The Global Game Jam (GGJ) is an international event that takes place annually over a span of 48 hours, typically during the last weekend of January. The main objective of the event is to encourage creativity, collaboration, and innovation in game development. The event kicks off at 5pm Friday, in your given timezone, meaning that the theme must remain secret for the first 24 hours. You get 48 hours to brainstorm some ideas and hone it into something that is playable.
In Guernsey the event has the last 7 years (bar covid-y breaks) has been hosted at the Digital Greenhouse.
The theme this year was “Roots” and the general consensus from our site was that this was a pretty good one. If you are interested (and sadistic) then the offical GGJ launch video is below. These tend to go on far too long for showing on the night and contain an awful lot of sponsored content - we like most sites normally skip to the big reveal which is towards the end (shhh, dont tell the sponsors)!
This year, I was part of a team of 4:
- Jason Magee
- Matt ‘Danny’ Champion
- Aaron Smilie
The backstory we came up with for our game was…
In the quiet town of Bevsvill (the others may recall this differently), life took a drastic turn when a pulsating alien meteor crashed into the heart of their community, unleashing a gargantuan tentacle monster. The once peaceful streets turned into a web of slimey tentacles as the creature demolished structures with its monstrous tendrils, reducing edifices to debris and its alien aura instilling terror among the townsfolk. As panic ensued and chaos reigned, there emerged an unlikely hero, Chuck, a helicopter pilot and local mechanic, known more for his jovial personality than heroics. Possessing the only aerial vehicle in town, Chuck took it upon himself to rescue his neighbors. But the task wasn’t simple. Who would he save first? The elderly in the care home, the children in the orphanage, or the officials in the state building and tax office? It’s a race against the clock, you can’t save everyone (sorry politicians and tax officials).
Some pictures from the event and the game are below…
Work In Progress
- Initial concept
- Path finding debug
- Tentacle debug
Day 2 at the Digital Greenhouse
In game action
As always, the event was a lot of fun. We didn’t burn the candle at both ends and retreated home by 10ish both Friday and Saturday ensuring that we were energised and raring to go till the end of the event.
The team was solid and we worked very well together under the pressure of a Jam. Danny was our cool cucumber and is incredible under pressure and always able to keep a clear head. Jase has the gift of being able to diffuse any awkward situation. This was the first jam that Aaron had taken part in and is a hugely talented artist/creative.
Admittedly, I’ve not been knee-deep in game dev for the past year, so I had a steep learning hill to climb over the weekend. Jason came to our rescue, handling most of the tricky development and tackling our bewildered questions about Godot.
Our game ‘Roots Attack’ was not our best game jam effort. In retrospect it lacked that little spark of fun that usually hooks players. That being said, Aaron’s stunning artwork made it look better than it felt to play! With some polishing, it could be more engaging, but it just didn’t have that je ne sais pas that Transmission had. It was none the less still a lot of fun and will look forward to the ‘24 event.