Originally published in Las Vegas Citylife on July 10, 2013
Game jams are exhausting. Forty-eight hours of concentration, problem solving, design, and compromise, followed by an hour or two of tension and high anxiety as the developers attempt to bundle everything into a single working cohesive piece to demo. If a team is lucky, development aligns enough with the initial game plan that the full-day work sessions are punctuated by sleep. Some of the teams arenâ€™t so lucky, powering through on willpower, caffeine, and the demands of a deadline. Game jams are amazing.
This week: Molyjam wrap up!
Okay, first a brief recap. Molyjam is an annual game jam where current and aspiring game developers gather and create video games over the course of a single weekend, all themed in a loving mix of homage and parody of renowned designer Peter Molyneux. This year, the stated rule was that all game concepts were to be based on actual Molyneux quotes, pulled freely and without context from over two decades of interviews and presentations.
(For the less brief recap, read my previous column.)
On the evening of July 5th, a dozen game developers in Las Vegas gathered together at SHFL Entertainmentâ€™s interactive office, formed teams, came up with concepts, and hunkered down to work alongside hundreds more from around the world, all simultaneously creating games for Molyjam.
Two days later, over 250 titles by nearly 800 developers had been submitted to the Molyjam website. While the majority of the games are playable by anyone on a standard Mac or Windows computer, some teams chose more niche platforms (the Oculus Rift VR headset was especially popular this year), and one programmer even designed and wrote a game for the Atari 2600.
For some participants, just the act of completing something mostly playable in two days is enough. Others will continue to hone and polish their projects over the coming weeks, so if you come across a submission you especially enjoy, be sure to let developers know, and keep an eye on them for future announcements.