Global Game Jam 2010: Artist Jason Reports From The Front

Global Game Jam 2010 Post #1: It’s Friday night, 12:30am. We have just been kicked out of MIT’s Gambit labs to get a few hours of sleep before a full day of development tomorrow. The last eight hours are a blur; meeting dozens of developers, hearing the theme and constraints of the 2010 jam (International theme: deception. Local theme: abstraction. Constraints to choose among: rain, plain, Spain), taking 90 minutes to discuss ideas, with proposals flying so fast and furious my head felt full ten minutes into it, pitching our ideas, forming teams, and then getting as much pre-production nailed before they sent us packing.

I pitched a game (and found a willing team) where you are a bull in a Spanish bullfight. The goal is to kill the matador before he kills you. Being in the bull’s perspective, the environment we are planning is distorted; black and white Pablo Picasso-style architecture and characters, where the matador is practically invisible unless you are a few feet from him, but his flowing red cape tantalizes you at every turn (yes, we …

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Food for Thought

Last night I attended the 7th annual Hamentashen vs Latke Debate, in which world-renowned MIT professors in various fields of study discuss the socio-economic, scientific, historical and philosophical implications of triangular and circular foods. As the artist and sole non-MIT graduate here at Fire Hose, I am regularly amazed at the sense of play that pervades this dev team and the school from which they graduated.

A Biology prof offered a defense of Latkes (potato pancakes fried in oil) that transected the history of Tuberculosis immunology, recent Boston activity by the Center for Disease Control, and pre-WWII immigration. A mathematics professor on the side of Hamentashen (triangular cookies) explained with Photoshop and geometric trickery a solution to world hunger through the careful management of the sex lives of pastry. The entire event caused me to wonder what kind of video game could possibly bring to bear the intellectual passions of such diverse people. What games have been created with the creative flexibility to allow anyone, from any field of interest, to bring the best of themselves into the equation of …

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