A new game in 2 days? Yeah, let’s do it!
A new digital game takes talent and effort to design and build. It takes resources to market and set apart from its competition. It takes a special edge to be loved by players and grow.
The gaming business is huge. We all love to play a game every now and then: board and card games, tablet or console games, web, mobile & TV games entertain us and lighten up our lives.
But, can a new game be built in a couple of days? Beware, this is 48 hours with as little time wasted as possible for life’s essentials, like food and sleep. And, to make things a little bit more …exciting, start all work from scratch!
So, can it be done?
I can positively say, yes it can!
40+ talented people gathered this past week-end at Lavrio, near Athens, Greece, to form teams of 3-4 people and compete at making the best game. The Hellenic Games Jam 2012 was organized by the Hellenic Games Developers Association. This year, the theme for these new games was “Paranormal”. No technology restrictions were applied and developers had access to Internet resources.
So, off they started on Friday and, on Sunday afternoon, 10 teams presented their games to the judges as well live and web audience.
As for myself, I thought I had the easy job: a member of the 3-strong judging committee, I imagined sitting back, enjoying my cocktail drink and letting our competitors impress me. Hmmm, certainly not! How do you make justice to the make-or-break efforts of these dedicated people? Dive, dive, dive! And so I did on Sunday, while discussing with the teams and reviewing their projects.
Find out at the HGDA website, or watch the ceremony recording. It’s worth also visiting the HGJ Facebook page for past-midnight shots of our developers. Game samples will soon be released for you to try them out! For the record, we, judges, decided we would award points for technology, design, game mechanics and fun factor. Games that were not really close to the competition “Paranormal” theme were automatically disqualified.
This was a beacon of light. To reach this level of game engineering in such a short period of time requires teamwork, individual skills, overall understanding of game development, dedication and determination. These people, all of them, proved they have it. Greece and the dire state of its economy attract plenty of bad press. But here is a fine exemption. These people deserve more and I am confident they will achieve their gaming goals in the years to come.
Also, let me pay tribute and offer my congratulations to organisers, sponsors and venue providers. The event was a success!
The digital gaming industry is picking up in Greece. HGDA and the Corallia gi-cluster are associations serving and promoting our local industry. Established, global corporations and smaller, emerging firms, they all make the point of healthy growth. Bookmark to play along!