Pocket Jam #4 is over! This year the entire conference has been moved into the Kaapelitehdas, and where is the conference – there is a jam! The location was very cool this year in all means. Jam took place in the cellar, right under the main conference with 45 jammers in total. By this way, Pocket Jam #4 was in the middle of the conference and at the same time, it had a cool, chill and creative space with many visitors from upstairs.
This time the topic was “organic”. The topic was chosen because of its simplicity and wideness at the same time. “Organic” as a theme is relevant to mobile gaming and can be interpreted in many different ways: nature, insides of us humans, organic coffee, etc. In this way, this word turned into a creative push for our jammers for implying organic vision into the games.
This year in total 11 games have been created. All games were finished and uploaded according to the deadline and each participant was inspired by friendly competition. Despite the limited amount of development time, with a bit more than 24h, published games really can blow your mind!
Also, we had a panel of judges from Pocket Gamer were nicely colour coordinated with their fashionable outfits – all of them had flowery white and blue shirts, maybe because we were in Finland. They are professional game journalists that have already a long career with them, so they were able to ask good questions from the teams and appreciate the level of polish and creativity.
Overall this year Pocket Jam is a great success again. The creative crowd that developed an amazing jamming vibe with conference touch. Also, we even have received feedback in case of comparison with hackathons – how nice the atmosphere was, how welcoming everybody was and also how much learning happens in the jam compared to the hackathon.
Pocket Games Connects Conference returns to Helsinki on 1-2 October 2019, and so does Pocket Jam! The Pocket Jam is run now for the fourth time at the heart of the conference, and while the setting is ideal for making a mobile game, you can always choose your own platform and technology.
Pocket Gamer Connects is Europe’s biggest mobile games conference with developers, investors and other industry experts from all over the world, as well as fringe events like indie demo expo and pitching.Due to the event’s huge success it will move to a new venue in 2019! PGC Helsinki will take over The Cable Factory in Ruoholahti.
The participants will receive full access to the conference program, expo and networking events plus all the other benefits that come with the conference ticket and a seat to jam.
In addition the participants who finish and upload their game according to the deadline will have a chance to win a ticket to the PGC London in January 2020, and a chance to present their game there. All uploading teams will be also automatically considered as candidates of the Finnish Game Jam Awards 2019.
See you there!
Pocket Jam #4 1-2 October 2019 Kaapelitehdas, Helsinki #pocketjam4
Pocket Gamer Connects is Europe’s biggest mobile games conference. PGC Helsinki is one of the several PGC events held during 2019. All of these events provide value to a wide range of industry players, from global corporations looking to hone their strategy, down to indie developers seeking a little inspiration and new contacts. Website:https://www.pgconnects.com/helsinki/
The Cable Factory (Kaapelitehdas) is the largest cultural centre in Finland. It houses 3 museums, 10 galleries, dance theatres, art schools, artists, bands and companies. Around 900 people work at the Cable Factory on a daily basis, and each year nearly 340,000 people attend special events. Website:https://www.kaapelitehdas.fi/en/info
The biggest weekend of summer is now behind us. On August 1-4 Messukeskus was again the stage for one of the biggest demo parties and computer festivals in the world, Assembly Summer, and within Assembly, as usual, was the ASM Game Jam ‘19.
The location was as inspiring as ever! The jammers were able to attend the entire event, and see the demo scene competitions and esports trounaments in the middle of jamming. We had over 40 participants, and 9 games were made in total, including one AR game, one card game and one Game Boy game!
The jam ran from Thursday afternoon to Sunday morning, and despite all the distractions the jammers managed to develop amazing games once again. This year the theme was tradeoff, and and many teams implemented a mechanic where players have to decide between equally impactful resources or actions.
Immersal provided their Augmented Reality development kit for the jammers to use, and one team took up the challenge. In Bon Appetit you fight flying croissants that appear on the phone screen. Immersal also sponsored pizzas for the hungry jammers on Saturday!
