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Scottish Game Jam 2012

January 30, 2012

I’m still coming down from this weekends Global Game Jam, Glasgow leg (Which is dubbed Scottish Game Jam). I was there last year as a judge. This year, because I wasn’t involved with any of the sponsorship, I could go as a participant.

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It’s the same kind of feeling you get after being at a music festival. Lots of people come together and forget that the real world exists just for a few days, united in their love for a culture or scene. In this case, that’s the culture of the game developer, and the love of the craft, creativity and passion videogame creation. An opportunity to try something with no pressure, no need for ‘commercial success’, and a universal positivity that resonates through everyone involved, from the participants, to the industry vets, the media, and even the spectators. It’s hard to get back to normal.

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The theme was a picture of a snake eating its tail (Ouroboros) Our game (or emag), which we called Game Over weP weP, was a traditional side scrolling shooter which you ‘un’play backwards. You start dead, you come back to life, travel backwards through a level sucking bullets out of enemies, gaining health and losing points, before arriving safely at the beginning. It’s an insane concept, we knew it wasn’t going to work, but the beauty of the Jam was that we could try it anyway, and take it as far as we could in 48 hours!


It presented more challenges than we’d first anticipated, but the ultimate test was when we took a video of the game and reversed it (so you’d be seeing it forwards). Lo and behold, it looked like a normal game! So we knew we’d achieved what we set out to do.

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It actually ended up being shortlisted for a prize in the design category, probably simply for our audacity to try something so unique, regardless of the fact that it made little sense. And that’s the beauty of a jam. You can do this kind of thing, and this is perhaps the only criticism of the Scottish leg of GGJ. Unlike the other legs, it does introduce a competitive element, and this might discourage people from trying some of their more insane concepts in favor of safer ones, fearing it might jeopardize their chances of winning (Not that I’m suggesting for a second that anyone did think like this!).

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Needless to say, it’s hard not to return to reality with a loud *thump* when it’s all over! But the experience is something that sticks with you afterwards, you carry it with you, and try and make the real world, and your real life, more like it was for those few days.

Kudos to my lovely team! Same time next year all. x

Link : Global Game Jam Page

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