Jan 27, 2014

Another Global Game Jam Come and Gone!

Last weekend I participated in the 2014 Global Game Jam hosted by the Carleton University School of Information Technology. This was my fourth year participating though my usual partner wasn't available so I teamed up with another local board game designer, Daryl Chow to produce what we call Eye of the Hunter.

The Global Game Jam is an event where teams are challenged to create a game in 48 hours based on a theme that's only revealed at the start of the jam. This year the theme was the phrase "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." Daryl and I quickly agreed on the idea of giving players unique objective cards in order to work the theme into the game. Since each player has his or her own set of objectives to strive towards, they each view the game from their own perspective. From there we batted around several ideas for game mechanisms and settings before settling on what would become our submitted game. In Eye of the Hunter, two players play food tiles to the board to attract animals in from the forest in order to capture them according to the hunter cards they hold. It's a quick playing game and we are still interested in doing some development on it, mainly striving to get the number of tiles just right to keep the tension up as players hope to play as many of their hunters as possible before the tile supply runs out. If you are interested in checking out the game, there's a print and play version available from the GGJ site. I plan on posting an updated version to Board Game Geek soon as we ended up presenting a slightly different version on the last day of the jam based on things we tried out on the spot.

It was pretty different for me this year. As I mentioned, my usual partner, Leo, wasn't available so I roped in Daryl at the last minute. Leo is usually the one who does the art while I focus on the rules so I got to do the art this time. I'm glad Daryl and I had a pretty firm grip on the game play by the end of Friday as it allowed me to get started on the art Saturday morning. After a bit more testing with Daryl mid-day, I went back home and ploughed through the remaining art tasks, printed the components, assembled them and gave Daryl's rules an editorial pass, leaving me enough time on Sunday to create example images for the rules.

Checking out the games at the Jam on Sunday afternoon was super cool, as always. Though the competition aspect of the event is downplayed, local industry folks are invited to judge each year. This time, top honours went to first time lone wolf jammer Daivuk, a friend and colleague of mine for his game My Own World. I had a feeling he would do well at this!

So, another year, another Game Jam. Man I love it! It's a weekend of super concentrated game design and development, a great learning experience, great practice for the experienced and huge fun every time! I highly recommend participating to anyone who's into game design.

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