GGJ 2010: Post Mortem-ing a Weekend

Global Game Jam 2010 Post #3: The weekend is over and our game is playable (!). You can find it here: We recommend the web/flash version (may ask you to download/install the small Unity/flash player). If you are stuck in any way, please email me:

What Went Awesome: * Treating Each Other Well: listening to each other’s ideas, encouraging each other to take water and brain breaks, keeping good humor, appreciating each other’s contributions. * Making Good Decisions as a team at regular intervals on what features to keep and what to toss in order to get the project done: late Saturday afternoon, late Saturday night and first thing Sunday morning. * Planning Our Work Flow: in our design doc we structured the weekend into 3-hour block “sprints.” This helped to guide our productivity and made a good balance between being able to dive deeply into our work and regularly checking-in with each other. We also got each other’s contact info right at the start, chose a safe source system, and established an “it is OK …

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GGJ 2010: The Most Heartbreaking Laughter

Global Game Jam 2010 Post #2: It is 12:30am again. Day two of the 2010 Global Game Jam is in the bag. I planned to post an update in the afternoon, but there was not a second to spare all day. We sprinted through 15 hours of development today, and found ourselves in all three of what I am told are the classic Day-Two moments: a serious talk in the afternoon about what features can be kept and what needs to be discarded for the sake of completing the project, a major technical crisis where the tools broke in the face of our ambition, and reaching a place where the most frustrating and incomprehensible bugs brought laughter instead of tears, where the relief of having gotten this far, and the pleasure in doing this together, won over whether or not the thing we want to call a game ever becomes what we hoped.

And we were not the only ones. I overheard other teams talking about what they could cut and heard heart-rending stories of programmers losing their entire work …

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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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