Global Game Jam 2012

Global Game Jam 2012 ended earlier yesterday.   The Pittsburgh International Game Developers Association held their event at the Entertainment Technology Center, right in my backyard, and there were about 100 Jammers who came.

While I wasn’t actually a Jammer, I did volunteer to help and I don’t regret it.  I got to hang out with cool people while having time between events to go back to my project room and do backlogged work.  Admittedly, most of the work was setting up and cleaning up food, but as someone who is interested in producing, I respect the fact that these things have to be done so that the more awesome game-making can get done.

The jam theme was the Ouroboros, and there were a lot of cool games here in Pittsburgh:  Some were simpler and casually fun; others tried to make you really think about the idea of biting your tail.

There was “Hebi Hanabi” made by the ETC stars Scott Chen, Brian Lee, Zero Liu, and Kaiyang Zhang.  They took the classic “Snake” game about eating eggs to grow longer and added two-player combat with the cool mechanic of actually having to bite your own tail to launch projectiles at our opponent.  A novel re-invention of “Snake,” their game was quite  polished and aesthetically clean.  They, in fact, won the Judges Award and Player’s Choice Award.

Another game worth mentioning is “Super Ouro Bro.s” which, despite the gimmicky name, had a really neat mechanic.  This game was made by Jing Li, Michael Lee, Dan Lin, and Felix Park; the latter three are of renown for their ETC project called “mindful xp” about meaning, expression, and games.  The mechanic was that every level a new enemy was introduced and the AI for that new enemy did something both predictable and frustrating:  It did exactly the same actions that you took in the previous level!  In the end, you were fighting yourself; now that’s “biting” yourself in the tail.”

I enjoyed quite a few of the other games that my friends made and would write about all of them, but it is 2AM and I have a project advisor meeting tomorrow; look for the games here:

And don’t forget to check out some of the other cool games that other people all around the world made.

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