Just like last year, we set up the voice acting on two days to record audio for the jam games. Anyone could come and record lines requested by jammers. Assembly visitors turned out to be great voice actors, we recorded many excellent evil laughters!
As a part of our scholarship program, the Finnish Game Jam sent Adelina Lintuluoto to the Slavic Game Jam (PL) to represent the Finnish jamming scene. Here is Adelina’s report about her jam experience.
Slavic Game Jam 2019
Slavic Game Jam (SGJ) is an event focused around game development. It takes place each year in Warsaw, Poland. At its core lies the 48-hour long jam. SGJ is all about providing a competition-free, friendly environment for jammers with lectures, workshops, a pre-party and a hand full of other activities. This year was the fifth edition with over 200 participants. They aim to be a truly international event, this year with participants from places like all the Nordic countries, France, Switzerland, Russia, Germany, Czechia and many more.
I arrived in Warsaw early on Thursday and swung by the hostel recommended to me by the event organizers. My naivety and optimistic view on life usually puts me in trouble, just as it did when I arrived at the reception, and tried booking a bed only to have the staff laugh in my face saying I definitely should have booked ahead (disclaimer; don’t imagine a Disney villain laugh, more of an amused chuckle. The staff at this hostel was incredibly nice and helpful. In general, the hostel was in top shape!). They said they could offer me one night, which I gladly accepted. Sleeping at the jam site was always an option anyways!
The ‘Slavic talks’ would only start at 2 P.M., so I had a few hours to explore the city. This is about the time I realized Warsaw is an amazing place for vegan cuisine! I happened to pass by a few vegan restaurants thinking ‘oh I must’ve stumbled in on a vegan street’. However next corner — same thing. I enjoyed the street food as much as I could, but the catering at the jam was amazing so I also made sure never to skip a meal there.
The venue for the talks, as well as, the rest of the jam was the Centre for Innovation and Technology Transfer Management, located at the Warsaw University of Technology. The Centre is a newly built six-story building that provided us with plenty and spacious rooms with big windows and nice air condition. The talks were versatile and interesting! Ranging from ‘A Narrative Designer coming out of her well to shame mankind!’ by the one and only Julia Rässa, to ‘Game jam pitfalls and how to fall into them gracefully’ by a new favourite speaker of mine, Sos Sosowski (footnote; this is when I realized Julia would also attend the jam! Which made me so happy. Isn’t it amazing traveling for jams and reconnecting with friends you’ve made along your jamming path?)
Thursday ended with a pre-party at a cool location, cool music, cool people. So cool that when the night ended, me and my two newly made friends, Lucas and Gin, didn’t feel like heading back to the hostel just yet. We decided to head for the closest open shop. However when we reached it we had sobered enough to realize that getting two extra hours of sleep before a game jam is definitely more valuable than two extra hours of beers and late night storytelling.
The Slavic Game Jam is the chillest jam! The organizers encouraged the participants to have fun and goof around as much as possible. And I had the best team for that! My team for the jam consisted of Julia Rässä and Arash Naderi. The theme of this year was ‘Growth’ and we came up with an amazing idea: fondling low hanging fruit, hold the applause, to check for cancer! It was an idea we had a hilarious time coming up with, and it kept us laughing throughout the making of it (as well as fairly clear as to give us as much time as possible to goof around at the site and have fun with the rest of the jammers). Arash found a spot for us in the board game-jamming room. I kept glancing over my shoulder at this one board game being made. It looked amazing and finally I cracked, leaving my teammates for a few hours to selfishly play the game with creator Mantis Kozlowski, and somehow apparently help them create it. That’s the beauty of board games; the game mechanics can be set up in a matter of minutes, and then you iterate them by playing until you find the best version of the game. Playing is essentially making it!
The organizers came up with this thing called Hydepark, which happened for the whole duration of the jam. Anybody could book the seminar room to.. do whatever felt right. Do you want to have a project showcase, give a lecture or just play switch on the big screen? No better place than Hydepark. I can’t possibly count all the different activities, since there were new ones almost every half an hour, but to name a few; relax workshop, loving and owning your bugs a story sharing opportunity, karaoke, blender workshop, second and annual Mario tennis tournament.
