Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Different kind of jam session

Winnipeg developers take part in 48-hour game-creation event

  • Print
Anthony Dorge is one of more than 70 game developers participating in a Game Jam at ACI on McDermot Avenue, where they have 48 hours to bring their preliminary game ideas to life.

TREVOR HAGAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Anthony Dorge is one of more than 70 game developers participating in a Game Jam at ACI on McDermot Avenue, where they have 48 hours to bring their preliminary game ideas to life. Photo Store

BY noon on Saturday, most developers at the Winnipeg Game Jam had seen enough bytes and were ready for bites. Breakfast was late, and hungry developers are not happy ones.

Roughly 70 coders, designers, musicians and other professionals took part in a 48-hour session at the ACI Co-Working space.

Over the next two days, they have to come up with and finish one idea related to a game. It could be a game, a song for a game, a narrative or something completely different, but it has to be finished and presentable by Sunday evening.

Throughout the day, the developers huddled into cubicles, rooms and upstairs on tables in a hall. Some coded on laptops, others sketched on paper, and some tried to project a hologram into a glass pyramid.

Most popular video games take millions of dollars and years to make, so an event that puts game developers in a room and gives them a short time to come up with something might seem like an impossible task.

But the reason for the game jam is never the finished product, Devin Reimer, one of the developers attending said.

"Some games end up going on (after the jam)... but the main thing is the stuff that you end up learning while at the game jam. That's what's most valuable," he said.

Reimer was working on a submarine game in which players could pilot submarines, shoot at each other and try to evade the other's torpedoes. Within three hours, he had a working prototype where the submarines could be controlled. Where the game would end up, he had no idea.

"That's one of the things. I've never started a game jam with the idea of 'This is totally going to turn into something that's going to exist,' " he said.

Dylan Fries, one of the organizers of the jam, said the event is a good opportunity for people to work on something with a set deadline. Many people, he said, can get lost in working on projects that never end or go anywhere.

"You have to be very disciplined and very focused, and a lot of great stuff comes out of that," Fries said.

Daniel Voth and Rebecca Sutherland were two first-time coders at the jam. They were working on a basic idea for a game where the player controls a firefly that guides a fox through an environment.

The idea is a twist on a traditional concept where the player would be controlling the fox and have a light source guide them as they explore.

Sutherland said being first-time jam participants, she's been impressed by the willingness to help offered by other attendees.

"It's a very strong sense of community. I don't want to say I didn't expect it, but it happened a lot more than I thought. People are so friendly, they just come up to you and say 'Hey, what are you working on?' " she said.

"They easily could be working on their own projects... you don't have to ask for help," added Voth.

The participants of the jam will show their work today at 7 p.m., and even if the submarine game Reimer worked on only ends up staying on his hard drive, it will have been a productive event, he said.

"This game jam is 70 people, which is crazy for Winnipeg... There's a lot of people here that have never built a game, and that's a great way to build a community."

oliver.sachgau@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 27, 2014 A3

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Rumor's 30th Anniversary with Mike Wilmot, Darryl Lenox, Dave Hemstad & Derek Edwards

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Gardening Column- Assiniboine Park English Garden. July 19, 2002.
  • Marc Gallant / Winnipeg Free Press.  Local/Weather Standup- Catching rays. Prairie Dog stretches out at Fort Whyte Centre. Fort Whyte has a Prairie Dog enclosure with aprox. 20 dogs young and old. 060607.

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Would you visit Dalnavert Museum if it reopened?

View Results

Ads by Google