Global Game Jam 2014

# Global Game Jam 2014

Feb 2014

Last time I wrote about our game Ball-B, and today I'd like to say few words about the Global Game Jam in general. For those of you who don't know: It is a worldwide one-weekend event about making games. But it's not just a virtual event where people stay at home and communicate via the Internet. Different organizations around the world share their place so people come to meet and work together as teams. There were 6 sites in Poland. In Warsaw for example, PolyJam 2014 was organized by Poloygon interest group in Warsaw University of Technology. Our site in Gdańsk, called 3city Game Jam (see homepage, entry on, Facebook page), was in the office of gamedev studio Playsoft. It was the biggest site in Poland and - according to page Jam Sites by Size - 38th in the world our of 488 with 111 participants. And there was also a waitlist of those who didn't register on time because of limited capacity of the office!

Organizers encouraged us to use Chronolapse to record a time-lapse video from screenshots taken from our desktops in the background. That's an interesting program - I didn't know it before. Unfortunately it didn't work after I connected external monitor to my laptop (despite it claims it supports dual monitor), so finally I didn't use it. They also recorded a time-lapse video from all 48 hours in the office, but I guess it isn't posted on the Internet yet.

The theme this year was a sentence "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." It's so general it could be interpreted quite freely, but many games were about changing a point of view by e.g. switching between different types of characters or some references to psychology. In our site the event had a form of a competition. Voting was using the system just as it's usually done on Warsztat compos and IGK conference - everyone had to choose 3 games (except his own) and give one of them 3 points, one - 2 one - 1. My favourite games were:

  1. Thirst for Freedom. They made 2D game using Unity with isometric view and the map fitting the screen, divided into cells. Player is in a psychiatric hospital. He can change beween two characters - one has schizophrenia and sees the world as colourful, with rainbows and unicorns, while the second one has depression and sees everything as gray and sad. They see the same map differently so they have to collaborate to solve logical puzzles and go out of the map to the next level.
  2. Feel Colored. They also made 2D game in Unity. 3 people playing using 3 pads on same computer shoot each other on a 2D map, fitting the screen, with side view. The screen is divided into 3 colors that are constantly changing, rotating around the center. When player is in the range of his color, he is invincible to the bullets (or something like that). For me that was a very interesting and novel idea.
  3. identikit. They coded in C++ using their custom engine. What's most interesting though is that they used Occulus Rift and the Creative+Intel Color+Depth camera, so it is a virtual reality game. The game is about walking in corridors, waching and choosing paintings on walls. Choices made create psychological portrait of the player according to some psychological theory.

While the winners were:

  1. Get Some Dots. Made in Unity. The game is about shooting in a top-down view. Interesting idea here is that objects (including bullets) move only in the are that the player is facing. Everyting behind him is slowed down. The game is clearly inspired by SuperHot
  2. Thirst for Freedom - mentionel above.
  3. Our game :D

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