So far I’ve only mentioned it once, which is not nearly enough. The catering at the jam was legendary. Full stop. We had meals three times a day; breakfast, lunch and dinner. In addition to that we had a full-time available stock of fruits and bottled water. Even more, thanks to Google for Startups, who had a coffee stand open most of the day, we maintained the correct levels of caffeine and happiness. The organizers tediously encouraged us to eat lots of fruits and greens, drink water, sleep enough, move around, leave the computer now and then. The latter was nicely achieved on Saturday when we had an outdoor barbeque! Barbeque at a jam? Yep, that’s right, all you other jams now have to live up to that.
So much happened at the jam, so many amazing encounters with people. You remember me not getting a bed at the hostel? Well, Vador, a SGJ veteran with an apartment in Warsaw, stepped in and without hesitation offered me to stay with him and Julia. I can’t name drop every person I met but also worth mentioning are Radim, who always stuck by my side no matter how hopeless I was (#iblamelinux #justkiddingiloveyoulinus), Pablo for dropping by to make sure Julia’s and my humor stayed as cringe worthy as possible and that the puns of fondling fruit kept rolling in, and Elias for being a great conversationalist and my first opponent in a long row of people who I heroically beat in my favourite game jam game ever made.
The jam ended on Sunday with showcasing the games. To stay true to the chill ambience that had been present during the whole jam nobody had to prepare presentations for the big screen. Instead we just walked from room to room and checked out the other games. As it seems, keeping a non-competitive environment and encouraging everybody to eat well, drink water and sleep, resulted in a bunch of amazing games. You can find all the games here, among my favourites to try out is a snowboarding pear, a sawfish that saws and a two-player vine vengeance game.
The jam ended with a heartwarming talk from Kacper Domanski and the rest of the organizers. I had to actively resist my urge to stand up and go full Keanu Reeves, “Kasper you are breathtaking! Organizers you are breathtaking! Everybody attending the jam is breathtaking!”
I had plans to leave for Krakow after the show reel with a friendly soul who was driving there from the jam. However the day was not completely over with an after-party still on the schedule. How could I leave all my friends there? Instead, I decided to take the chance and find a way to get to Krakow the next day. The after-party was the perfect ending to the event, just all of us chilling at a bar reminiscing about the past couple of days. Kacper being the amazing host that he is invited as many as could fit to the after-after-party at his apartment. I heard whispers of Soplica and Switch, however sadly at this point the jam tiredness had viciously caught up to me.
I was really eager to go to Slavic Game Jams. After all the amazing things I’d heard from friends I thought ‘surely flying to Poland must be worth this.’ I was not disappointed. This event exceeded all my expectations. The relaxing atmosphere, abundance of awesome people and generous organizers made it all to what it is. It was my first time in Poland and I fell head over heels for it. It was with a bitter taste I left Warsaw however happy knowing that there is only one year left until the next one 🙂
The Finnish Game Jam (FGJ) is sending Adelina Lintuluoto to the Slavic Game Jam in Warsaw as part of the FGJ’s Scholarship Program. Lintuluoto is a physics student at the University of Helsinki and has always enjoyed being creative. She recently found an outlet for that in game development and has jammed by programming in both Unity and Godot engines, while helping out with pixel art and story writing. She has participated at the Global Game Jam in 2018 at FGJ’s Arabia site and in 2019 in Geneva Switzerland. She has also jammed at Quantum Wheel 2019 and volunteered at Jam Jam Festival 2019.
The scholarship includes a ticket to the event and a 200 EUR travel stipend.
The FGJ Scholarship Program was created to help Finnish jammers to travel to international game jams to promote the Finnish jamming scene, share jamming culture and promote international cooperation.
