It all started back in December when I submitted a video to win tickets for the Nordic Game Jam 2014.
Shortly after that I found out that I had won one of the tickets. YEAAAH!
I was very excited to participate and to meet some friends I have made in my past trips to Denmark.
Talking about friends, I really have to send a BIG THANK YOU to Erkki for letting me stay at his place during the event and even lending me a bike to roam around. Great conversations!
On to the event itself.
This was the biggest game jam I ever attended, hundreds of people participating which means a lot of games being made by square meter.
It started off with some great keynotes and food, leading to the official opening where the jam’s theme, Privacy, was announced and Google went Oprah on us offering each participant a Nexus 7. WHAT?!
From there, we got to my favourite part in game jams and that is group forming. Although I had some friends participating I wanted to work with people I didn’t knew, which for me is a nice way to expand your connections and to broaden your experience when working in groups. Different people means different cultures and different ways of having to think on how to get your ideas across to the next guy. I really enjoy these brainstorming moments.
I wanted to do something more experimental this time around, I was pitching to people this idea of mixing colour frequencies with sound frequencies to create some sort of mood and experience. That’s when I bumped into Nicolai and Oscar, two sound guys that never had been to a game jam before. Shortly after that a programmer by the name of Gustav joined in on the conversation, before we know it we had a team.
Sound was the cornerstone of our experience, and that would have to be our main concern. We ended up settling for an experience where the player had to keep this sort of zen state, for our newly acquired Nexus 7. In order for him to do that he would have to keep other distracting soudns away from him. Visually we chose the abstract route with some simple geometry, we wanted the player focus more on the actual sound and not the graphics. Although I really wanted to do a little bit more fancy stuff without getting in the way of the experience, since this is my area of expertise. But I wasn’t using Unity, instead we were using libGDX’s and I had no clue on how to get things looking pretty with that.
What I ended up doing was to model and animate all the assets, which was done quickly considering they were very simple with no textures. This meant that now I had a lot of free time, since I couldn’t help on the code and the sound already had 2 people working on it, I decided to offer my skills to other teams and ended up doing some sound FX for a game my friends where making.
After that it was the final day and I went back to my initial team, they were working around the clock to get everything ready to meet the deadline. We were so concerned on getting everything to work that we completely forgot to name the game, we ended up with the most plain idea ever “Privacy”. As soon as we clicked on submit, the sound of a horn signalled the end of the game jam, just in time!
The party was set, people were showing their awesome games, voting and cheering. I saw some really cool games made by very talented people from the indie scene, it was very inspiring to talk with them and play their games. Overall it was a great experience and we even got an honourable mention by the guys at Intelligent Headsets.
I am looking forward to next year, lets make some games!