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What it's like to game jam on the open sea

What it's like to game jam on the open sea

February 29, 2016 | By Alex Wawro

"I hope that they remember this their entire lives. Then when they're eighty years old they can tell their grandkids about that one time they went on a boat in the freezing cold, and made a video game."

- Splash Jam organizer Runa Haukland explains why she helped put together a game jam on a Norwegian cruise.

If you locked a bunch of developers aboard a cruise ship for the weekend, what sorts of games would they make?

100 participants from around the world (and one Eurogamer contributor) found out earlier this month during the inaugural Splash Jam, a game jam organized aboard a wintry weekend cruise off the coast of Norway. 

It's a neat story, if not particularly surprising: after all, the game industry loves to jam. In recent years we've seen game jams at the White Housegame jams on a plane and game jams on a train, the latter of which inspired Splash Jam.

"I wanted to bring Train Jam to Norway, but the longest train journey here lasts just eight hours. That isn't long enough for a jam" organizer Runa Haukland told Eurogamer. "Still, I liked the idea of travelling while making games. We thought about submarines, airplanes but you need a certain amount of time to allow people the chance to actually get working. This is a famous boat in Norway. The entire trip is eleven days which is way too much. But we were able to pick a distance that worked."

The theme of the first ever Splash Jam was "Beginnings," and Eurogamer has published an entertaining account of the ensuing jam from writer (and occasional Gamasutra contributor) Simon Parkin that's worth reading in full.

If that's something you're into, Gamasutra editor-in-chief Kris Graft penned a similar firsthand account of what it was like to ride along on the inaugural Train Jam.

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