Jam made from Games

Jeff on Games – Cardboard Jam: Best Jam Ever

This weekend, Boston Game Jams ran Cardboard Jam, a game jam where everyone made board or card games instead of making digital games. I have to say, I think I had way more fun at this game jam than at almost any other digital jam I’ve been a part of for a few reasons.

First, there’s no tech choices or learning curve. At digital Game Jams, the first thing you have to do (once you have a game you want to create) is decide what technology you want to work in. This can be tough when you have multiple people who all come with different tech backgrounds and make them try to work together. Either you end up choosing teams based on tech that people know, or a few people end up working in tech they are unfamiliar with. This can make many digital game jam more about overcoming technical challenges, rather than overcoming design challenges in the game.

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Marvel Comic Inspires New Slam Bolt Scrappers Art

Hello True Believers,

As Alec noted last week, Issue #1 of the new FF series (the successor to Fantastic Four, now that Johnny Storm has been killed, penciled by Steve Epting) shows Franklin Richards (son of Reed and Sue) playing a video game he has just lost, and that game is Slam Bolt Scrappers!


The shot is from SBS circa Fall 2010 (after PAX Prime, when the health bars were vertical instead of horizontal, many months before release).

Here is the actual image they found on the web and used!:


And here is a side-by-side of the comic art and the original:


As far as we can tell, they set the Hue (in Hue/Saturation) to 180 and then the Cutout filter was applied (before the non-SBS text was overlayed).

In the process of unraveling this, I started playing with the Cutout filter and the Hue/Saturation of other shots from the game. Here were some of my favorites. What do you think? Any of these worth a spot in the Modern Museum of Art?

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Fire Hose Games Volunteers at GDC 2011

Where do you feel most like yourself?

The best version of yourself. The one where every moment of the day is a smile because in that place there is no-one else you would rather be?

Is it strange I feel this way volunteering for a conference?

For the last eleven years, the Conference Associate (CA) program at the annual Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco has not only been the source of all my best opportunities to find contacts and work in the game industry, it has been where I renew my spirit and love for this industry and its people.

As a CA volunteer, I have badged session lines, run errands for show management, managed hordes of t-shirt hungry attendees, and served in many support capacities for other volunteers. None of this is what you might call glamorous stuff. At any other show it would be grunt work–the most boring and uncreative labor this side of leaning on a wall.

But the leadership of the CA program, Tim Brengle and Ian Mckenzie, make it amazing. They call it …

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Best Mash-ups OF ALL TIME!! Or at least some of my favorites

One of the first things people talk about after playing Slam Bolt Scrappers is that, above all else, it’s a mash-up of building and brawling.  Players have to fight their opponents while building magnificently destructive towers – the best players I’ve seen make sure to balance their play style among both mechanics, not spending too much time on either single element, but managing to do both at once.  Mash-ups aren’t a new thing, though, and while the game is unique because of the genres it combines, people have been doing mash-ups SINCE THE DAWN OF TIME.

Here are some of my favorite mash-ups:

Transmetropolitan – Gonzo Journalism x Sci-Fi

Transmetropolitan, possibly Warren Ellis’s best known comic, is a crazy mash-up of genres, and to a lesser extent, mediums.  The plot revolves around the Hunter S Thompson clone, Spider Jerusalem, committing wild acts of gonzo journalism in a dystopian megacity sometime in the far future.  Think Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, but dirtier, and in the future.  …

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Petition for Custom Button Remapping

Hey scrappers, allow me to introduce you to Chuck Bittner, a quadriplegic stand-up comedian and the mind behind AskACapper.com.  Chuck has a problem with games that many gamers and developers may have not considered: custom button remapping is critical for handicapped folk to be able to play games, but this “feature” is non-existent in many modern titles.  Different controller presets have become more common, but these can’t meet the unique needs of every avid gamer.

With PAX East right around the corner, Chuck will have an opportunity to present his case to developers from around the globe.  He’s started a petition to show developers just how much support he has (over 35,000 signatures so far!), so sign up and help out a good cause!

In case you don’t know (or if you haven’t read Eitan’s thesis), we’re all strong supporters of accessible gaming.  As such, it seemed like a no brainer …

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