In October 2012 I took part in my first game jam, where teams of artists, programmers, game designers, musicians etc dash to create a computer game within a set time, often with people they have never worked with before. This particular game jam was special in that it was super fast ~ we only had 24 hours to create our game or concept and also it was the first ever XX Game Jam ~ only women participating, most of them strangers to each other.
We were quite quiet to start with, and stayed relatively quiet as we split off into our groups to start working hard on our games.
The theme we were all given was Clockwork ~ very now, very steampunk, and very open to interpretation in different ways, as evidenced by the different games that resulted.
Our small team of three had never met before and consisted of Kimmi Gan, programmer and Teri Mardel - a games designer
We also had some input from Fiona French, who teaches Game design, and got us to stop long enough to plan what we were doing and work out how much was feasible to achieve in 24 hours, if we were intending to sleep at all.
So we set to and developed a game which involved Ada Lovelace jumping up and down to release cogs that bounced onto a crocodile (a ticking crocodile, like the one in Peter Pan that has swallowed a clock).
The resulting game got simpler and simpler from our initial ideas of snapping jaws and teeth flying out, but we were pleased with our effort, which Teri labelled: ”Tick Tock Terror”.
We didn’t win the game jam, but we did get a special mention for the aesthetics of our game, which pleased me, as the ahem, Artist (aw, shucks). I am assured this was not just because our main character was Ada Lovelace in a crinoline holding a spanner or that we incorporated Babbage’s engine as our background ~ it was because it was already playable, and albeit seemingly simple, Tick Tock Terror is surprisingly tricky.
The games from the jam will be online in early 2013 so you can have a go. There are some links below to the XX game jam supporters and also some of the press coverage.
Organised by the wonderful Debbie Rawlings at Auroch Digital, the game jam was hosted by Mind Candy , creators of Moshi Monsters, in their outrageously vibrant and overstimulating offices in London.
It was supported by UWE’s Digital Cultures Research Centre, UKIE, Ada Lovelace Day, Connection Point Technology, PlayMob, London Games Festival & Auroch Digital.
You can find more on the XX Game Jam via these links, some with more irritating titles than others: