diana;;global;;indie;;event;;contest Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee


On the 24th, 25th and 26th of January 2014, the sixth edition of Global Game Jam took place. All over the world teams of developers are given the task to create a game in a very limited time span. Every year, The Global Game Jam has a central theme. This theme is the same for every location all around the world.

For the Dutch contestants, the places to be were: Leeuwarden, Groningen, Hilversum, Amsterdam and Breda. I was invited to the NHTV building in Breda, which also happens to be the location of International Game Architecture & Design (IGAD).

16.00: Teams are signing in and setting up for the event. The official opening of the event is set to begin at 17.00. This will also be the first time all contestants will be notified of this year's somewhat philosophical theme: We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are. Teams will have three days and two nights to come up with a concept and turn it into a game, be it a computer game or a board game. At the end of the Global Game Jam, each of the team's games will be judged by the other teams and a jury. Through a series of voting rounds, it will be decided whose game is the absolute winner.

The global Game Jam gives developers a chance to create their own game, but it's also a great way of meeting new people with the same interests as you, especially when you will spend the next three days eating, sleeping and first and foremost, working in the same building. The first evening consists mostly of brainstorming and making sure everybody is appointed his or her role in the team.

Itís great to see and hear the ideas the teams come up with. What really surprised me is although they all have to work with the same theme, no two teams have the same ideas about what to create.

I got a chance to speak to team Hšgelslšg. Theyíre busy brainstorming and they have a really structured way to sort their ideas. Ideas about voice control, shape-shifting and labyrinths. The people in this team are all students at IGAD. Although they have the same educational background, as a group they have just met this afternoon.

Team 'Fat Kids Are Hard To Kidnap' caught my attention because of the Oculus Rift, lying on their desk. Next to it is a package of painkillers. ďBecause that thing gives me a headache.Ē Of course I canít let this chance just pass by. I get to try it on and itís just crazy. Iím standing in a virtual world, you can look and move around, but if you look down you donít see your own feet and thatís weird. Itís messing with my mind quite a bit when I feel there's a table right in front of me, but I canít see it.

Another team caught my attention because of the presence of a synthesizer, attached to their computer. The team in question, Boyz at the Beaches, have already chosen the name of their game. It sounds promising: The right Side of Me. They're working on an idea that involves mirrors and want to combine puzzles and action in their game. All members if this team are students at IGAD, but from different grades.

There are others present who are mainly here for inspiration, learning from others or just working on a project for school. Student Niki Slug is a visual artist. She is currently modeling a complete Escher-like building. "I really have to nail this assignment, or I might not be able to graduate this year".

Alas, evening is upon us and I will have to say goodbye to this frenzy of new ideas and concepts. For the teams it's dinner time, a great moment to give your head some much needed rest and meet the other teams and people present. The Global Game Jam is a great event in which to participate, especially when you're into developing games. It's been a privilege to meet so many people who share a common passion...Gaming!

If you would like to know how to enter the Global Game Jam or if you're just curious who won the 2014 edition,
just check the Global Game Jam Website