Each year in January, people around the world meet at various locations for 48 hours to share one passion: to create awesome games – and, of course, to have a great time together. Welcome to Global Game Jam. This year, 485 locations in 73 countries participated. Tom and I hosted Munich with more than 70 participants with Martin helping us out when we could not be on site.
I was very happy to see how people were helping each other and living the spirit of Global Game Jam. This made our life easy and I was able to join game development. I hope all our guests enjoyed their time, too.
This year, we had a short introduction to our location, some organisational topics, and a brief introduction to game jamming. After that, we had the keynote and announced the topic:
“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”
We started in small teams to brain storm ideas, presented them, built final teams, and finally started to create our games. Sunday, we set a soft deadline to submit games at 3 pm. When we finished our uploads, we met again and presented all 15 games and took a group pictures.
Everything went smooth, but we could improve on some topics:
- The adventures of VCS (version control system): We had multiple jammers that tried version control for the first time. We saw multiple issues with merges and people who did not know how to solve them. Next year, we should consider to have a technical talk about it.
- Unity monoculture. Nearly all of our games were made in Unity and it would have been nice to have some diversity. Please don’t get me wrong, it is a nice engine, but I always love to see new technologies and to talk about it. Maybe we should try to encourage people to use something different, too.
- Get known to each other. In the last years, Munich has always had a rather large location with 70 and more participants. We try to help people to get known to each other by giving everybody the chance to tell a few words about himself. It always takes some time and it is hard to remember names, skills, and faces. I would be happy if somebody has some cool games/methods how to improve here since we want to keep it.
If you are additional feedback that you did not provide to us already, please post a comment or send me an e-mail.
If you are a jam host and if you want to know more, feel free to write me an e-mail, too.
After writing so much about organisation, let me move on to game development. My team started with an idea that multiple characters have to race against each other to reach a certain object and that collisions of players would trigger a certain event. We started to prototype this game and started play tests on a paper version. The paper version and its iterations were really enjoyable and we decided to create it as a board game. We also decided that we want to have a digital version so that everybody can play it without much effort. We started to create the game and I ended with typical software engineer’s tasks: I made graphics for the digital version since our Unity experts decided that it is not possible to work in it at the same time. In the last minute, our game got its name: Cupcake Kingdom: Animal Run. Please find more details, screenshots, downloads etc. on its page.
Finally, let me say thank you to everybody who helped to make Global Game Jam happen and to our guests who made this event so adorable. Hope to see you soon again!