Although I was meant to be busy this weekend programming a Ms. Pac-Man controller using artificial intelligence techniques for the Modern AI in Games course at ITU, I found some time to drop by at the first game jam organized by PlayIT, the student organization at ITU. The game jam was called JamIT 2012 and was an awesome game jam!
We first all went into Auditorium 1, where we had the opening ceremony by Jonathan van Hove and Tommy Rousse, followed by keynotes speeches on How to Win a Game Jam by Tim Garbos, Lau Korsgaard and Nicklas Nygren, among others. Afterwards, we split into teams to make games based on the theme, which was this picture over here accompanied by the words “Not Possible”.
I teamed up with Astrid Sønderby Lamhauge and Casper Nielsen Voigt, and we all agreed that even though we were all busy and didn’t really plan on spending the whole weekend on making a game, we were still interested in jamming. We started trying to come up with ideas that had a small scope and we eventually settled on a game that was educational/serious in nature. The goal of the game was to try and turn on the projector at ITU, since it was widely acknowledged to be extremely difficult, with none of the buttons making sense.
The game, I Think It’s On?, can be downloaded and installed from here. It’s an executable file that will install the game and any other necessary files. It was made in C# and XNA and needs an Xbox controller to be played. Casper was in charge of programming, Astrid was in charge of graphics and I did the sound design.
There were around 18 games made during the duration of JamIT 2012. These were presented at the very end of the jam on Sunday afternoon. Anchel Labena and I, along with some others, provided a running commentary on Twitter using the hashtag #JamITU. Here’s some of my opinions of the games that were created during this weekend! (all submissions can be found here)
First up, we have Bert Baker’s Cunnilingus, made by Bert Baker, Virgil Tanase and Samuel Walz, which as they describe it, is an “educational game about cunnilingus” made for the iPhone. It also involves licking the phone’s touch screen, and recorded female vocals. I think you get the idea.
One of my favourite games made during this weekend was Don’t Hose Me Bro by Enric Llangostera, Jonatan van Hove, Marín Björt Valtýsdóttir, Jan Flessel and Tommy Rousse. It’s a 2v2 co-op game where the objective of the game is to capture the other team’s diamond. Each team consists of a wizard that can shoot jets of water at other characters, reducing their life and pushing them backwards, and a skull that can lay various different traps. First to 3 diamonds wins. It’s a well made game, the sounds are addicting and the graphics are awesome!
We then have a game called Impossibl3 Pong by Giuseppe Enrico Franchi. Giuseppe arrived late and didn’t plan on attending the jam, but decided to start making a game on his own anyway on Saturday morning. It’s a different take on the classic game Pong in the sense that it’s played in the dark, points are scored on the opposing axis you’re playing on, and there’s a third player who can affect the puck’s movement.
Anders Lystad Brevik made a game called I Think. I Am. It’s a platformer made in Flash where the game comes to life and actively wants you to play the game, in a rather creepy and overbearing way, to such an extent that it will resort to disabling controls if you fail to follow its commands. I also made a short music track for Anders’ game.
Jackalope, by Daryl Leon Hornsby and Giulia Trincardi, is an interesting point-and-click adventure game of sorts which contains 2D graphics in a 3D world, which I found quite innovative. The game idea seems to be quite narrative heavy, and although only a short demo was made in 48 hours, they plan to continue working on it in the future.
Kiss Kiss Bam Bam was made by Andrew Borg Cardona, Ioana Marin, Hans Henrik Hvoslef and Wen Xiong. It’s a game set in the 60s where you control the faces of a girl and guy and try to align their lips together to get them to kiss. It’s an awesome idea, even though the game is slightly difficult, with ratios of kisses to failures being somewhere around 1: 200. Still, it was very entertaining to watch!
The next game is called Major Lack, made by Nikolaj, Magnus, Emil, Niels & Alexander. It’s an interesting take on platformers, since in this game, you control 3 characters simultaneously that navigate through 3 different obstacle courses.
Photo Shooter was a game made by Valentin Mihalache, Alex Savu; Federica Orlati, Marta la Mendola and Jesper Taxbøl. It’s a real world spin off of first person shooters, but in this case, players take pictures of people that are tagged with QR codes.
Up next is another erotic game called Sex Roulette, made by Jannick and Adonis. The mouse is used to pleasure women seen on screen, and the player can make use of voice control in certain parts of the game.
Space Monkeys! was made by Andrea Distler, Jan Flessel, Lasse Knudsen and Peter Ølsted. It’s a multiplayer platformer / runner similar to Canabalt, but each player’s controls keeps changing over the course of the game, forcing players to scramble to find their appropriate keys as they struggle to stay alive.
Stuf was made by Martin Fasterholdt and Julian Hansen. It’s an interesting take on real time strategy games in the sense that one player’s land is another player’s void, and vice-versa of course. Players must try and take as much terrain as possible, and the aim of the game is destroy all opposing bases.
Super Battle Combat Fighter Pre-Pre-Pre-Alpha 0.0.0.3.6.36b revision 3691726316 (iteration 36, sub-iteration 872) was a game made by a massive team of 7 people: Anita Simonsen, Nis Bjørn, Marco Scirea, Aleksander Nikulin, Morten Frederiksen, Nicklas Nygren, Federica Orlati and Frederik Klovborg. It’s a top-down shooter of sorts with a really interesting twist: it’s turn based. Basically, you have the option of shooting at objects or simply moving. The game then executes your action while the environment responds, and after some time, everything freezes and you get to take another action. Something that I found novel in the game was the fact that when you died, you were allowed to save your gameplay and replay it at normal speed without time stopping, allowing yourself to watch the ship blaze desperately through the level.
Super Original was a game made in 2 hours during the actual presentation of the JamIT games by Casper Friis Farsøe. For something made in 2 hours, it’s really fun to play; you’re being chased by a horde of stained glass alien things that slowly speed up while you slowly start to slow down. In the mean time, more enemies are being spawned, and you must do your best to avoid them!
Up next is another one of my favourite games made at the game jam: SWEDISH GARDEN by Tim Garbos and Niklas Aberen. It’s a quirky and artsy platformer that starts adding different layers of music as you progress through the level. The environment is also reacting to the music, making it a very immersive experience!
ThrowIT was made by Mattia Fiorio, Cristinel Patrascu and Leif Bjørn Rasmussen. It’s a top down game that allows players to fight against each other by throwing pictures. The interesting thing is that players can upload pictures to be thrown, and everybody can use any of the uploaded pictures.
T-RAGE was a game made by Achim Wache, Nikolaj Settnes and Oliver about why dinosaurs really went extinct. It’s a two player game that could be co-op or not depending on the players. Players must fight against dinosaurs on an asteroid, and the game features orbital physics which I was impressed by since it was made during a game jam.
T-REX HIGHFIVE was made by Tim Garbos, and is a two-player game where each player controls 4 different limbs of their T-Rex, and must run towards the other T-Rex and high-five them. It’s fun to watch the game being played, and it reminds me a little of Sumotori Dreams and QWOP.
Last but not least is the game When Pigs Fly by Nina Croitoru and Andrei Livadariu. It’s a 2D puzzle/platformer where the object of the game is to roll a pig to a cloud shaped platform, where it can grow wings and fly. I really like the way the pig rolls throughout the level, and the graphics are very well done!
Winners haven’t been announced yet, but they should be up soon. This game jam was small and comfortable, and I’m happy to have taken part and watched cool games being made!