Slavic Game Jam (SGJ) is a game jam in Warsaw, Poland, organized for the 5th time in 2019. Last year SGJ had over 200 participants, and the total number of games developed at all previous events combined is over 250. Website: https://slavicgamejam.org/
It is that time of the year again: Assembly Summer! The Assembly Computer Festival is one of the biggest demo parties and computer festivals in the world, and as per usual there will be the ASM Game Jam during the weekend! ASM Game Jam always has a certain atmosphere, thanks to the unique surroundings that offers endless inspiration.
Registration is open in Eventbrite! You can either buy a jam ticket that grants you not just entry to the game jam, but to the entire event as well! You can also buy a regular ticket from the Assembly’s own ticket store and register to participate in the game jam in Eventbrite for free.
ASM Game Jam ‘19 1-4 August 2019 Messukeskus, Helsinki #ASMjam #ASMparty
Assembly Summer is a demo party and a computer festival that has been organized since 1992, and is one of the biggest and most respected demo-scene events in the world. In 2019 the event expects over 5000 visitors. Website: https://www.assembly.org/summer19
Sixth Isolation Jam was held June from 5th to 9th in Laxahvammur fishing lodge, middle of nowhere, Iceland. I was there with 13 other jammers to jam and have fun for a weekend. We were also joined by Subpixel Team who were filming a documentary about the jam. The documentary should be out in a couple of months, keep tuned! Jam produced a handful of games, you can see some of them here. Submitting the project was voluntary and working on personal projects was allowed, so not everything that was produced during the jam is at the Itch page.
The jam didn’t have a theme, but the extreme nature around us and the isolated jamming environment were encouraged to be used as a source of inspiration. Jóhannes, the organizer of the jam, is a sheep farmer and we got to pet his sheep and newborn lambs on one evening. You can see sheep as an indirect theme as the jam as most games featured them in some shape of form. We also did a small hike on the fields before starting the jam. The weather was really nice, the wind was strong, as it always is in Iceland, but the sun was shining warmly. We really lucked on the weather for the weekend!
Our team made a pocket sized ram adventure, Woolball’s backyard, during the weekend. I wrote the game logic and Sofi Kurtti organized the pixels on the screen into nice shapes. Our goal was to try out zgb, a game engine for the original Game boy. The game turned out really well and we had fun tossing our Game boy during the development to other jammers to get some quick playtesting in. The lodge also had a lan setup of three original Xboxes for nightly Halo 2 battles after each jamming day. So obviously we also put the game on a game boy emulator on Xboxes and played it on the big screen after it was done!
I’ve jammed around the world on various different game jams. Isolation was definitely one of the more memorable jams I’ve had the pleasure to attend. The relaxing atmosphere, inspiring locations and fun people made it an awesome weekend. All the non-jamming related activities gave nice breaks to coding, but didn’t divert too much to affect productivity. Iceland is an interesting country and every time I visit there I learn more how horribly ruthless nature there is. All the people jamming were great, it was nice to catch up with some distant old friends and make new jammer buddies!
Isolation Jam will happen next year one again. Follow Kollafoss Game Farm for further information. The space is limited, so be quick to apply when registration opens!
Let us know if you are traveling to an interesting game jam somewhere in the world – we would be happy to host a story of it at Finnishgamejam.com!
Third international Jam Jam Festival 2019 gathered jam organizers from all over the world to the forests of Sappee, Finland, to network, share ideas and relax in good company. This year was the biggest Jam Jam ever with almost 80 participants!
The Seminar Day offered talks from jammers and game jam organizers from all over the world: Finland, India, Romania, UK, Poland, Estonia, USA and Denmark.
Keynote speaker Yadu Rajiv from Bangalore, India,talked about the game jamming and game development communities and in India. Jupiter Hadley, the founder of indiegamejams.com, talked about her journey trying to play and document as many indie games as she can.
The full Seminar Day schedule was as follows:
Keynote: Yadu Rajiv: Game Jams in India – Our Story So Far
Kacper Domański: Game Jams of Poland
Mathias Jensen: More than a Jam: Nordic Game Jam’s Evolution
Chris Filip: Learning to Let Go
Johanna Summers: 47 to 47,000 – Managing Community Events on a Global Scale
Sebastian Laitila: Using Service Design in Hackathons and Game Jams
Licia Prehn: Jamming With Blind People and Being Nice
Jupiter Hadley: Trying To Document All the Game Jam Games
Julia Rässa: Love Is Tested… and Debugged!
