Here at ‘Game On’ we love supporting Game Jams so what better way to launch our competition than with a double 48hour Jam across New York and London. We kicked off the events on Friday evening with some local guest speakers talking about games and the open web.
Atul Varma got a lot of love when he demoed his Hackable platformer and Sarah Shoeman opened interesting discussions around diversity and female representation in games.
Josh Debonis took the theme of Hackable Games a notch further by presenting the cult tabletop game Advanced Squad Leader
; which has a huge community of people who create homemade scenarios for it based off their own interests.
On the demo side we got to play with Will Eastcott’s awesome PlayCanvas
engine and Mark Baker shared with us a set of cool Craftyjs templates to play around with.
Finally Danny Greg and Scott Robert talked to us about Github + the open web. (They also gave away the coolest swag)
After revealing our secret theme for the Game Jam that involved choosing as an inspiration a meme to create a hackable game (even though teams were free to choose other competition categories as well) we mingled in teams and had heated discussions over topics such as “Should every game have a remix button?”
During the course of the weekend about 12 teams in total across each side of the Atlantic built playable prototypes of open web games; We were blown away by what people came up with and wanted to share with you a slice of that awesomness;
It was great to see some participants explore the theme of Hackable Games for the first time and come up with such interesting games. We can’t wait to see their final entries to the competition. If you want to join the game jammin’ action, the next round of Game Jams are happening in sync with one of our favorite partners, Global Game Jam
; in Pittsburg with CMU
, Atlanta with Georgia Tech
, San Fransisco
and rumors have it that there will be a Game On GGJ even in Lima, Peru!
If you are planning to run your own Game Jam for the competition here are some things we learned that might be useful to you:
- Having some speakers to introduce your event helps increase attendance and inspires people to create their games.
- Giving a theme to the event helps people come up with ideas. However, not all attendees will want to follow your theme so make sure to be open enough to allow everyone to make a game according to their interest.
- Having activities such as a spectogram make s a good conversation starter. In our case this was especially helpful to talk about topics relevant to the Game Jam such as ” Should every game have a hackable games button?”
- Having a repository of tools for people to hack on helps A LOT. Here is what we used for this event;
Finally, a special thank you to Github, BabyCastles, MindCandy, The New School Game Club and Playcanvas for helping us running and spreading the word for the events and of course the Parsons DT Program and MozLondon for lending us their space.