Paid for by patrons
Fall Half-Jam 2014
So glad we were able to arrange a half-jam again; I've been looking forward to taking advantage of one for awhile, but it seems the event was a success with just under 30 other local game makers as well! We met up at the Three Friends Coffee House, starting with a little meet 'n greet time for some individuals who wanted to jam on a team. The official beginning of the event was the delivery of themes or prompts, which were randomly generated for each team with dice rolling: one roll determined a noun, one determined a description. Some of the prompts people worked with ended up being either hilarious or way cool: • "Happy Vision" • "Dance Party Cafe" • "Lightning Pizza" • "Jumping Ship" • "Fire Vision" • "Mom's Ship" • "Acid Tornado" • "Meat Portrait" After brainstorming very basic ideas for what these crazy phrases might look like if they were turned into games, I handed everyone a design doc, which asks a thorough set of questions to help inform what an idea is or what it could become. Many people don't normally think about things like marketing, tools, mood, and scope in their games when they first come up with an idea, so completing a design doc can help someone answer these questions and draft the "official" blueprints for how they want their idea to come into being! It's so rad to get some creative juices flowing this way… My favorite part about a half-jam is that the stakes are very low, making it very accessible to those who haven't quite honed their game making skills or who are new to the community. Then again, way seasoned devs can come in and get some progress on a design doc, then work on producing the game the next weekend. "Happy Vision" may never be produced, as the game idea's design doc states a need for a large number of 3D assets when the player's vision slowly transitions to mania-inducing artifacts; but "Lightning Pizza" might actually be put into production over the next couple of weeks as a dialogue-based memory game with 2D graphics. The event really is for everyone, and so much can come out of it! Speaking of, some of our friends were talking with me about how to make accessible events like half-jams SOUND accessible to welcome more people, and I'm always looking for feedback. I feel good about where we're at, especially since we had 3 youth in grade and middle school join us, but there's always more that can be done. Because half-jams are a little easier to create and because I've been looking to host more project-based events, we may be seeing more and more of them popping up in the near future..! Until then, join us at the upcoming Drink 'n Draw! See you soon :D