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Slow Game Jam aims to fuel creativity by canning crunch

Slow Game Jam aims to fuel creativity by canning crunch

April 12, 2017 | By Chris Kerr

April 12, 2017 | By Chris Kerr
More: Programming, Design, Production

Game development is often associated with long working hours, frantic production cycles, and fluctuating deadlines. But a new type of game jam looked to tear down those dated preconceptions by proving that sometimes, slow and steady really does win the race. 

The suitably titled Slow Game Jam took drew to a close this week, and brought together roughly 260 developers, including familiar faces like Monument Valley creator UsTwo, from around the world for a united expedition into the world of 'slow games.' 

The Jam was split into two parts, with 40 devs getting together in London for a weekend of face-to-face iteration. While an online game jam also took place from March 25 to April 9 to let devs create something without the worry of time constraints looming overhead. 

It's a curious twist on the tried-and-tested format that produced some interesting results. For instance, the UsTwo team whipped up a little title called Chill and Chart, which asks players to stroll around an uncharted island and map it out for others to enjoy. 

Another entry, 4Ever Transit Authority, sends players on an infinite trip through a procedurally generated city, while minimalist creation Seven Doorways is an experimental prototype that presents different explorable environments based on what day of the week it is. 

"The jam was anti-crunch, asking jammers to relax and allow themselves to be playful and creative. To begin, we asked jammers to imagine they were all musicians in a living-room, jamming a tune together. What the music sounds like is not as important as the fact they were chilling with friends, being creative together," reads a press release. 

"Slow games have a slow game loop. They often feature a lot of automation and very little interaction so the player never has the urge to have to play the game, but can step back and let the game run. It is about enjoying the passing of time without worrying about action."

All the submissions are well worth checking out, and can be found over on the Slow Game Jam page

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