Moments of Inertia by Rachel Crawford

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Global Game Jam 2017

Last year I took part in Global Game Jam at Abertay University, and I had such a good time that this year I did it again.

The theme was ‘Waves’. I teamed up with Dziek Dyes Bolt, Callum Fowlie (two members of last year’s team) and Natalie Clayton to make ‘Si the Wave, Be the Wave’, a competitive local multiplayer game in which two players, each controlling a crowd of characters, must race to complete Mexican waves. You can check it out and download it on the Global Game Jam website (Windows only). The final version is a bit broken. If you’re feeling brave, the predictably turgid source code is available on GitHub.

The jam went a bit differently for me this time around. Unlike last year we actually had our mechanic working before the end of Saturday, rather than on Sunday morning, so we had time to rethink our idea and iterate upon it. However, we didn’t quite have enough work for everyone to do, and we had the usual difficulties one has when one tries to make a 2D game in Unity. I’m not quite as pleased with our game this time around – I think last year’s concept was very strong in comparison – but I still had a valuable experience trying new things and getting to write messy code, something that is quite refreshing after 5 months of programming as a day job.

The atmosphere at Abertay was fantastic once again, with the organisers (some of the lecturers from Arts, Media and Games) successfully creating a positive, healthy atmosphere. There’s always a lot of talk about staying up for the whole length of the jam and eating lots of junk food (the keynote video this time around even encouraged it) and I think it’s important to reject that attitude. It doesn’t lead to better games or developers. They also put emphasis on the process and not the product, which is how it should be.

And they gave everyone jam at the end.

A whole load of rad games got made. Check them out. Some highlights are MicroWaves, Ola De La Vida, A Kraken Adventure, Calling Mother, Ragnar The Flying Axe, E C H O C H A M B E R and Porcelain Pork Purloiner. Finally, my friends’ game Tiny Town Traffic Technician was my first try of the HTC Vive. I can definitely see the appeal!

There’s a Twitter hashtag if you wanna scroll through that.

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