us!), and there was enough tables, chairs, and most importantly, enough bandwidth, and extension cords for everyone. Oh and they had a free soda machine, and gave us free coffee stubs for the 711 next door (no water though, apparently game devs don’t need water to hydrate). They also provided snacks to keep everyone’s brain functioning. And pizza after demo sessions! (Yes, I was just there for the food :P) And their official photographer takes very pretty pictures, which I grabbed and will repost here.
What I liked about the jam is, that there were demo sessions, where you can see what every other team is up to. However, our jam venue didn’t have any fun awards, or audience voting for best game. It would have been fun to fight for some prize, even if it was just a paper certificate.
Another reason I never been to in real life jams before, is because I’ve never had enough game dev friends in real life. I know, I know that you should just show up and meet new friends and stuff, but I’m not really sociable, and my language skills are limited (everyone else speaks Chinese!)
So thank goodness, my current colleagues agreed to join this year’s jam with me. And thank goodness there was 5 of us – enough to form 1 group with no additional strangers (at the Taipei venue, we were all paired into groups of 6). Actually, we were supposed to be paired with a stranger but she didn’t show, so, oh well.
The theme for this year’s jam is “What do we do now?”.
We spend Day 1 coming up with an idea for the theme, and we decided to make a game to raise awareness about Shark Finning. And we also decided to go for a more childish approach, and do all our art assets using origami.
Since everyone in our group agree that dinner and sleep is important to us, we all went home to rest (even though we did spy some other team’s plans to spend the night).
Since most bookstores don’t open until 10 AM, most of us arrived late on Day 2 (around 11, which for me, shouldn’t really considered as late, but all other teams were already there by 9ish), so our only early member Jack had to present our game idea by himself (he even made a powerpoint).
We bought a lot of art papers and spent a lot of time folding stuff based on YouTube videos and instructions.
Arrive at 11 and go out for lunch at 12, since our team loves eating and we had ramen for lunch and took our team photo.
And we got started coding after lunch.
And as usual, we used Unity as our game engine hashtag #madewithunity.
Around 5 PM of Day 2, every team had to present the Alpha of their games.
I lost our game of Rock Paper Scissors (or as I like to call it jack en poy), I was tasked to present.
Only 4 hours of coding in, I was admittedly very nervous to show our alpha. And when I get nervous, I forget all my Chinese and start making shark chomping sounds (our eventual game sound effects were also us making shark chomping sounds – in a bathroom cubicle though, quieter).
I think I have sufficiently portrayed our group as the ditzy lazy group.
But hey, at least our game was playable.
And after everyone’s demos, PIZZA!
We asked the organizers what time we should show up on Day 3, and they advised us that in order to finish by 3 PM, you had to at least get started around 9.
So we worked for a bit more, but around 11PM we decided that we were sleepy, and we wanted to sleep in our beds, so we went home and called it a night.
I had a dream that I woke up around 4:44 PM, so I woke up around 8 in real life.
Arrived at the venue on Day 3, around 9, was still the latest team! (Does the other teams sleep?)
We aimed to finish our game before we break for lunch.
This is how I look like coding (just kidding, I knew the photographer was taking a picture).
“Before we break for lunch” ended up being almost 2 PM, instead of 12 as I’ve hoped for. But hey, at least we finished with time to spare.
And then the final presentation (and yeah, I don’t have to present!).
By the way, our game uploaded on GameJolt (http://gamejolt.com/games/action/the-predator/46158/).
And we even made a video.
And when everyone’s done presenting their games, it’s time for group pictures.
And after group pictures, everyone calls it a day.
Will I do it again? Maybe.
And without further ado, our game… “The Predator”.
Try our game?
Global Game Jam page: http://globalgamejam.org/2015/games/predator
GameJolt page: http://gamejolt.com/games/action/the-predator/46158/