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Traveler
22-01-2009, 09:23 PM
Next week, the NLGD Festival of Games and Dutch Game Garden, are organizing the Dutch version of the Global Game Jam.


"In a Game Jam, participants come together to make video games. Each participant works in a small team on a complete game project over the course of a limited time period, usually over a weekend. With such a small time frame, the games tend to be innovative and experimental. The Global Game Jam (GGJ) is the first of its kind: a game Jam that takes place in the same 48 hours all over the world! The global Game Jam will start at 5:00PM Friday, January 30, 2009 through 5:00PM Sunday, February 1, 2009, (all times local). All participants in the Global Game Jam will be constrained by the same rules and limitations, with each time zone having one distinct constraint."

As it is a global event, I'm sure there's more information to be found for your country, but since there are quite a few Dutch PGD members, I thought I'd make post about it.

I have already signed up myself as part of a team with two colleagues from work. It could however be a opportunity to meet some people from PGD, or perhaps even work on the same game :)
So if you're interested, head over to http://globalgamejam.ning.com/ and sign up asap!

chronozphere
23-01-2009, 02:42 PM
Wow... Didn't know there are dutch game development competitions. :)

Unfortunatly I'm unable to join for three reasons:

> My Engine is not ready to support any kind of game.
> I don't know any people in real life with whom i could do such a project.
> I have exams the very next week, so i'll have to focus on other things.

Hopefully they will organize a similair compo next year. :P

Traveler
23-01-2009, 09:36 PM
My group currently exists of 3 people, one of which has no experience at all with even programming or graphics, he's a consultant in real life.
The other only has (advanced) experience with Flash/AS3 and no or very little gamedev experience. Its very likely that we'll be joined with either another team or separate individuals.

It's going to be interesting to say the least... ;)

De-Panther
26-01-2009, 09:02 AM
I'll be at the GGJ Israel.

Traveler
31-01-2009, 02:52 PM
Here's an update live from the GGJ. :)

I was pretty excited about the whole thing when our team was formed and the theme revealed, yesterday. It turned out the three of us were put together with four others. That's seven people in total, 2 more than I had thought it was goinig to be.

The theme, "As long as we have eachother we will never run out of problems." allows for some pretty interesting concepts. The idea is to create a game using that theme, together with one of three keywords: trapped, falsifying or developing.

After we made introductions we pretty much spend the entire evening on ideas for a game. We started out with 9 concepts and narrowed it down to 2. At that point we divided into 2 groups for 45 minutes, each exploring the possibilities of each concept and then choose one.

Since one concept was quite original and interesting, I kind of hoped it would be quick and a painless session afterwards, but it ended up being a big mess.
While the original concept had been developed into a interesting puzzle game, together with level designs, a catchy name, almost fully worked out gameplay and even some concept art all in well under 45 minutes. The other concept turned out to have, a very weird co-op/vs gameplay. Meaning you both have to work together but also play against another player. Rules were sketchy at best and when we asked questions about how certain things worked in the game, they couldn't really specify.

Odd enough four people favoured that concept, on grounds that the other concept was too boring and did not have enough action, while the others, myself included, were against their concept. After nearly three hours of argueing we eventually realized that we could not find a middle ground.

At 3am, all tired and eager to go to bed, we decided to flip a coin and let fate decide.

.. to be continued...

Chesso
31-01-2009, 09:51 PM
Haha sounds like good times indeed!!!

WILL
02-02-2009, 03:54 AM
So what happened?!? :lol:

Traveler
02-02-2009, 02:50 PM
Here's another (overdue) update of the GGJ event.

You know those movie scenes where a coin spins through the air in slow motion, while the camera quickly cycles through each of the people's faces, hoping the coin drops in their favor? Well, that sort of happened here too.
As much as I hoped for a 'good' outcome, the coin flipped in the other direction and favored the 'weird' concept.

With mixed feelings we went to bed. Content, because we finally had a concept to work with, but at the same time (for me at least) a disappointment because it was not the concept I wanted to work on.

day 2, prototyping
The next day we got up early and separated the team into two. One group started working on a prototype, while the others started working on improving the gameplay.
The premise of the game became the following: Two players each have control over one jellyfish. Both jellyfish are connected to eachother with one of their tentacles. The objective is to reach the surface of the ocean, following a route through a cave system, avoiding hazards like 'evil' coral, and avoiding collision with the cave walls.

Pretty much everyone within our team, except for yours truly had more than basic experience with Flash/Actionscript. So, the logical conclusion was to use Flash as a basis. To keep me occupied as well, we came up with the idea to write a separate level editor in Delphi.
After about half a day we had a workable prototype. Movement of the sprites was not exactly we had in mind, but that was something we could work on. Or so we thought.

Over the course of the day, the list of things we wanted to get in grew and grew: movement of the jellyfish more Asteroids-like, the connection between them more elastic, multiple scrolling backgrounds, several kinds of hazards etc etc.
At the end of the day it became clear that most of them were not possible to get done, in time. My editor, although workable, was put aside. Instead the decision was made to create everything directly within flash. That idea however came with a price as turned out the next day.

day 3, jugdment day
The following day we started early. Completed or not we had to have a working game at 3pm. The required items on the list were again evaluated and only the most relevant kept. At this point any competitive element that should've made the game so special had been removed. In fact, IMO, it had become no more than a boring side scroller. The very thing that was discussed 2 days earlier, but not believed to be true.

As the day progressed, more and more elements were removed. All hazards, although visible would not work. The Asteroids-like motion of the sprites turned out unplayable. Instead we kept the one from the prototype. Collision detection with the walls was working but we only had the temporary map to test. The real map was still a work in progress.

At around 1pm, two hours before the deadline, we had to test the real map in order to make it in time. The original map was designed to move horizontally, but because that option was removed earlier, the entire map had to be reworked to make it easier to navigate through the caves.

Final hour
During the final hour sounds were added, as well as a simple score mechanism and death and win screens. While the main programmer was still working on removing bugs, others spent the remaining 20 minutes playing the game, and creating assets required for uploading the game, such as readme's and screenshots.

3pm. The game was sort of in a playable state, but had a lot of bugs.
3:30pm Presentations, eeek!

Presentations
While I was not exactly looking forward to demonstrating our game, I really wanted to see what others had done. It was a big surprise to see that many of our concepts were, in some form or another, made by different teams into fun looking games. In fact our concept that didn't make it in the end was there, more or less, as well. It even got 2nd place! There really were some great games which showed a lot of potential. In the end our own game performed not exactly great, but neither was it the disaster I expected.

conclusion
In all it was a interesting experience. I'm unsure about participating again though. It was a big disappointment to realize that my Delphi, modeling/3d experience or even game programming experience in general remained largely unused. I was able to share advice on how to do things, and even offer the solution to some collision detection problems, but in terms of programming I remained largely on the sidelines. It was also disappointing to see how the entire process of choosing a concept came about. I did not expect people to be so headstrong about an idea, even when there were some good arguments it, which they waved away with replies like I know thats a problem, but I'm sure we can find a solution while we work on it.
On the other hand, this might not be the case with all teams and next time things might go very different.

Head over to http://globalgamejam.org/Game_browser to see all entries.
Check http://globalgamejam.org/games/brothers-arms to see/play our game.

De-Panther
04-02-2009, 05:22 PM
well.
It was fun!

my group worked on this:
http://globalgamejam.com/games/office-mayhem

And I toght about game about 2 players connected and in conflict, So this group used the idea and added it alot:
http://globalgamejam.com/games/gravema