Friday, September 19, 2014

First day of the jam

Hey all you game development enthusiasts!

On a sunny friday morning a number of local game developers joined me for lunch ahead of a gamejam organized by IGDA Estonia. We already knew the theme for the jam (“Less is More) and we started throwing some ideas around and considering joining up on a project for the weekend. Some of us, including me, had attended the pre-party, which was held to get some game ideas out already and help find potential teammates, on the day before, but although I had heard some neat ideas, I wasn't strictly set on any teams yet, so I was open for new alternatives.

We left the lunch with me, Mikk (artist of the indie game Unrest) and Madis from Roxfot games half-jokingly wanting to do a Social Marketing MMO called Twatter. While walking to the Baltic Media and Film School, where the gamejam was to be held, the ideas still kept coming, including making a tweetbot AI game among others, but Mikk signed up to present the Social Marketing MMO after all when we arrived.

We were waiting for the event to start when Mikk begun brainstorming on an earlier idea about relieving anxiety and when we were done discussing it, we decided it was a superior basis for a game and would suit the jam theme much better.

Soon some 100 developers joined in the auditorium to see the bravest of the game designers present their ideas, Mikk among them. He presented the idea for a relaxation game for touchscreen devices that we had fleshed out only minutes before and considering he pretty much winged it, he did his job well, being the first presenter that spawned additional questions from the crowd. By the end of the presentations we had gotten another member to the group, an architect named Paco, who wanted to take on task of creating art for the game. Mikk became the game designer/project manager, Madis the coder and I wanted to try my hand in doing marketing and public relations.

After some additional talks given by mentors from all around the world, we started looking for a room set up our "studio" in. It turned out to be a bit harder than expected, since most of the designated rooms were already occupied by other teams, but we finally got lucky enough to find an empty classroom, yet undiscovered by the jammers, behind a corner. We reorganized the tables and got started with sketching and brainstorming a title. After some discussion we settled on Lake Serene.

Besides doing a quick dinner break, Mikk, Madis and Paco barely left the room and fully concentrated on work, while I did some tours around the classes to spy on other teams (gotta love what some of them are doing!) and even managed to attend to a seminar about game design. I also set up a twitter account, a facebook page and prepared some other accounts, all which turned out to be harder than necessary, since I only had an Android tablet available. Still I'll try to keep posting updates.

The team managed to get the basic game engine running and a bit of sprite art out. We settled on a sort of a squarish pixel art style and it seems to fit the theme well so far. I have to admit though, that like a typical marketing department, I'm not yet up to date on every detail of the progress so far.

Anyway, we wrapped things up by midnight and Mikk was even nice enough to drive everyone home. Now that's stellar project management!

One long day behind us, but even a longer one coming tomorrow. Feeling positive and excited!


Lake Serene is an anti anxiety relaxation game based on paced movements and exploration for touchscreen devices.
@LakeSereneGame | Facebook