Elie Abraham: How Jamming Saved/Ruined My Life
In addition to the seminars on Saturday, the Sunday was filled with workshops that any participant could organize. The workshop themes ranged from jam stories to making pancakes to jamming an entire song.
Naturally there was also a game jam! Henri Sarasvirta hosted a 1 hour game jam in one of the cottages. The theme world tries dilation was randomly generated. A total of 11 games were made! You can find and download all of them in itch.io: https://itch.io/jam/jam-jam-1h-jam-2
Thank you for an amazing event, and see you at Jam Jam Festival 2020!
It’s soon time for the third international Jam Jam Festival! The festival is held in the beginning of June in a cozy summer cottage environment. We are expecting more than 70 visitors this year!
Jam Jam is a festival and retreat for game jam organizers and anyone interested in learning, discussing and sharing ideas on game jams. Jam Jam 2019 is organized by the Finnish Game Jam and located in the middle of a Finnish forest, on a mountain called Sappeenvuori – only around 2h car ride from Helsinki.
The event consists of a one-day seminar with talks on game jams and jam games and one day of retreat. On the seminar day visitors can attend talks by many interesting game industry speakers. We have speakers from Finland, India, UK, Poland and Romania joining the Jam Jam this year!
On the retreat day you can decide what you work on – bring your jam organizing team and work with planning or debriefing your jams or come without an agenda and talk with all other jam organizers and jam-organizers-to-be, brainstorming new jams and sharing lessons on organizing events.
The venue is on top of the mountain Sappeenvuori, surrounded by beautiful Finnish nature and the power of the midnight sun of the Northern summer. The lodgings consist of eight well-equipped cabins with saunas and hot tubs.
As a part of our scholarship program, the Finnish Game Jam sent Antti Kopenen to the Nordic Game Jam (DK) to represent the Finnish jamming scene. Here is Antti’s report about his jam experience.
Jamming with the Giants – Nordic Game Jam 2019
The Nordic Game Jam is one of the world’s largest game jam events with around 700 jammers every year. It is held annually in various locations in Copenhagen, Denmark. This year the location was in The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, or KADK.
I came to Denmark before the actual jamming started. I wanted to hear the talks and participate in the workshops. I’m like sponge, sucking all the game dev information I can get. I personally got the best tips from a workshop by Brad Meritt on how to create depth to your small game. There was also a very handy talk from Sarah Nielsen about conveying your game visually. There were bunch of other talks and workshops too, but these two were also referred by other jammers as a great source of inspiration for their jam game.
I planned to participate in the Jam as an artist. I jumped in the NGJ2019 Discord group and started looking for a group. Soon after I got another invite from Gustav Bok, a Swedish Technical Designer working for Massive Entertainment. A great opportunity to work with a AAA-grade developer, I thought and said hell yes! Gustav was on his way from Malmö to Copenhagen, but he wanted me to meet with other team members who were already in the area. We sat down with Nikolaj de Haan, a Dutch composer and we were later joined by Jorge Yagüe, a programming student from Spain. Nikolaj was very easy going and relaxed. Jorge was more serious and effective in his approach.
We spent the day together attending speeches and talking about games. I felt like we got along well. Later in the evening we attended the Kick-Off party in a local Irish pub that was specifically set for the jammers. We spent the evening chatting with NGJ2019 volunteers. They were going to participate in the jam, after they got their volunteer duties out of the way. During the evening we tried to recruit one of the students to join our group, but she was reluctant. She was a bit intimidated by the competitiveness of our group, which I first thought was flattering, but thinking about it more, she probably meant Gustav from Massive Entertainment.
