Build It And They Will Play

Glen Henry
Feb 1, 2019 · 3 min read

Or How to effectively entertain yourself and others

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Look at those sleep-deprived faces!

The evening on January 25, 2019, found a small group of young people gathered and initiating somewhat embarrassing activities in order to “break the ice”, ease the tension and form friendships. It was the kick-off event for Global Game Jam 2019, and the CARIMAC Annex 2 Building played host to the would-be jammers. Powered by the support of CARIMAC’s David Soutar, ListenMi’s very own, Kenia Mattis, and the assistance of veteran members of the Jamaican Game Developer Society (JGDS). Jammers prepared to build their games in the next 48 hours.

Ideation

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The theme for the event was announced: “What does home mean to you”, and with names shared, including nick-names, the group brainstormed possible ideas. Over the next few hours Projects Hive, Timmy and Spheres & Squares were formed. Core skills were identified and teams were encouraged to share ideas and competencies. The main aim of the event was to foster community.

Prototype

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Jammers were encouraged to focus on defining ideas to completion before even typing a single line of code. Teams worked together to prototype the core game loop, and where possible advised delaying asset generation (the fun bits!) until after the main idea had been fully fleshed out.

Playtest & Polish (Repeat)

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Once, all avenues, and subsequently the jammers, were finally exhausted development began in earnest. Under the guidance of the advisors and mentors, Jammers were carefully led and prodded to the finish line!

The Pudding! (… Or the Proof Therein):

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Timmy’s Mind

A game about a young boy named Timmy and his mental health issues aggravated by fear of leaving home.

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Hive

HIVE is a side scroller about a worker bee, Barry B collecting honey for his bee family.

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Sphere & Squares

A game about a sphere is trying to find his brothers, after being trapped in the world of Squares.

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Shipgate 20XX

A game where you fly an ever-changing ship through corresponding gates by rotating the gate arcs. Inspired by Thomas Was Alone.

Conclusion & Next Steps

So we lost sleep and had fun!

And successfully made 4 games (100% more than last year!).

Next years goal? Eight! (or more…)

Join the Jamaican Game Developer Society mailing list to keep on the pulse on the JamRock Game dev Scene: http://eepurl.com/gfZ2aT

See more of what goes on at @Listenmi on Instagram. And follow their adventures in illustration and creative design at www.ListenMi.com.

Find out more about CARIMAC’s programs HERE

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