The Global Game Jam only occurs once a year, and teams from all over the globe come together to build video games. Each year there is a declared theme, and this weekend’s theme was ‘ritual’. Per usual, different teams interpreted the theme in many different ways. For instance, one group built a dating simulation while other groups built games relating to OCD and even human sacrifice. The games were very inventive, and it was a pleasure to observe demos. We even broke a world record for the most games created in one weekend- more than 6800 games were created by participants in this Jam!
A great aspect of the GGJ includes providing learning in its purist form, as people design & imagine games they want to build and have to figure out how to actually build it. More than half the people in attendance had no experience in game creation. I actually heard several comments how it was one of the richest learning experiences, as well as one of the best networking events, they had attended all year. I have to agree!
This was the third Jam that I have attended. Instead of joining a group and building a game, this year I decided to bring my podcasting microphone and offer audio services to the teams (which also gave me great experience using Audacity). There are so many different effects that can be created simply using a voice. I sought out voices from the participants and recorded them to bring their game characters to life. I created sound effects for monsters roaring and laughing, golem summoning lines and even cheerful psychotic robots. I thoroughly enjoyed helping, playing & learning this weekend.
Game Jams are also great places to discover raw talent. I met two people who are working at grocery stores in the area who are both amazing artists. One of them created detailed graphics, while the other was a woman creating musical sounds for her team. These events draw talent from all over the community, giving people the outlets to express their creativity. I was also able to take several pictures over the weekend of our teams and their work. Take a look- they are posted on @amyflatt1 and @nashtechcouncil Instagram accounts!
I would like to thank the people who made this weekend possible. Without our sponsors, volunteers and local organizers, this event would not have happened. Our local hub is especially thankful to Vanderbilt University for providing the space and Elonka Dunin, Christopher Cotton, Jay Clayton and Justin Giles for organizing the local event in cooperation with our Nashville Game Developers.
You can see more coverage on the 2016 Global Game Jam here.