After full night’s rest, it was Friday. Yay! The day Jam would start! After the morning speeches our team gathered in the lobby to meet Gustav. He appeared to be very intelligent, positive and playful. He had what I can only describe as an aura of professionality around him. He had brought with him his friend Martin Blomkvist, an Animator and a Designer from Massive Entertainment. Gustav described him as one of the most talented designers he knew. Martin appeared more of a quiet guy overall, but not being shy to voice his ideas.
Next topic of the event was theme revelation, where the NGJ2019 staff had randomly picked a theme for us. This year’s theme was “That again!”. Wow, what an abstract theme I thought. Gustav as a technical designer was thinking about it more practically. He explained that the theme is kind of open ended and leaves room for repetitive game elements, or time travel mechanics. He had a vision of an assembly line with robots in his mind which he kind of liked.
After the theme revelation we had some team building games. Our team lacked one artist, so we devised a plan to split our group up and scout up for potential one. After half an hour we found Morten Bilet. He worked as a pilot and did game jams as a hobby. Morten was an easy going and friendly guy, with real positive attitude.
Next, we bumped into Gregor Ehrenstein, also working in Massive Entertainment as Senior Tech Programmer. A cheerful guy, always laughing. Gustav praised him as one the most talented programmers out there. Gregor was not really looking out to jam, but Gustav convinced him to join our team. At this point I was thinking to myself, how many of guys were there around from Massive Entertainment. Later Gustav revealed that the amount was at least 10, but they all just wanted to blend in the mass and not draw attention.
We gathered our full team and went to setup our “Base of Operations” in a quiet part of the jamming building. Gustav organized our sitting positions. Artists on the left side, programmers on the right side of the table, he said. Jorge brought an old chalk board from somewhere. A perfect place to draw our ideas. There we sat down together to discuss our game ideas. We toyed with ideas about cleaning simulation, burning houses, revisiting some famous disasters, defending a castle from some huge monster, building a robot over again and again. Nothing was off limits and ideas were flying left and right.
Later during the dinner, our game idea refined into defending a farm with old people from invading Ogre. The enemy would try to steal chickens and stomp the crops. Four players would work together to defend with old muskets and rakes. We also added crows that would come to pick the crops every now and then. It was all to be in 3D and I was little bit uncomfortable with the workload. We agreed that Martin would help with the animations.
We returned to a laughter filled jamming hall. Everyone was having fun thinking the craziest ideas. We pretty much had our idea set up and started installing latest Unity versions. Gustav told that he had 5 years’ worth of experience with Unity. To my surprise Gregor had never used Unity before and wondered why anyone would want to use it. In Martin’s opinion it was good Engine for prototyping a game, but it was too limiting for more advanced users. He told it was hiding some important stuff for the sake of usability. Unity also lacked free collaboration tool, which he thought would be a strong selling point for the Engine.
Jorge had already set up our version control. We were going to use Git Lab and Source Tree. Nikolaj suggested using FMOD would be the best thing for audio. I created mood board to communicate our art style to the rest of the team. Me and Morten agreed on using flat shaded low poly style, which basically means simple 3d objects without textures. To make this style look good I thought to top it up with Unity’s own post processing. I pitched the style to Gustav and he liked it.
Martin was doing project management and had set up a Trello board. We added our assets list to already quite full tasklist. Things were progressing fast. Gustav told us to prepare greyboxing versions for all the assets, which basically means doing simple boxes to have something to place on the level.
Gustav and Gregor were used to working together, which was reflected in their communications. They were constantly negotiating what they needed from each other, which things to prioritize and how long things would take to create. Gustav was setting up the overall project architecture, while Gregor concentrated on the details. Such professionalism was interesting to follow.
The evening went pretty much with setting up the basics to be ready for the Saturday, which would be full jamming day from morning to the night and probably even beyond. After Morten and I got the grayboxing done, I thought it would be good time to call it a day. I headed back to hostel to get few hours of sleep.
