Last Friday and Saturday Zombiesaurus were lucky enough to take part in Global Gamecraft’s first jam here in the city. We had 24 hours to develop a game around the theme
“Reality becomes a prison to those who can’t get out of it.”
As exciting as this may seem already, it was made even more so thanks to the lovely folk at Nintendo who joined the fun by providing Wii U dev kits for us to play with, I mean work with. The result was something pretty awesome! 15 games were submitted by the end of the 24 hours, 15 victories over time and tiredness.
We opted for a 2D platformer set in a nightmarish world, using ImpactJS and Flash. We were joined by the very talented Donal Phillips who created an impressive soundtrack in no time at all. Support was available from both Nintendo and ImpactJS’ Dominic Szablewski who all worked right through the night with us. This was the best part of the game jam, the learning and helping and working together. And it didn’t end with the support teams, all the development teams were just as eager to help each other. The most often asked question had to be “How are you getting on now?” as many of the attendees floated around seeing each other’s work and showing off their own. It really was a great environment to work in, such inspiration all around us.
We were so well looked after too, it makes working for 24 hours straight a whole lot easier when you have dinner, breakfast and lunch provided and snacks available all night. And coffee, thanks to the guy who kept bringing fresh coffee! Thomas, our artist, has mentioned more than once, “Gamecraft exhausted my mind but kept my belly happy with loads of free food.” He was particularly fond of the curry on Friday evening, I thought our game was going to be about curry he was that into it.
On top of the brilliant development opportunity, the excellent atmosphere and the great grub, Gamecraft also had prizes! Although it never really felt like a competition due to the camaraderie that quickly built up, there were prizes available in a number of different categories. We were delighted to be named by Nintendo as Game with Best Potential, an absolute honour for our first ever game jam. We were alongside a load of brilliant developers, ideas and games who received thoroughly deserved recognition from Nintendo and Global Gamecraft. Other winners were:
- Best Party Game – PLAYSCAPE
- Best Interpretation of the Theme – AMOEBAS
- People’s Choice – HAPPY AS LARRY
- Best Multi-player – QUIT YOUR CUBICLES
- Honourable Mentions
- ESCAPE HARMONY
- BUT NOT A DOG SHALL GROWL
- REAL POETRY
Now that the haze is finally starting to lift, the excitement from Gamecraft is fuelling some great new ideas here at Zombiesaurus. We are continuing to work on Soul Grinder for Android and Ouya as well as working on some new ideas which we’ll chat more about once we have some more concrete details. We’re more focused, more determined and more certain than this is where we should be and what we should be doing.
And now I have a tonne of people to thank;
- CultureTECH and the staff of the Millennium Forum who kept us well fed and watered
- Dominic Szablewski for his Jedi-like patience and endless help with ImpactJS
- Global Gamecraft, in particular Andrea and Vicky, for keeping the entire thing going
- All the brilliant folk from Nintendo who gave us the chance to make a dream come true, providing tech and support, giving us all really cool t-shirts and totes and for giving away thee greatest ever swag bags ever as part of the prize!
It really was a fantastic experience, we can’t wait for the next one!