Global Game Jam 2010 Saturday-Sunday

Posted: February 14, 2010 in Life, School/Work
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Saturday morning  I woke up, with a nice 5 hours of sleep, and I went to SVN up the nights work and BAM all of my code from the night before was deleted! Fun stuff, luckily it wasn’t a ton of work because I had spent about an hour working on art, I was able to reproduce the lost code in about an hour and was chugging away on my mini-game. After working for about an hour I got up and walked around seeing my team collapsed in random locations was kind of funny but really a testament to everyone’s commitment. We had a few guys power through the night and they were already close to finishing up their first mini-games. Saturday was also our “Art Outsourcing” day, meaning we had two artists come in and work for about 8 hours each. This was awesome because most of us had used our crappy programmer art and it was exciting to see this not so good-looking art get replaced by some awesome “real” art.

Around noon on Saturday I found out that a lot of the sites had webcams where you could watch the developers working. So I spent a little time looking at all the different sites and their set ups and how many people they had. While I think watching a bunch of people sitting at their computers staring and randomly typing is as boring as the next person, I also found it incredibly exhilarating and encouraging seeing all these people from around the world working hard. I also realized that my friend, and fellow GDC Conference Associate, Romana was hosting the Scottish Game Jam and they not only had a webcam but they were also hosting an IRC chat and answering questions. It was really fun because it was like listening/watching a radio show as they pulled in random jammers and professionals to talk to. Thanks a lot guys! You made the late nights and early mornings fun 🙂

So we progressed throughout the day, as people finished up one mini-game they jumped on another or helped each other finish out their game. It was another late night for everyone and by the time we all headed to bed we were feeling pretty confident about where we were at. In the morning everyone slept in for a bit longer than the first night,  but I felt that we were at a good enough state that it was OK. Almost all the mini-games were done by 11:00 am and we all started to look for bugs and polish the game up. A few people packed up and went home early because their “work was done here”.

Around 11 we started talking about adding funny custom sounds to the game and possibly writing an ending song. A few of the guys had brought some sound recording equipment and were willing to at least do the funny sounds. So they took their equipment into a closet and began recording our “Deception!!!” sounds. It was hilarious to be outside while they were recording, you would randomly here a really loud “DECEPTION!!” in a metal voice and then some laughing. It was a blast but at the same time we were running low on time. Turn in for the global game jam requires that you start uploading your game no later than 3pm. While the guys were recording the sounds we went through our code and added in dummy calls for the sounds.

As soon as the sounds were done we plugged them in and it really added a ton to the game. But I still thought we could do more, so I asked the guys if they could write and record a funny song. After a few minutes of trying to persuade the guys they finally agreed. So back into the “recording studio” to write and record the song. Around this time we realized it was 2 pm and we only had an hour to go. So as we were anxiously awaiting the song we started to get our files and everything that we needed together. Finally the song was finished, and freaking hilarious, and in the game. We zipped it all up and started to upload with 10 minutes to go. And that was it, the global game jam was over in Philly!!

This was a fantastic event and really pushed everyone’s creativity and technical skills. I met some developers that I didn’t even know about that are working in the Philly area. It was an exciting weekend and we made what I think is a hilarious game that pokes fun at the way we have made and played games for the last 30+ years. If you still haven’t played it, here is the link to the download.

Our team working hard at Indy Hall in Philly.

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