Yesterday our 7th in-house Game Jam ended and what can I say? It was loud, creative, exhausting and a great deal of fun – all at once!
On Friday evening the 140 participants from all over Germany arrived at the InnoGames office. One group after the other entered the elevator to go to our top floor, where they would spend the next two days. After they set up their equipment in our large social area, organizer Niklas Grebe welcomed the participants and announced the theme, which turned out to be a Walt Disney quote: “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible”.
Some participants arrived as teams while others formed theirs at the venue. Then the brainstorming progress began – in some cases that lasted up to seven hours, meaning that only 41 hours were left for producing. Artists designed the look of the game, whereas developers started coding. Music was recorded and some even did voice over for their games. The rooms were buzzing with creativity. As you can imagine sleep was a scarce good that weekend. To keep awake, some attendants even started singing! Of course they were fueled with lots of delivery food, caffeine and as well as fruit and snacks.
On Saturday, the air was abuzz with concentration – typing noises, game tunes and the scratching of pens on graphics tablets could be heard everywhere. Here and there, working prototypes could already be spotted. Anticipation rose with every passing hour. By Sunday, you could tell that most participants hadn’t had a lot of sleep. Enthusiasm had to make way for a general exhaustion. Some teams were already finished with producing their games and played at the kicker table or caught up on sleep, while others were still trying to fix some bugs within the last minutes. At 2pm, the time limit was over – no more changes could be done. The teams uploaded their games to the website and packed their belongings. At the same time the organizing team was eager to clear the space so that everything was ready for the upcoming game presentations.
Finally the outcome of the game jam could be viewed by everyone an hour later. With 26 teams in total, the presentation process took quite a while. Luckily the judges took notes on the games, and had already played some of them, to facilitate the process of choosing the winners. The bronze medal was handed over to the team ³Henergy, that designed a skydiving game called Boris Treegardener as a nod to to Felix Baumgartner – although in this game the player starts even higher – on the edges of outer space. Tomee and Nbz designed the game “The belt”, which was awarded with the second place. The player has to avoid running into asteroids, which becomes as good as impossible later in the game.
Hacktopus clearly made an impression on attendants and judges alike, for which it won the gold medal. The synopsis of the game is as follows: Octomom has a disease, but the family can’t afford health insurance. Octokid decides to take action and sneaks in to the laboratory where the medicine is produced. Now the players must hack the computer which keeps the medicine safely locked. While the players types commands it is also necessary to hit the scientists with the tentacles as they are trying to get rid of you. Peppered with lots of pop cultural references, the game did not only touch the hearts of the participants, but also earned lots of laughter. Team Effin’ Awesome is clearly happy with the outcome of the game as they did not only program the game, but also the engine running it during the game jam weekend. All 26 games that were produced at the game jam can be found here.
The next InnoGames game jam will actually be part of the global game jam and takes place from the 23rd until 25th of January. You can find more information here.