Global Game Jam 2010 Friday

Posted: February 10, 2010 in Life, School/Work

So let me start this off first by giving you a link to the game I worked on. Grab it here! Now while that is downloading let me tell you about this awesome weekend event!

So for those of you who do not know anything about the global game jam it is a world-wide event where game developers get together and make a game based on a single theme over 48 hours. If you want to know more check out the site. I helped organize the Philly site this year, and we had some trouble finding a spot but thankfully the guys at Indy Hall came through and gave us a great spot with a few weeks to go before the event.

So now on to the event itself! The event started Friday night at 5pm with people slowly showing up with their equipment and everything that they needed to survive for a weekend. After everyone showed up we piled into a conference room to watch the keynote and be given our theme.

This years theme for the global game jam was Deception. Now teams can take this theme and do anything they want with it. So after introductions and learning our constraints, the game must contain at least one of the following: Rain, Spain, Plain, we got to work on ideas. We started out as one big group just listing what came to our minds when we heard the word Deception. After about 10 minutes of just dumping every word and thing we could think of on the board we started to put the words into groups. While putting the words into groups ideas started to form from these groups. We did the grouping for a while then someone suggested we take a break and everyone go come up with ideas based on the groups of words.

After a 15 minute break everyone came back with some ideas and we cleared the board and started drawing up the ideas. After everyone had talked about their ideas it became very clear that we were separated into two groups, those that wanted to deceive the player and those that wanted to use deception to deceive people in the game. Seeing these two groups emerging we decided to split into two teams and flesh out some ideas. We decided that after the ideas were fleshed out we would meet as a group and decided who would work on what.

After 45 minutes the two groups got back together and very quickly it was clear that one idea, not two had emerged that everyone wanted to work on. That idea would become Classic Deception. The idea was basic, take classic games, look at their mechanics, then make them do something completely different. The whole game was to be fast, like a Warioware game, and funny. The beauty of this idea was that everyone, all 11 people, could work as one big team by splitting up the mini games one per person.

One thing that worked really well for doing one big team was the fact that Naveen and Matt had already set up an SVN server with a generic XNA project built into, with XNA modified by Naveen. This allowed us to have a short XNA tutorial as a team then get right into coding. By the time we started coding it was 1am we had worked for 6 hours, we started at 7pm instead of 5 so we really only had a 46 hour game jam, with only a few breaks. So of course things were bound to go wrong. Everyone started working on their mini games and after a while of course it was time to try to commit some work. This is where the problems started to appear, some with the way that XNA handles content and some with the way our project was set up. After a few bad commits and looking into it as a team all the problems were fixed…or so we thought. I worked till about 4am then decided to call it a night, so I went to the other room and blew up my bed and passed out.

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