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Scottish Game Jam 2013 – Hungry Hungry Heart

January 28, 2013

So that’s the yearly Scottish Game Jam, the Scottish Leg of Global Game Jam, out the way for another year. The theme this year was the sound of a beating heart, so the first thing we did was model a heart and start blood vessels pumping through it. After 48 hours we ended up with ‘Hungry Hungry Heart’

Hungry Hungry Heart is a 100% anatomically incorrect simulation of a human heart. Open and close heart valves to allow the oxidised blood vessels to pass through to the correct area of the body. Don’t let the wrong colour in, or you’ll break your combo. Higher combos mean higher score. Or you could just watch it pump hypnotically.

If you want to play the Game : Here’s the Link to a web version

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Pretty chuffed with it overall, but ultimately, I didn’t have a great Jam experience this year. And here’s why…

Although there were other people involved in the game, I didn’t manage to get into a team this year, and despite fantastic contributions from George Beard with the Art and Inez with the concept, I was kind of an army of one.  This was probably caused by me leaving the venue on the first night to sit and think at home before starting any work. It definitely isn’t as fun on your own, get your ass on a team!

The second thing, which people who know me will know I moan about every year, is that judging entries is just not supposed to be done at jams. It defeats the purpose.

It was particularly noticeable this year, where the Jam was spread across 3 venues in Scotland for the first time. Jams are inclusive, anyone from any level of experience should get involved, and the Dundee Leg was majority students. (like, 45 students to 5 pros or somethign crazy like that), and yet most of the awards were handed out to the pros, who obviously had more experience. I know everyone believes that nobody really pays heed to the awards, but in reality… they do, and if they’re here to stay, then perhaps the more experienced teams should voluntarily ‘opt out’ of being judged for future Scottish Jams to at least cultivate a sense of fairness?

Turns out Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, speaking about his new movie ‘Sound City’ summed up my feelings perfectly today. He had this to say recently about talent competitions such as the X-Factor and The Voice…

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“I think those shows are awesome, as anything showing off music is great, but the only thing is, I want my six-year-old daughter to understand that music isn’t a contest.

I don’t want her to walk up to someone and for her to sing a song and for them to say: ‘That’s not good enough.’ I would never say that to her. I would say: ‘That’s killer. Do it again. Write another one.'”

That’s exactly how I feel about Game Jams.

This post sounds a bit negative, but don’t get me wrong, I still love Jams, and I’ll still be there next year, but as a Jammer, not a competitor.

Stu xxx

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