It doesn't seem like a year since the last Global Gamejam. But apparently it is. Last year we held our first Game Jam in Hull and it was amazing. We have high hopes for the second one, which starts today. We've got top level support. In the far right of the picture above you can see Lee Stott from Microsoft talking to local MP Alan Johnson (with his back to the camera) and Lindsay West and colleague from Platform Expos. And the student team on the left are definitely planning something.....
This year we've switched venues. We are in the Horncastle Building from Hull College, just across the road from the Hull Studio School were we were last time. The building is fantastic, and everyone has been wonderful, with lecturers giving up tables and chairs from their classrooms so that we can set up space for the developers in the dance studios in the building. And the Platform Expo crew have been busy setting up networking and power connections for all the teams. The Grimsby College students arrived on schedule and we all headed into the auditorium for the intro presentation from Simon.
I took this shot as students were arriving, I couldn't take many during the show as I was showing the briefing presentations and the video that sets the all-important theme. We have around 120 students taking part from Hull College, Grimsby College and Hull University.
The way that GameJam works is that they set a worldwide theme for the competition, and we have to make a game that matches the theme. This year the theme was the phrase "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are". Deep stuff, raising profound questions about the nature of self and how we view the world. And certainly a bit tricky as the basis of that space shooter that I was planning to make, using a configurable controller that I was going to build, pretty much from scratch, in 48 hours.
This year the "Beard Bandit" and "Spooky Elephant" teams have merged to produce a huge, eight person leviathan that will crush all before it. We have tentatively titled the collection "Elephant Beard", although this may change.
Inventing a game to match the theme was a tricky task, and we continued the discussions long into the night. Simon was keen to make a multiplayer game which combined the attractions of Pacman and R-Type, along with a configurable controller to give an exploration of the human psyche. I could tell you more, but this would ruin the surprise when you actually play the game. Or something.
With work progressing nicely I headed home. There was a time when I could work all night on projects like these, but that has passed I'm afraid. But I'll be ready for action tomorrow.