The next morning, I woke to a sunny Copenhagen and walked back to KADK. I was the first of my team to arrive, others were still away. I headed to canteen for the free breakfast. I couldn’t find any familiar faces, so I sat in a random table full of people. After some chattering people started talking about Baba Is You, which won the NGJ2017 and had just been released. I thought to myself, what a cool game, I wish I could meet the developer. Then a guy sitting across the table revealed that actually he was the developer, Arvi Teikari. What a nice surprise! He is a Finnish person just like me so of course we talked about saunas and our shared hobby of swimming in icy waters. I asked about where he got the idea for the Baba Is You game and he told me that it was actually from a banana, or what if the banana-is-not.
After the breakfast I headed back to our base and started refining the greybox versions of our 3D models into more detailed placeholders. Other team members started coming back in one by one. I heard that Gustav and Martin drove all to way back to Malmö for a sleep, so it might take a while for them to get back.
Hours went by while we refined our 3D assets together with Morten. I also took control over the level designing and set up the post processing. Something was off and post processing package ended up being deleted during version controlling. To this day we don’t quite know exactly what caused it. Perhaps just my incompetence with Source Tree program.
I peeked at Nikolaj’s work. He used FMOD and was happy with the Unity integration side of it. He also showed that he had coded audio manager and how we could trigger sounds with his system. I was quite surprised by his skill in programming. You don’t usually see a talented musician coding on this level.
Gustav and Martin arrived after midday. Their journey back to Malmö and into sleep went into the early morning hours. We went on building the project until Gregor had us do a team meeting. He was worried because were past the Jam mid point and we still didn’t have any game play. We ended up cutting some features, like attacks against the ogre with rake and muskets. Instead we now focused on simplified player mechanics of picking and dropping. The ogre would be scared off by two players being close by.
Evening turned into night and everyone was working hard. The art side of our game came together around midnight. After that there was only polishing and taking screenshots of our game. Gustav told me it would be okay for Morten and me to go and have some sleep. They were going to stay with Gregor, Martin and Jorge and crunch through the night to get the needed game play features up and running.
Happily, I went back to hostel to get few hours of sleep. Early in the morning I was welcomed back by a happy but tired punch of developers. They told me how Jorge had tried to sleep under the table, but Gregor managed to accidentally abuse him with a chair. They were both laughing about the whole thing.
We had 6 hours left to work on the project before it needed to be published. I was tasked to implement animations into Unity. I also got to modify Ogre’s script a bit. I was happy to have some variety to my tasks list. The hours went by pretty fast. Nikolaj in the meantime had gathered a group of jammers in a room to do crowd sounds. He ended up sharing the results in the NGJ2019 discord channel for everyone. Such a nice gesture.
Release time creeped closer and everyone was hurrying to finish. I had done polishing on the art side to reflect the final production value. Gustav was pleased with the “graphical fidelity” of things. That made me quite proud.
We had to move our base of operations into the jamming hall and setup a place for people to play our game. This year’s jam was going to be decided by a collective vote of all the jammers. Jammers would go around playing each other’s games and put a token in a pack that represented their favorite jam game.
We ended up having technical difficulties while presenting our game. We only got two players to work for our four-player game. Also, there were multiple minor bugs and one major one that broke the game. Even though we had all these problems, people still liked our game. Especially the children that were testing games with their jammer parents. It was nice so see a new generation of jammers growing up.
I went around to see what others had created, and there were some really awesome games. For example; burger patty racing game, game about lump in your leg, a wild-west stand-off game in the dark, a chicken scooping VR game stand out in my mind. One that gathered the most people around I think was game “1-1”, parodying Super Mario Bros. The game had Mario in a 10 glitchy loops. The game ended up being voted third of the game jam. The winner was “The Lump”. A game where you wake up during the night with a lump in your leg and try to get rid of it. It was a really creative, weird and silly game. I think the makers of “The Lump” really hit the spot in what comes to jamming culture. Let creativity fly, make a silly game, have fun and you will do well!
Overall the NGJ2019 was simply the best one I’ve attended so far. I got to jam with some giants of the industry, made new friends, enjoyed sunny Copenhagen, learned a lot and most importantly had plenty of fun. Thanks to Finnish Game Jam Association for making this happen!