Global Game Jam Roundup

January 27, 2013 in Events by Andrew Bolster

It’s over, and it’s a new world record. Farset Labs has contributed to the Worlds Largest Game Jam, and everyone involved should be very proud of what they’ve accomplished in just 48 hours.

With 30 registered Jammers, 11 registered games (6 made it to submission, but that’s ok!), no-one can say that Northern Ireland doesn’t have the making of a solid creative industries foundation.

With people coming from all walks of life, experience, platforms, and passions, self-organized teams came together to work on what are major accomplishments, with a tight timescale and a vague theme (a heartbeat).

The games themselves ranged from platformers where your heart-rate is either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the level, to location based assassination, built purely around the sound of a heartbeat (Murmur In The Park), or the brilliant game that had the theme slightly shoe-horned in, but a kinda 4-player bastardisation of QWOP (CardiRow) for rowers where two players team up to drive the two oars of a boat, against another two player in their own boat, where cooperation, communication, and coordination is required to beat the other team without blowing your heart out! There was also Heart Wars where two players competed to collect pieces of virus or cure to kill or save a patient, and Cardiac Castle which used an iPhone Camera to monitor the players heartrate, making the zombies chasing their avatar move faster as the player got more panicked!

It’s been an amazing experience, not just because of the attendees; we had the awesome Brendan Drain from Brain and Nerd call in over Skype to chat to the jammers, and discuss their game mechanics, future marketing possibilities, and generally having the craic, and we’ve had the wonderfully patient Niall Bole from our friends at QUB Dragonslayers in working on configuring the Ultimaker perfectly. (After we recover from this weekend, we’ll be getting peoples rewards out as soon as possible!

Lessons to the reader; sell tickets, don’t give them away. We had to turn away people asking for tickets towards the end because we had already over-allocated the space. In the end we only had a 68% turnout on the first night, dropping to the 30 / 50 that we ended up with on the second night. This mis-calculating effected our budgeting, scheduling, catering, and lots of other -ings, and while we try to be as inclusive as possible, in future events we will be adding a nominal fee for non-members, just to gauge a certain level of commitment so we can more efficiently spend ours and event sponsors money on the people who really want to be involved in what we’re doing here at Farset. Members will still be free though.

I’m getting fairly close to collapsing so I’m going to leave you with some snaps from the weekend, including our lovely 3D Printed Logo. I’ll close with a special thanks to the University of Ulster for kindly sponsoring this amazing event, and to Tibus for giving us more bandwidth than you could shake a stick at, and Davy Sims for the lend of more chairs, because we were still very slightly over subscribed….

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