Recap of Revelry’s First Time Hosting the Global Game Jam
Back in January, we hosted the Global Game Jam at Revelry HQ in New Orleans. To my knowledge, this is the first time the GGJ has ever been held in New Orleans, so that’s pretty cool!
This event was a smashing success. 22 people showed up, forming 10 groups and creating 5 game submissions. Team sizes ranged from solo efforts to a group of 5.
As far as skills are concerned, we were stacked on the programming side with only 3 jammers identifying as artists of some description. There were games made with Unity, Haxe, GameMaker, Twine, Godot, and one was a board game. In my experience at jams, this is a pretty varied spread of technologies and team compositions. The results were all pretty good!
Global Game Jam 19 Theme: “What Home Means To You”
Every team needed to come up with a concept that would identify with the theme. I’d like to share a summary of the submissions, because I’m really proud of how all this went down.
Here’s what the New Orleans teams built:
In “Home Wrecker!” the player takes control of a house, which perhaps is actually some sort of creature taking on the appearance of a house. You are on a mission to become a complete “home”, which involves going around a small town eating people, furniture, and decorations. The town’s police force, however, doesn’t take very kindly to its citizenry being subject to any such nonsense and will try and stop you. Being the master of disguise that it is, our house-shaped hero can sit down and pretend to be a regular, inanimate house. The animations are well done and it’s a pretty amusing game. Most, if not all, of the sound effects were recorded at our Game Jam, which is pretty sweet.
“Home Screen” follows the journey of a dead pixel looking for a new screen to call home. The player is aided in this quest by a number of other colored pixels. You have three tools at your disposal to have your pixel buddies assist you in your quest. A pencil (with eraser) to draw platforms for easier navigation, a magnet to make sure your friends stay close by, and a sword to fend off enemies. As a fan of flashing colors, this game sparks my fancy with the magnet tool which causes nearby pixels to swirl around in a beautiful display. This game features the language independent modifier which means it can be played and understood by anyone regardless of their mother tongue.
The Planet is Exploding!
“The Planet is Exploding!” is an interactive fiction game in which your home colony is about to explode, and you have only two minutes to decide what you will bring with you as you escape the destruction. This game features the ephemeral modifier which means it can only be played once, giving some weight to your choices. Because we live in a region that’s regularly under the threat of tropical storms, this game especially hits home for us in New Orleans. We know we can’t bring everything with us when we evacuate. “The Planet is Exploding!” was chosen to be featured at the Indie Bits games showcase in South Carolina!
Nest: Picking Up Home
“Nest” is an atmospheric exploration game where the player takes the role of a bird trying to make a home for itself out of objects it finds littered about the landscape. You start in the sky, trying to pick the perfect spot for your nest before searching for the right pieces to make it home. The game is beautiful and serene, and the team that made it was organized and in the zone the entire jam.
“Things” is a game about resisting the urge to collect a lot of…. things. The player controls gravity, and must stop a collection of white squares from grabbing up all the black squares. Mechanically, this is an interesting game that makes you want to keep trying to survive as long as you can, and the surreal soundscape helps maintain a sense of eeriness that helps keep the pressure on.
Shooty Bird House
“Shooty Bird House” is a VR arcade shooter where you have a bow and arrow and must shoot down the chickens wreaking havoc in your home. Notable as the only VR game made at the jam. The controls are well implemented and VRchery is always a blast.
The Leap Home
The game my team made was called “The Leap Home.” The player is a Scrapper, leaping between debris fields to get enough materials to make the leap to the next area. We were able to implement a lot of the core mechanics, but unfortunately did not progress much from there.
Overall, I’m very pleased with the outcome of the Game Jam! In addition to the games made, we enjoyed plenty of discussion between groups, and made great connections with each other. It was amazing to be able to host this event through the grace of my wonderful leaders at Revelry.
If you’re in the New Orleans area and you’re interested in seeing the latest from the local game dev community, feel free to join us every third Thursday at the NOLA Game Dev meetup!
Connect with Revelry to join us for future events!